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ICCA to showcase Dubai innovation in November

Delegates at the 57th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)  in Dubai are to be offered a rich programme of curated tours and site visits, showcasing the city’s cultural offerings, ground-breaking innovation, and talent development.

icca congree dubai
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Delegates at the 57th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)  in Dubai are to be offered a rich programme of curated tours and site visits, showcasing the city’s cultural offerings, ground-breaking innovation, and talent development. These will complement the core educational programme and networking events at the congress, which will take place in Dubai from November 11 to 14 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.

The ICCA “Outside The Box Sessions” will showcase a different side of Dubai by familiarising delegates with the city’s rich culture, talent development, innovation, as well as insight into playing host to one of the world’s largest events – Expo 2020 Dubai. Beyond the halls of Dubai World Trade Centre, where the core ICCA Congress programme is set to take place, delegates will be immersed through experiences such as a city tour and various activities at the Dubai Opera, Dubai Future Foundation, Expo 2020 Dubai site, as well as Emirates Airlines Crew Training Academy, that not only highlight the city as a business events destination, but as a knowledge hub and centre of innovation.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “The 2018 ICCA Congress is a key event for the global business events community, and provides Dubai with a platform to showcase itself as a business and knowledge hub. We hope these experiences, which involve some of our key stakeholders and partners across the city, will inspire delegates and allow them to consider future opportunities in Dubai. They will also complement the strong core educational programme that ICCA has put together for delegates, as well as the networking and social events throughout the Congress.”

To help delegates build a more cohesive picture of Dubai, delegates can expect to explore the Expo 2020 Dubai site, and see first-hand the scale of the global event and how it is set to provide opportunities for meeting industry professionals. The “Outside The Box Sessions” will also see delegates take a tour of the Emirates Airline Crew Training Academy and experience the development of skills as well as the importance of aviation to the city’s development. During the tour, delegates will have a first-hand look at the Emirates Airline’s Safety and Emergency Evacuation Simulators, Service Training Simulators, as well as the A380 Cabin Service simulator, among many others.

To immerse delegates into Dubai’s focus on innovation and the close collaborations between the public and private sectors, a briefing and tour of Dubai Future Foundation is set to take place. During the tour, delegates will have the opportunity to see AREA2071, an experimentation cluster for governments, multinationals and startups to design the future, where technology and startups are not the focus, but means to deliver on that vision. Delegates will also learn about Dubai Future Accelerators, a 9-week program that brings together international/local companies and startups with Dubai Government to deploy futuristic prototypes across Dubai, as well as a tour of the world’s first and most advanced 3D printed office.

Delegates will also experience the unique cultural and entertainment offering in the city while touring Dubai Opera, as well as learn about the contemporary architecture and design of the structure incorporating Dubai’s history.

Dennis Speet, ICCA’s Interim CEO, said: “The ICCA global community is very much looking forward to going to Dubai – our first ICCA Congress in the Middle East region in our 55-year history! With already over 963 delegates from 75 countries registered, this could become the biggest ICCA Congress outside of Europe ever.

We have set up a completely new education programme from scratch and one of my personal highlights are the ‘Outside the Box’ sessions. The Local Host Committee has done a tremendous job in creating these sessions, which give a unique perspective on Dubai’s cultural offerings, ground-breaking innovation, and talent development.

Merging a world-class, custom-designed education programme, knowledge and business exchange, networking opportunities with senior meetings industry professionals and association executives from across the globe and all industry sectors, and the sights and sounds of our dynamic host destination, the ICCA Congress 2018 has all ingredients for a must-attend event for meetings industry professionals.”

As preparations continue, the “Outside The Box Sessions” are the latest experiences to be confirmed for the 57th ICCA Congress, which also include the social programme and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aspects. The exciting social programme will see delegates experience some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks and activities, such as a “Welcome Reception” at the Armani Pavilion, with al fresco dining and entertainment right next to Burj Khalifa, as well as an Arabian desert camp night and the annual “CAT Night”, with award-winning food and beverage options. The CSR element includes a number of initiatives in line with the Noor Dubai Foundation, which focuses on the prevention of blindness and visual impairment globally.

Industry professionals can now register to attend the 57th ICCA Congress in Dubai here.



Thomas Cook India to focus on U.S. business travel

This initiative will enable the company to effectively manage the travel and related requirements of its large and expanding base of global business travelers.

Thomas Cook Micepoint
Photo: Joakim Honkasalo/Unsplash

Thomas Cook (India) has announced the commencement of its USA Operations, in a focused initiative to leverage the high potential business travel segment to and from the Americas. The company has accordingly obtained ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation) accreditation and necessary operating licenses via its Destination Management brand, Allied TPro (through Horizon Travel Services LLC, USA).

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) projects India to be one of the fastest growing markets over the next five years, with a growth rate of 11.3%. Thomas Cook India reiterates this clear opportunity, with its internal data highlighting a 23% YoY growth in its business travel segment over the last 3 years; and U.S. travel contributing over 20% of its portfolio. Hence, in a strategic initiative to harness this significant potential and grow its corporate travel business, Thomas Cook India has commenced operations in the U.S.

Thomas Cook India’s USA initiative will enable the company to effectively manage the travel and related requirements of its large and expanding base of global business travelers with a two-pronged benefit: giving them direct access to fares and content from the US market, coupled with 24X7 solutions for their US travel and travel related services.   The Company’s USA operations will offer its travelers a range of services include, air, hospitality, and surface transportation across its business and b-leisure segments.

Indiver Rastogi, President, Global Corporate Travel at The Thomas Cook India Group, said, “We are excited with this development that also marks the beginning of our Corporate Travel operations in the US- a market that offers us significant potential across business and b-leisure segments. This new initiative will enable Thomas Cook to manage travel and related services for our growing customer portfolio of MNCs, Indian Corporate Houses, and equally, SMEs traveling to and from the U.S. We see significant growth in the business travel sector and this move heralds our foray into key opportune markets- globally.”

The Thomas Cook India Group provides integrated Travel Management and Advisory Services to more than 500 corporates, including several national, multinational companies and SMEs. The large scale and size of its operations enable the company to effectively provide process efficiencies coupled with specialization in tailor-made travel policies to suit each corporate requirement, thereby enabling savings on spending.


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23% increase in tourists from India to Sweden

There is a 100 percent increase in the number of visa applications from India for Sweden from 2014 to 2018.

Photo: Shutterstock

There has been a 23 percent increase in the number of tourists from India to Sweden.  An improved people-to-people exchange, increased trade between the two nations, a concerted government interest from both sides and direct flights have contributed to this growth. These results were shared by Visit Sweden and the Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai at a seminar conducted Scandinavian Tourism board in Mumbai today.

More than a 190 Swedish companies are registered in India including Ericsson, Volvo, H&M, Scania, DeLaval, Tetra Pak and the latest entrant being the much-awaited, global home furnishings giant IKEA. In addition, several small and medium enterprises and Swedish startups have India plans. This growing bridge between India and Sweden has impacted tourism positively.

“The excellent relations between Sweden and India which have developed over the past few years with PM Löven and PM Modi’s respective visits, the joint declaration, joint action plan and the adoption of strategic partnership on innovation, are paving the way for increased bilateral visits and people to people contacts,” said Ulrika Sundberg, Consul General of Sweden to Mumbai.

“We have noticed the ‘bleisure’ travel trend – a combination of business and leisure travel. In addition, according to Statistics Sweden, there are 17,000 Indian passport holders residing in Sweden today. This along with other factors has led to an increase in tourism from India,” says Michael Persson Gripkow, Chief Brand & Communications Officer at Visit Sweden, Sweden’s Official Tourism Board.

Ruth Dolla, Project Manager – India, Visit Sweden said, “We look forward to further growth this year and in 2019. We continue to engage the travel trade community as well as the consumer and raise awareness about Sweden as a tourist destination. The direct flight from Delhi to Stockholm with Air India completed one year since its first flight in August 2017 and continues to bring incoming traffic from India to Sweden.”

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Qatar to host World Corporate Games in 2019

The Doha edition of the World Corporate Games is expected to attract around attract around 8000 international and local participants.

Quatar World Corporate Games
Photo: Unsplash

Corporations around the world can now sign up for the World Corporate Games 2019, which will be held for the first time in the Middle East in Doha, Qatar, officials of Sports for Life, organizers of the World Corporate Games, Qatar Tourism Authority and the Ministry for Culture and Sports in Qatar announced today.

The 23rd edition is held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar, and will bring together the local, regional and international business sporting community. It will be the first time that the World Corporate Games, established nearly 30 years ago, incorporate eSports and mind sports.

Taking place between November 6-9, 2019, the Doha edition of the World Corporate Games is expected to attract around attract around 8000 international and local participants (making this one of the largest participation sporting events in Qatar’s history). The event features both individual and team competitions, open equally to women and men of all ages and abilities with team events for skilled, semi-skilled or novice participants. It is an all-inclusive event with para games integrated for various categories as well. The World Corporate Games in Doha will include 24 different sports ranging from dragon boat racing and ten-pin bowling to football and basketball to golf, tennis and running.

The various competitions held as part of the Games will be hosted at eight venues across Doha. Qatar Foundation is set to host, badminton, chess, netball, running, volleyball, and golf, as well as the triathlon. Meanwhile, Aspire Zone Foundation will play host to basketball, field hockey, rugby 7s, soccer, squash, and table tennis. Other official venues include Doha Golf Club, Katara Cultural Village, Losail International Circuit, Qatar Bowling Center, and Virtuosity, host of the eSports games.

Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at QTA, said, “It gives us great pleasure to be hosting the World Corporate Games in Doha next year. The hosting of mass participation events such as this supports our goals for developing a vibrant sports and recreation tourism sub-sector in Qatar.” He continued, “Sport has a unique power to bring people together and we look forward to having this event amplify our country’s message of welcoming the world. QTA is working closely with the hospitality sector to ensure that they can maximize on this global event by providing customized packages that facilitate both accommodation and corporate meetings.”

Maureen Johnston, Founder of the World Corporate Games said ”Doha and Qatar together make an outstanding venue for the Games. The facilities are amongst the best in the world, the ambiance of the city and the magnificence of the infrastructure together with legendary hospitality of the Qataris will create an exceptional experience for every participant and visitor.  I am very proud that the Games will be hosted here.”

Saud Al-Dulaimi, a representative of Ministry of Culture and Sports in Qatar, said, “This tournament is a significant addition to the calendar of international sports events that Qatar hosts. It further strengthens Qatar’s position globally and reflects the international community’s confidence in the Qatari talent of organizing international events. We value this initiative from QTA and endorse the importance of reinforcing partnerships between state institutions to achieve greater excellence in attracting similar international events which promote cultural exchange between nations.

Mohamed Jaidah, Group Executive Director of Jaidah Group, said, “On behalf of the Jaidah Group, I would like to welcome the world’s sport and business community to join us in November 2019 when the World Corporate Games are hosted for the 1st time in the  Middle East. I encourage Qatar’s business and public sector organizations, their staff and stakeholders to participate in this unique global event”

The World Corporate Games Doha 2019 will provide visiting participants an opportunity to compete in their chosen sport, build team spirit and camaraderie within their company/organization and improve communication between management and their front-line staff. It will also provide networking opportunities within the global community of professionals and a chance to play their particular sport in world-class venues and experience the amazing culture and hospitality that Qatar embodies.

Qatar hosts close to 80 sporting events and world-class competitions across a multitude of sporting disciplines annually. It is the first Middle Eastern country to earn the rights to host the World Championships in Athletics (2019), FIFA World Cup (2022) and the FINA World Swimming Championships (2023).

The World Corporate Games take place every 1-2 years and the last edition was held in Houston, Texas in 2017.


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