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Dubai Meetings Forum concludes with a bright outlook for Dubai as leading business event destination

Dubai Business Events and PCMA brings together global meeting industry experts to foster the growth of associations business in Dubai

Earlier this week, Dubai Business Events (DBE), Dubai’s official convention bureau, hosted 20 global members of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) at the PCMA Dubai Meetings Forum, a collaborative event organised by DBE, Dubai Association Centre (DAC) and PCMA for leading meeting professionals from across the world.

The three day event which combined site inspections, business networking opportunities and educational seminars featured a series of panel discussions centred on the business of associations held at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry with Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice-President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry as well as Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing giving the welcoming address and insights on the industry.  

Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events, said: “We are proud that Dubai set the backdrop for this prestigious event and are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive outcome.” He went on to say: “In January 2015, Dubai Business Events established a strategic partnership with PCMA and the Dubai Meetings Forum marked a key milestone as we continue to invest in education and connecting global industry leaders with our partners in Dubai, showcasing the city’s unique service offering for business events.”

During the event delegates saw first-hand that not only is Dubai a must experience destination, it is a destination with a diverse offering that includes a solid infrastructure and unique experiences that encompass the global feel of the city. The forum also allowed PCMA to address perception challenges facing Dubai and what can be done to overcome those in global markets.

Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, PCMA, commented: “PCMA’s mission is to deliver superior and innovative education, and Dubai is a destination that is determined to advance education within the meetings industry. Through this forum, we were able to bring industry experts and thought leaders to Dubai and collectively share insights on what the city has to offer and areas for potential growth, ensuring Dubai is well placed to bring in more business events in the future. We were able to meet with local associations and understand the marketplace in Dubai. This week has both challenged and changed perceptions about the city within the industry and we are excited to continue working together.”  

One of the key topics discussed was the growth opportunities for associations in international markets and Dubai’s ambition to establish itself as an association hub.  The establishment of DAC is part of a long term plan to attract regional nd international associations to the region and consequently strengthen Dubai’s role as a knowledge hub across all sectors.  

Jakobsen went on to say:  “Together, we can attract leaders in all fields to Dubai, and make the Emirate a knowledge-based hub, where ideas are exchanged freely and inspirational intellectual property is brought to life. The forum has reinforced Dubai’s aspirations to grow from a regional business and events hub to an international one”.  

Marking the final day of the forum and speaking to Dubai’s meetings industry leaders at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, author, journalist and strategist Afshin Molavi delved into an exploration of the world’s new geo-commercial map, providing insights into the current economic climate and key trends shaping the future from rapid urbanization to growing middle classes to evolving trade routes, with a special emphasis on the role of cities like Dubai leading the way and using this to transform the meeting and events industry.  

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