The format has been designed to embrace regional nuances when it comes to the importance of relationship building, with nine networking events held over the three-day-long show. The first one is ‘Discovery Day,’ which allows Hosted Buyers and exhibitors to get to know each other whilst exploring the local culture in an informal environment. It commences with a keynote session which acts as a forum for attendees to debate industry issues. Hosted Buyers are accommodated in a 5-star luxury seafront resort.
The advantages of Abu Dhabi in MICE include a huge level of ongoing investment and development (80% of the region’s infrastructure less than two decades old), its good connections via Etihad and other premium airlines, and world-class airport. Shinu Pillai, Exhibition Manager also stresses that “there is sometimes a misconception that there is a lot of bureaucracy involved in organising an event the Middle East, however in our experience there is an excellent support mechanism in place for event organisers, headed by Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau and, on a wider scale, by Abu Dhabi Culture & Tourism Authority (ADTA), with whom we have partnered for a number of years.
New exhibitors include Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah, Rezidor and IMG Worlds of Adventure.