ICCA_Dubai2016-1Dubai Business Events (DBE) hosted the first ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum, ahead of ICCA Congress 2018. The first edition of ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum was held from 18-19 May 2016 at Sofitel Downtown Dubai.

More than 180 participants from across the Middle East attended the forum, which will take place annually in the coming years. The focus of the inaugural ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum was to establish a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices that will be essential as the region’s meetings industries seek to align products and services with the rapidly evolving demands from international associations and corporations.

The forum attracted over 20 internationally renowned speakers and global meetings industry experts, who discussed global trends, the importance of destination teamwork and industry collaboration, and the competitiveness of the Middle East region as a stepping stone to booming markets in the Middle East and Africa. Speakers also shared strategies on bidding for international meetings and conferences in what has become an increasingly competitive world, as well as the need for training programmes capable of supporting and responding to future trends across the region.

ICCA_Dubai2016Martin Sirk, CEO, ICCA, said: “The Middle East is growing at a rapid pace and establishing this forum gives us the opportunity to connect the region with our global network of practitioners, allowing for knowledge sharing and understanding the needs of the meetings business in a deeper way. Ahead of the ICCA Congress coming to Dubai in 2018, we want to ensure that we build up interest and capacity together with our local members and partners in the Region over the next two years.”

Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events, said: “The first ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum was a tremendous success and we’re proud to have played a leading role in organizing the inaugural event. I personally look forward to see the Forum grow in strength in the coming years as the city gears up to host the ICCA Congress in 2018.

“Dubai has made no secret of its desire to create a world-leading knowledge-based economy and has demonstrated an exceptional ability to pioneer new ideas of its own as well as foster the exchange of ideas between countries and cities around the world.”