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Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre gains traction in North America

As the clock ticks down to the 2016 opening of the new Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, global meetings planners continue to be amazed by what the Sultanate has to offer.
Internationally recognised as one of the world's newest and most exciting emerging convention destinations, Oman is now being seriously considered to host significant global conventions and congresses through strategic partnerships instigated by OCEC's venue managers, AEG Ogden.

One partnership gaining traction is that with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) which represents 6,500 meeting industry leaders worldwide. Representatives from Oman attended the PCMA Convening Leaders annual congress in Chicago.

President and CEO of PCMA, Ms Deborah Sexton said that after a successful first year partnership with the Sultanate of Oman, her organisation was honored to have the Oman delegation among the 4,000 participants at the congress.

“Convening Leaders focuses on education for the leaders of the industry and it is critical for Oman to be part of these discussions. The ongoing commitment of Omran CEO, Wael Al Lawati, the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre and Oman to raising awareness of the opportunities the country has to offer for the meetings, congresses and business events industry, should be a model for all emerging convention destinations," Ms Sexton said.

Attending this year's Convening Leaders Congress was the ideal opportunity to meet with the 13 international advisors who now form the PCMA Oman Advisory Board and share in their global knowledge and expertise. More than 230 dignitaries, members of professional associations and meetings industry suppliers attended the first Oman Advisory Summit in Muscat last year.

Among those at the PCMA Convening Leaders Congress was the OCEC's Director of Business Development, Gillian Taylor, who attended the business sessions, 'one on one' appointments with meeting planners and global workshops to further increase business opportunities for the OCEC and Oman.

Ms. Taylor gave potential clients the opportunity to experience some Omani hospitality by offering the unique flavours of traditional Omani Halwa (the delicious local delicacy - Omani sweet) and Omani Kahwa (coffee) during their presentations.

"There are exciting times ahead as we progress several bids and await decisions for major international congresses with PCMA meeting planners. They are all buoyed by the opening of the OCEC next year and are continually amazed by the beauty of the country and the countless opportunities the Sultanate has to offer,” Ms Taylor said.

Market research indicates that the economic impact of the project will contribute an estimated OMR 180-295 million a year to Oman’s GDP by 2030. Eng. Wael Al Lawati Chief Executive Officer at OMRAN, commented, “In its preparation to steer the economic growth of the Sultanate through new channels of diversification, OCEC continues to develop an infrastructure beyond the parameters of its own venue. The calibre of the facility itself, in addition to its operation by AEG Ogden, will position Oman at the forefront of the business meetings industry.”

Pictured, left to right: Gillian Taylor - Director of Business Development at Oman Convention & Exhibition Center, Richard Baltimore – Advisor at Omran, Sherrif Karamat - Chief Operating Officer PCMA, Eng. Wael Al Lawati - CEO of Omran, Deborah Sexton - President and CEO PCMA and Christopher Wehking - Chief Program Officer American Society of Anaethesiologists.

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