The 2012 Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition will host a dedicated Qatar Pavilion with key exhibitors showcasing the growing opportunities and facilities related to the Qatari Meetings industry. GIBTM, a REED Travel Exhibitions event, is the region’s only event dedicated to the meetings and events industry and will be held 26-28th March 2012.

Qatar’s events industry has been under the spotlight since the country won the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup last year. Securing such a significant international event has led to a huge investment in tourism infrastructure. Qatar’s MICE industry has been developing over the last few years with the addition of conference centres such as the newly opened Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) which adds some 40,000 sqm of exhibition space and a range of conference, meeting and banqueting spaces to the city’s inventory. QNCC will be one of the key exhibitors showcasing their facilities at the Qatar Pavilion at GIBTM.

“Qatar is one of the most vibrant economies in the world and is fast becoming a business destination of choice and just two weeks ago Qatar scooped the award for the World’s Leading Business Travel Destination at the World Travel Awards. Built to be one of the most sophisticated convention and exhibition centres in the world, QNCC recently opened on 4 December 2011,” said Trevor McCartney, Director of Business development, QNCC.

As Qatar realises its vision of moving from a carbon based economy to one of the most dynamic knowledge-based economies in the world, QNCC is facilitating this transition by targeting knowledge-based conferences and exhibitions.

“The Centre also acts as a catalyst for economic impact for the country. We are proud to support the growth of the Qatari MICE industry and by taking part in GIBTM we aim to educate regional and international meeting planners on the world-class events spaces that Qatar has to offer, in addition to the rich cultural heritage and warm welcome,” added McCartney.

In addition to QNCC the Qatar Pavilion at GIBTM will host a range of exhibitors including Qatar Airways, Doha Marriot Hotel, Moevenpick Towers and Suites Doha, Swiss-Belhotel Doha, Qatar International Tours, Qatar International Adventures, Retaj Hotels & Hospitality, W Doha Hotel & Residence, QMDI – Qatar MICE Development Institute and Renaissance Hotels.

“Qatar is flourishing in the MICE realm – it is savvy, has so many authentic options for an incentive group coupled with state of the art facilities for conferences. The new Convention Centre is a cut above the rest, combining luxury and ergonomics and the sheer size is just staggering. The footprints we are making on the world stage are now just the beginning, I hope the MICE societies are ready to be dazzled,” states Shane Jameson – Director of Sales & Marketing, Moevenpick Tower & Suties Doha.

Qatar will invest $20-25 billion in tourism infrastructure by 2022 and the MICE industry is a key element in Qatar’s plans for diversification, expansion and development. The government has allocated $11 billion on a new international airport and a $5.5 billion on a deepwater seaport.

Named Airline of the Year 2011 by global industry audit Skytrax and Best Airline for International Travel by Business Traveller USA, Qatar Airways will fly to over 120 destinations worldwide by 2013. Qatar is perfectly positioned within aircraft reach from almost anywhere in the world to host any international event with more than three billion people living within five hours flying time of our capital city, Doha. The country has an excellent reputation for hosting world-class events, and will soon become one of the top MICE destinations. Qatar Airways is currently supporting the meetings industry through Qatar Airways Holidays, the airline’s tour operating arm, by offering a variety of short holiday breaks that have been especially packaged and priced for congress and exhibition participants.

“Excellent flight connections together with spacious exhibition and conference venues equipped with state-of-the-art technology to luxurious accommodations and specialised freight forwarders, all make Qatar an ideal location for regional and international business meetings and events”, said Lois Hall, REED Travel Exhibitions Manager GIBTM. “For the first time GIBTM will showcase a dedicated Qatar pavilion where visitors and hosted buyers alike can have an insight on the country’s recent developments”, she explained.

GIBTM is the largest gathering of meetings industry professionals in the Middle East, attended by over 2750 industry professionals from all over the region, and is a driving force behind the industry offering five star business, networking and educational opportunities.

Held under the patronage of Chairman, HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, GIBTM 2012’s distinguished industry partners include Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, ADNEC, Etihad and The Vision. Meetme, published by NPI, is a global media partner and publisher of the Official Show Daily publication.

More information on the event, exhibitors, hosted buyers’ required qualifications, partners, networking and educational opportunities is available on www.gibtm.com.