Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, has awarded members of its Al Safeer Programme for their stellar contribution in attracting international conferences to the city. The awards were presented to 26 member organisations at the Programme’s annual appreciation ceremony held today (27 February) at Park Hyatt, Dubai. The event saw a gathering of over 150 ambassadors, including doctors, scientists, industry experts, business leaders and government officials from across the UAE, who are all playing a significant role in defining Dubai as a knowledge hub.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, presented ambassadors with their awards at the event. Among the guest speakers at the event was Eng. Salem Humaid Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, who explained how the organisation worked with Dubai Business Events and other partners to win a bid to host the International Astronautical Congress in 2020.

Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “I would like to congratulate today’s award recipients and thank all the ambassadors for their efforts and the commitment they’ve made to helping us bring more business events to Dubai. The Al Safeer Programme ambassadors have undoubtedly been pivotal to Dubai’s growing knowledge hub status, and their dedication and commitment to the city’s vision have significantly contributed to Dubai’s strengthened ability to attract international conferences. We have seen tremendous results driven by the Al Safeer Programme since its formation, and are confident that the growing network of ambassadors will continue to propel Dubai forward as a knowledge economy and a premier host city for business events.”

In 2017, the Programme supported in successfully bidding for over 30 international association conferences to be hosted in the city, which represents 67% of the bids awarded to the city during the year. These events are expected to attract over 25,000 experts and key opinion leaders from around the world. The city is also gearing up to host over 50 ambassador-assisted events in 2018 and beyond, with over 64,000 delegates expected to attend.

Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events said: “Through the Al Safeer Programme’s network of ambassadors, who represent a diverse range of sectors, we have been able to enrich bids for key industry events with the essential insights that the ambassadors have to offer. They also act as the city’s strongest advocates within their individual networks, which has contributed to strengthening Dubai’s reputation as a leading business events destination and a global knowledge hub.”

The Al Safeer Programme has grown to become a network of approximately 330 members, each of whom are champions within their industries and are driving Dubai’s position as a platform that provides invaluable infrastructure to support discovery and industry progression. Through wider memorandums of understanding signed over the course of the year, the programme was strengthened in 2017, with members joining from the Society of Engineers, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, the British University, Roads and Transport Authority, the Emirates Medical Association, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This community is set to further expand in 2018 as the Programme aims to target government agencies and key universities in the city to join the Programme and contribute in the city’s success.

Translating to ‘The Ambassador’, the Al Safeer Programme was established by Dubai Business Events in 2010 to engage with UAE-based key opinion leaders and government representatives, tapping into their expertise and professional networks to attract international business events to Dubai. Since its establishment, the Programme has assisted in successfully bidding for a total of 116 events with over 160,000 delegates in attendance.

Individuals from the following organisations were recognised at the event: Emirates Society of Child Mental Health, Emirates National Oil Company, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Emirates Intellectual Property Association, Security and Commodities Authority, Emirates Nephrology Society, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Emirates Clinical Nutrition Society, Emirates Critical Care Society, Emirates Nursing Association Critical Care Society, Emirates Osteopathic Society, UAE Financial Markets Association, Emirates Pathology Society, Association of Professional Interior Designers (APID), Direct Selling Association UAE, Emirates Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society, Dubai Municipality, AIESEC UAE, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, American University in Dubai, Emirates Pharmacy Society, Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), IEEE – UAE Section, Emirates Society of Neurological Surgeons, and Canadian University in Dubai.

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