Abu Dhabi Tourism Industry reports MICE and business events uplift

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry is reporting a significant uplift in its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) and business events bookings.

Tourism stakeholders in large number have signed up to participate in the Gulf Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Expo (GIBTM), which will run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC) from March 24th-26th.

“Despite the increase in competition with new MICE venues opening in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers’ market share actually continued to increase,” explained Doris Greif, General Manager of Jumeirah hotel. “The total number of events held last year at the hotel was 708 – a 63% increase on 2012. We credit this success on having built a strong, personable and reliable luxury brand image in the market among clients and corporate and government entities, as well as our dedication to the customisation of various packages to meet the needs of our guests.

“In the last 12 months our hotel has played host to a number of extremely high profile conferences, such as the Global Vaccine Summit and the 13th Annual World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit. Additionally, we have also hosted numerous medical related symposiums and conferences, luxury product launches and extravagant weddings that have realised the largest opportunities for extended repeat and referral business.” Greif said this year the hotel will be looking to acquire and increase the number of overseas clients and organisations choosing the hotel for MICE events.

“Building global awareness of our Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Conference Centre as an international venue for excellence in hospitality and event hosting will be a cornerstone of our activities and actions in 2014.” Also sharpening its MICE edge is the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi which is busy designing new business tourism offerings.

“We are planning to add customized industry event packages to the list of available offerings, including revised food and beverage menus incorporating both Arabic and Thai cuisines, flexible meetings and events arrangements to suit the growing market of MICE business and requests that we encounter throughout the year,” said Aaishah Bohari, Director of Sales and Marketing.

“Last year we hosted a series of successful events and large conferences for government companies and pharmaceutical groups.” Abu Dhabi is making a major push for business events and MICE bookings and enquiries at this year’s GIBTM with 39 stakeholders joining a destination pavilion being mounted by Abu Dhabi Tourism ‘&’ Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

“The simple fact is that there is now much more to business events in Abu Dhabi,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Promotions and Overseas Offices Director, TCA Abu Dhabi. “There is growing impetus amongst our private sector to develop MICE specific product and our intention is to roll out this expanding portfolio at GIBTM, particularly to its 300-strong hosted buyer contingent. We have assets and activities in the emirate which clearly sets the destination apart and which will give us a stand-out edge.”