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EVENTS

Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau to showcase its MICE expertise at IBTM Arabia

The three-day event will see international delegates in UAE capital for key networking opportunities,
site visits and talks.

Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), is preparing to host IBTM Arabia, the leading event for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, from March 25.
The event, which will run from till March 27 at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel in Abu Dhabi, will bring together meetings and events planners from across the globe to connect with MICE suppliers based in the MENA region. It will include planned one-to-one meetings, invaluable networking opportunities, a ‘Discovery Day’ and carefully devised educational sessions delivered by industry experts.
A number of high-profile travel, tourism, and events companies and organizations have already confirmed their attendance, including Etihad Airways, Expo 2020 Dubai, United Nations Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Rotana UAE, Rwanda Convention Bureau, Azerbaijan Convention Bureau and the Deputy Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus.
“Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau has had another successful year in which we have succeeded in winning bids to host major events and conferences, so IBTM Arabia will provide us the chance to continue this momentum well into 2020,” said Mubarak Al Shamsi, Director of Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau.
“Also, last year saw the opening of a number of new amazing attractions and accommodation venues in Abu Dhabi, which complement our existing portfolio. So IBTM Arabia is the perfect opportunity to showcase all of these to the delegates we are expecting from around the globe, as well as providing them with a forum for networking and discussion.”
The itinerary of IBTM Arabia aims to facilitate relationship building, with a number of networking events and talks by leading industry figures, a ‘Discovery Day’ visit to Emirates Palace, Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi, Yas Hotel and Yas Marina Circuit, a site visit to Louvre Abu Dhabi and a Gala Evening White Party at the Saadiyat Rotana resort.
IBTM Arabia comes after Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau has already won bids for a series of world-class conferences and events. This month saw the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, the first time that this prestigious event has taken place in the MENA region, where more than 7,500 athletes from more than 190 nations convened to compete in 24 Olympic-style sports.
Upcoming events in the healthcare sector include the International Society of Paediatric Oncology’s Asia Congress 2019 from 3rd to 6th April, where medical experts will discuss cancer care for children. From 29th October to 2nd November, Abu Dhabi will also host the 37th World Congress of Endourology, the world’s foremost convention dedicated to minimally invasive urologic surgery.
From 9th to 12th September, the World Energy Congress is coming to Abu Dhabi, after the Bureau beat off competitive bids from both Rio de Janeiro and St Petersburg to host the 2019 event. With over 150 countries represented, the Congress is the world’s largest and most influential energy event covering all aspects of the energy agenda.
Other key events include the International Conference on CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance 2019 from 12th to 13th June, the 26th World Road Congress from 6th to 10th October, and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) Global Conference from 24th to 26th October.
Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau also provides “Advantage Abu Dhabi”, the incentive initiative aimed at increasing the overall value proposition of Abu Dhabi through hosting of innovative and viable business events aligned to the Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic Vision. It provides a unique opportunity for event organizers to gain destination driven value by providing bespoke destination support.
Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau and Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi will both be at Stand D13 at IBTM Arabia.

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CONVENTIONS

Do you specialize in MICE tourism? New Zealand is looking for hosted buyers

Do you specialize in MICE tourism? New Zealand is looking for hosted buyers

New Zealand’s only national business events exhibition, CINZ MEETINGS is raising the bar again this year with a wider range of exhibitors, more international and domestic buyers, and more networking opportunities.

Held in host city Auckland from May 28 to May 30, MEETINGS continues to be the focal point of the year for the New Zealand business events industry. Staged annually by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), the show combines opportunities to discover regions, network and sign business, across two days.

CINZ Chief Executive, Sue Sullivan says this year over 190 exhibitors from 20 regions, including 14 in the Luxury Collection, will be at ASB Showgrounds to showcase the experiences, venues, and accommodation on offer around the country.

“MEETINGS connects highly qualified meetings and incentive professionals looking to plan programmes in New Zealand, with suppliers who know their fields and their regions inside out. Hotels, resorts, convention bureaux, caterers, entertainers, speakers, styling and production experts are all part of this diverse mix,” she says.

“With valued support from the principal sponsor, Air New Zealand and our partner hotels we are able to bring these qualified buyers from all over New Zealand, Australia, and the world to meet in Auckland.

“Our hosted buyer places are always in high demand and this year key conference and event organizers have been signing up early. We take care of all accommodation, travel, and transfers to ensure our buyers can get on with business, and make valuable new connections,” she says.

Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand are bringing over 30 international hosted buyers and media from the United States, Canada, China, and Asia including Japan and Korea to MEETINGS, and giving them the opportunity to explore regional New Zealand.

“Our message to international convention and incentive organizers is that traveling here is not only a bucket-list experience, it is also extremely cost-effective – and not as far as you think. New Zealand is just an overnight sleep from the Americas, China and Asia-Pacific regions, and just three hours from Australia’s Eastern centers.”

CINZ MEETINGS 2019 includes a pre-touring programme with places for 52 Australian hosted buyers to five regional destinations. Northland, Rotorua, Wellington, and Queenstown prior to MEETINGS and a new signature event, a special post-MEETINGS famil to Christchurch.

Applications for the CINZ MEETINGS 2019 hosted buyer programme close on March 29. Event organisers can apply now on the MEETINGS website.

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CONFERENCES & INCENTIVES

OYO UAE reports double-digit growth in MICE visitors in 2019

OYO Hotels & Homes, South Asia’s largest, has seen a double-digit percentage rise in trade visitors within the MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector within the first two months of 2019. The company is currently one of China’s top five, and the world’s fastest-growing chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes and living spaces. OYO established its footprint in the UAE in the first half of 2018 and has already served close to 120,000 guests from 80 plus countries in 20+ hotels located across five Emirates and 40 homes in Dubai. OYO currently manages 1300+ exclusive rooms across Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Ajman.

As per reports, the trade exhibition industry in Dubai saw over 500,000 visitors last year in addition to the regular leisure tourists.

“We have observed a significant increase in trade visitors since the start of 2019 due to the busy events and exhibitions sector in UAE. Dubai’s MICE industry is currently growing at a rapid pace and leads in several aspects when compared to other global MICE hubs such as the US, UK, Europe and the Far East. On the other hand, we are confident of also seeing a spike due to the highly active sports industry,”said Manu Midha, Regional Head, Middle East, OYO Hotels & Homes.

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EVENTS

Singapore roots for Indian MICE market

With a track record of hosting Asia’s most prominent events, Singapore continues to deliver innovative solutions for the transfer of knowledge, ideas and connections to drive new possibilities for the Meetings, Incentive, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sector in Singapore. Singapore has been recognized by the World Bank as one of the easiest places in the world to do business (Doing Business 2018 Report, World Bank) and was named the Best BTMICE City at the prestigious TTG Travel Awards in 2018. While Singapore had welcomed 2.46 million BTMICE visitors in 2017, the city saw 1.3 million BTMICE visitors in the first half of 2018.

Kicking off its first MICE-focused event for 2019 in India, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organized a MICE thought leadership seminar in Mumbai on the theme, ‘Meetings & Incentive Travel to Singapore – Forging New Possibilities.’ The program included a keynote presentation by Gokul Bajaj, Head of Sales and Partnerships at Cvent, a cloud-based enterprise event management platform with solutions to optimize the entire event management value chain. A panel discussion followed on the topic of “How can the MICE industry leverage technology to better engage their audience?” Gokul Bajaj,  Aikta Tyagi, Vice President & Head of Special Events at Amway India, SD Nandakumar, President & Country Head – B2B for SOTC Travel Ltd formed the panel. The discussion was moderated by GB Srithar, Regional Director (South Asia, Middle East, and Africa), Singapore Tourism Board.

A team-building activity focusing on Lego Serious Play, conducted by Ludovic Odier, the CEO of Outdoor in Asia, highlighted innovative, high impact and experiential team engagement activities possible in Singapore for M&I travelers. The attendees were updated on new MICE venues, incentive schemes provided by the STB and diverse and exciting array of experiences available in Singapore for M&I groups. The program was well attended with 150 Indian travel agents and 40 Singapore stakeholders representing hotels, airlines, attractions, Destination Management Companies (DMC) and cruise operators.

Speaking on STB’s efforts to showcase Singapore as a destination of choice among the MICE travelers, Srithar, Regional Director (South Asia, Middle East, and Africa), Singapore Tourism Board said, “India continues to be a key source market for MICE travelers to Singapore. Thanks to the support of trade intermediaries and corporates, we have witnessed healthy growth in Meetings and Incentives ‘visitorship’ over the past few years. This thought leadership MICE Seminar is relevant, as many in the M&I space are contemplating the role of technology in enhancing their groups’ travel experiences and program. The trade engagement event enabled Indian travel trade to exchange ideas and deepen relationships with the Singapore tourism partners. We look forward to inviting and delighting a good number of M&I groups to Singapore this year.”

Considering all travelers, including MICE, from January to November 2018, Singapore welcomed 1.32 million Indian visitors, a 14.4% increase over the same period in 2017. India continues to be Singapore’s third largest visitor arrivals source market.

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