RITIKA SHARMA / EMIRATES BUSINESS
Abu Dhabi pavilion coordinated by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau (ADCB), a division of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) – was one of the focal points at the recently-held 10th anniversary edition of ibtm arabia in the Emirates capital.
ibtm arabia, which is the region’s one of the most-regarded meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition (MICE), saw the participation of who’s who of the industry from across the globe. During this high-profile event, ADCB provided a much-sought-after platform to spread awareness about the variety of services and facilities that MICE industry unfolds in the Emirate.
With an aim to solidify Abu Dhabi’s appeal as an international business events and incentives hub, ADCB pavilion focussed on portraying the Emirate as a dynamic leader in the field.
In an exclusive conversation with Emirates Business, Mubarak Hamad Al Shamsi, Director of Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, explains what role the bureau plays and what is being done to cement the capital’s position as the leading spot for global business events.
EXCERPTS FROM THE CONVERSATION:
How do you look at ibtm arabia event’s journey so far?
This time, it was the 10th anniversary of ibtm arabia. Hosting such an important business event in the Emirates capital shows the credibility and the readiness of Abu Dhabi as a venue to host big business events. The organisers and the exhibitors were very happy with the destination and its ability to facilitate stakeholders in every aspect.
ADCB made a number of important announcements during this event. Overhauled website of ADCB is one of them; could you please shed some light on this?
During the event, we launched refurbished Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau website taking it to next level of user friendliness and ease. Business event organisers, exhibitors and the people, who are related to this industry in any way, can visit the website for wholesome information. It is created to bring together people in the industry. You just need to fill the details, tell us what kind of support or incentive you are looking for, what kind of meeting facilities you are targeting, what is the size of the gathering — and, we will assist you in all of them. Your proposal goes straight where it should go and you get direct approvals. We have practically removed the concept of any middle man from the scene; it is a more direct and effective communication with the new website.
What other initiatives did ADCB propose during ibtm arabia?
We also introduced ‘Advantage Abu Dhabi programme’ during the event. It is a dedicated programme aimed at strengthening business relationships within the community, stimulating business opportunities for local suppliers and enhancing the experience of the event attendees. The initiative acts as a catalyst to enhance social and economic development through hosting of innovative and viable business events. It is aimed at increasing the overall value proposition of the destination and providing an array of support throughout the event planning cycle.
Apart from this, we also talked about our involvement in private and public sector. We have two committees which are dedicated for business events with private and public entities. In a quarterly time frame, we discuss various things that can enhance the quality of business events.
Same thing applies to government entity, but it is on a bigger scale. We discuss the strategies of those governmental entities to understand the sectors we need to focus on. We seek how we can help to push or support the business events.
Also we work-out how to facilitate the important events that are coming in Abu Dhabi. From the visa process to the transportation across the Emirates, we plan and execute it all in such cases. So in short we consider this private and public entity as Abu Dhabi team, we work together to present the best that we can in the Emirates.
One major event that the country is looking at hosting is Expo 2020 Dubai. How do you see the exhibitions industry changing in this context?
In past few years, Abu Dhabi has built a very great profile as far as business events are concerned. We have hosted some of the most important international events. This gives Abu Dhabi a ‘credible’ status which is far more important and significant for us than any other gain. These major events are a testimony to the fact that Abu Dhabi has all that is required to deliver world class business events and that it gives the right support.
We, as an authority, make sure that we not only support these events for economic impact – yes economic part of it is important – but we support them for the strategic impact. That is what matters to us the most.
How do you see this event (ibtm arabia) growing in the years to come?
ibtm arabia is one of the most significant events for the capital’s MICE industry. It has evolved in past ten years. The set up that you see today is much more focused and organised than what it was in the first event. It is much more oriented and stake holders can meet right buyers and make immaculate decisions – this is right platform for business networking and garnering positive results.
We have seen a very good increase in the number of participants in ibtm arabia this year. This shows the willingness of organisers and participants towards Abu Dhabi as a venue for their events. We will work very closely in the years to come to make this event and all such events – memorable and fruitful for all.