Twenty eight high-profile individuals and organisations were honoured by Dubai’s government yesterday for their ongoing efforts to attract and host international conferences in the city, further reinforcing the emirate’s position as a global hub for knowledge exchange.
The combined efforts of the honourees at the 4th Annual Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors Programme’s Recognition and Networking Event, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), resulted in 10,000 leading global experts and thought leaders visiting Dubai last year to attend over a dozen major conferences, including the L’Oreal Business Forum, the International Tennis Federation’s Annual General Meeting, the Asia Pacific Dental Congress and the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF).
Hosted by Dubai Business Events (DBE) – the Official Convention Bureau, a division of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the event also paid tribute to the ambassadors and organisations responsible for submitting over 20 bids in 2014 alone to bring future international conferences to Dubai.
Speaking of the ambassadors, Executive Director of Dubai Business Events, Hamad Bin Mejren said: “While the immediate impact of our conference ambassador’s work helps boost Dubai’s economy by attracting global delegates and booking flights, hotels and conference venues, the real value of their efforts come when international events give our local community access to jobs, new technologies, intellectual capital and educational exchange.”
“We aim to see Dubai grow not only as a business centre, but as a vibrant and innovative knowledge hub, a place where ideas meet opportunity and where anything is possible,” Bin Mejren added.
The Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors Programme was set up by DBE five years ago to identify and motivate Dubai-based doctors, scientists, professors, teachers, government officials and business people, who are in some way connected internationally with organisations and associations, to attract conferences from their respective organisations to Dubai.
The programme, which currently boasts around 150 prominent Dubai-based ambassadors, is looking to expand its ranks in 2015 and to better position the emirate as a leading business events destination and knowledge hub. By growing ambassador numbers and working with them on a continual basis to bring global conferences to the city, DBE hopes to enhance Dubai’s international standing by getting leading international associations to debate the latest developments in their respective fields here in Dubai.
As part of its long-term partnership building in 2014, the Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors Programme entered into agreements with the Emirates Medical Association (EMA), the American University of Dubai (AUD) and DuBiotech, the world’s first Free-Zone dedicated to Life Sciences. Such partnerships with key scientific and educational institutions help identify opportunities that exist around international conferences, and also helps identify local ambassadors who can leverage the programme to bid for events. In 2015, DBE hopes to continue to enter similar partnerships with key institutions and organizations, and to host an educational event aimed at ensuring the continuous education of ambassadors similar to the one held last year.
To further increase the number of conferences being held in the emirate, too, DBE has also developed a strong programme aimed at bolstering regional growth, and is working with the organisers of more than 25 regional conferences to shape their events into strong, regular Dubai-based meetings.
Overall in 2014 alone, the bureau promoted Dubai at more than 100 international events, and welcomed more than 200 international conference decision makers and influencers to the emirate to showcase its business events offerings. In 2015, DBE have an even bigger and more ambitious plan in place to promote Dubai as a leading destination for international business events.