Emirati appointed chairperson of ICCA Middle East Chapter

ABU DHABI: Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Head of Sales – Congresses and Conferences, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), has been named Chairperson of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) – Middle East chapter for the next two years, becoming the first Emirati to assume the coveted position in the conferences and meetings sector since ICCA’s inception in 1963.

Following the announcement, Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Acting Group CEO of ADNEC, said: “Al Qubaisi’s appointment to this role demonstrates our commitment to increase the representation of UAE nationals in leadership positions of international organisations.

I am confident that our young national leaders will elevate the reputation of our country at regional and international levels.” “ADNEC is proud to be a key enabler of national workforce by providing the MICE industry with qualified young leaders, who were able to reinforce the role and contribution of this vital industry within the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.” “ADNEC has developed an integrated training and development programme for equipping young nationals with necessary skills and tools that will enable them to utilise their potentials and creative skills including a six-month intensive training programme at ExCeL London, the wholly-owned subsidiary of ADNEC in the UK capital. These programmes enable them to scale the leadership ladder in international organisations and muster the support of our partners in both public and private sectors to reach these positions,” Al Dhaheri added.

He also revealed that ADNEC has achieved 50 percent Emiratisation by the end November 2014, compared with 44 percent at the end of 2013, which he expected to reach 51 percent by 2014 end.

Commenting on his appointment, Al Qubaisi said: “We look forward to elevating the contribution of the 40-member ICCA – Middle East chapter to the global MICE sector and overall global economic development. Such efforts will help advance the regional conferences and events industry and sharpen its competitiveness in attracting specialised international events to the region. This appointment also serves the bigger role of enabling the UAE to make more effective contributions to the international and regional congress and convention landscape.” ICCA, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was founded in 1963 by a group of travel agents to evaluate practical ways to engage the travel industry in organising international meetings and conferences, as well as to exchange industry best practices.

SOURCE: WAM