Dubai begins countdown to host 2018 ICCA Congress

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Conclusion of congress in Prague marks the official handover to Dubai
Dubai is gearing up to host the 57th Congress of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) next year, following the conclusion of this year’s edition in Prague. Dubai was named host city for the 57th ICCA Congress in 2014, following a successful bid for the event that was led by Dubai Business Events and Dubai World Trade Centre


To be held from 11 – 14 November 2018 at Dubai World Trade Centre, the congress will see meeting industry professionals from all over the world gather in Dubai to discuss key challenges and opportunities within the business events industry.

A delegation from Dubai received the formal handover from hosts in Prague during the closing ceremony of the Congress on November 15. At the ceremony, Dubai representatives, including Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events, and Mahir Julfar, Senior Vice President, Venues Management at Dubai World Trade Centre, presented Dubai’s unique facets to attending ICCA members and delegates. An earlier session saw Marjan Faraidooni, Senior Vice President of Legacy Impact and Development at Expo 2020 Dubai, discuss the legacy that will be left after the conclusion of the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “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. Hosting business events forms a core part of our sustainable economic diversification efforts, and is a key driver in our Tourism Vision for 2020. 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.”

As Dubai’s visitor offerings continue to evolve, the city is developing a range of new attractions, hotels, venues and infrastructure projects that are set to bolster Dubai’s standing as a global hub for tourism and business events. Dubai has seen a consistent rise in business and tourism figures, becoming the fourth most visited city in the world in 2016, with 14.9 million overnight visitors last year. In the first 9 months of 2017, the city welcomed 11.58 million international visitors, up more than 7.5% on the same period last year.

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: “The timing of ICCA’s Congress in Dubai couldn’t be better. 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 US and European organisations; and we’ll arrive when preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai are reaching a critical point, providing all manner of experiential meetings-related content for our members to think about. We’re very excited to bring the world of ICCA to Dubai in 2018!”

Business events continue to play a key role in achieving Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 and UAE Vision 2021. These ambitious plans outline concrete steps to further develop the city into a global knowledge hub that advances a range of key industries and drives innovation across vital global sectors. With Dubai’s sustained successes as a destination of choice, business events play an increasingly prominent role in the national agenda of economic diversification and establishing a knowledge-based economy.

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