If you guessed Dubai, take a bow.
A little less than a year from now, the Middle East nation will welcome the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), as meetings professionals from around the globe will gather to discuss key challenges and opportunities in the events world.
The meeting will take place November 11-14 at Dubai World Trade Centre. ICCA just concluded its annual meeting for this year in Prague.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Dubai’s most recent advances as a world-class city with unrivalled connectivity to key industry bodies from around the world,” said Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing. “We look forward to welcoming ICCA delegates next year and hosting an event that plays an important role in the development and growth of the business events industry.”
In recent years, Dubai has been busily developing a host of new attractions, hotels, venues and infrastructure projects to boost its standing as a global hub for tourism and business events. The efforts are reaping dividends—the city did indeed become the fourth-most-visited city in the world in 2016, with 14.9 million overnight visitors. In the first 9 months of 2017, the city hosted 11.58 million international visitors, up more than 7.5 percent over the same period last year.
Government efforts to lure conferences and meetings are also paying off. Among other noteworthy conferences coming to the city, according to Dubai Business Events, are World Congress of Cardiology 2018, Lions Clubs International ISAAME Forum 2018 and International Federation of Health Information Management Associations International Congress 2019.
Dubai has also been snapping up meetings awards. The city was recognized as the Overseas Luxury MICE Destination of the Year 2016 at the China Travel & Meetings Industry Awards—Business Travel & MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), and was named the Middle East’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination 2016 at the World Travel Awards Middle East.
“The timing of ICCA’s Congress in Dubai couldn’t be better,” ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said. “Economies throughout the Gulf and Middle East are going through huge changes to their business models and are diversifying into a wide range of exciting new sectors. Association-related meetings activity is bubbling up across trade, healthcare and high-tech scientific sectors, thanks to both home-grown demand and driven by expansion and outreach from U.S. and European organizations.”