Abu Dhabi enters 'Top 100 MICE hub' list
Abu Dhabi, May 13, 2013
Abu Dhabi has been named among the top 100 busiest global meetings destinations in the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) 2012 global city rankings for the first time, said a report.
The rankings are an annual league evaluated and published by Amsterdam-based ICCA, which represents the main specialists in organising, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, with over 950 members in 88 countries.
Last year Abu Dhabi and Dubai were both named the top Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (Mice) destinations in Mena region in the 5th Middle East Meetings Industry Research report compiled by Reed Travel Exhibitions and meetme magazine.
The report highlighted the rapid expansion of the industry in the UAE and predicted continuous growth.
Abu Dhabi, which played host to 22 association meetings last year, has made it to the 'Top 100' list jumping 134 places. The UAE capital had been in the 234th place in the ICAA ranking in 2011 with just eight meetings.
But now with new global ranking, the city has been placed alongside other major meetings cities including: Atlanta, Georgia; Brasilia and Perth, Australia; and higher than established global hubs such as Las Vegas in the US and Cologne in Germany.
Abu Dhabi is one of only two Gulf cities to make it to the Top 100 rankings – the other is Dubai which made it to 60th place with 38 meetings.
“This is a welcome endorsement of Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a recognised destination for the meeting, incentive, conferences and exhibitions industry,” remarked Jasem Al Darmaki, the deputy director general, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
"Last year was something of a watershed in our business events ambitions given that in February 2012 we hosted the World Ophthalmology Congress at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, which was the largest convention held to date in the UAE capital with upwards of 10,000 delegates," stated Al Darmaki.
"Just seven months later Adnec also hosted the 18th World Routes Development Congress. These headline events have put Abu Dhabi firmly on the major conventions and congresses agenda and serve as case studies and proof positive of the city’s ability to come together as one to ensure meetings success," he added.
In 2012 the total number of events hosted at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) alone grew to 360 from 232 the previous year, a 55 per cent increase. In addition, 17 conferences were held that attracted almost 25,000 participants and 111 special events and meetings.
Two years ago Abu Dhabi initiated a ‘One Destination’ collaborative stakeholder approach to winning major meetings business – an approach Adnec says is paying off.
"The rise by 134 places in the ICCA rankings is thanks to the hard work and commitment shown not just by our team here at Adnec, but also Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and the emirate’s leadership," remarked Ali Saeed Bin Harmel Al Dhaheri, the managing director of Adnec.
"Abu Dhabi’s excellent infrastructure, great airlines and our advanced, award-winning event facility make the emirate an increasingly attractive place for global meetings and conventions. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and are working together to fulfil Abu Dhabi’s target of achieving a top 50 ICCA ranking within the next five years,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service