Abu Dhabi surges in MICE rankings index
UAE capital hosted more than 35 international association meetings and conferences, up from 22 in 2014
Abu Dhabi has climbed to 73rd position in the annual ranking of the world’s top destinations for meetings and congresses released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
Abu Dhabi jumped 35 places in the latest destination ranking, marking a significant improvement over its 2014 performance.
The ICCA report showed that in 2015, the UAE capital hosted more than 35 international association meetings and conferences, up from 22 in 2014. Posting a year-on-year growth of 59 per cent, Abu Dhabi was also the only city in the region to advance in the overall ICCA ranking.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, director-general of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said: “The growing appeal of the city as a destination of choice for leading international associations can be mainly attributed to the top-notch services and facilities offered by the emirate in the meetings and congresses sector.”
He added: “Over the past few years, TCA Abu Dhabi has collaborated with our strategic partners to enhance the credentials and attractiveness of Abu Dhabi in the MICE sector – on both regional and international levels.”
“We are committed to continuing this collaboration, given the high average spend of business delegates attending meetings and conferences – accounting for more than seven per cent of regular leisure tourists visiting the city.”
“The Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre [Adnec] is our key partner in driving the MICE sector in Abu Dhabi and boasts a successful track record in hosting many high-profile international meetings and congresses that have promoted Abu Dhabi’s leading status as a major tourism destination.”
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, acting Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, said: “Adnec is delighted with this latest accomplishment notched up by Abu Dhabi. What makes this achievement truly notable is that Abu Dhabi has jumped 161 places in the ICCA ranking within a span of three years – from 234 in 2012 to 73 in 2015.
“Our venues in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain collectively hosted 369 events in 2015, compared to 327 events in 2014. The events attracted 1.8 million visitors from across the world last year, up from 1.6 million visitors in 2014 – registering a 13 per cent growth year on year.”
Furthermore, in 2015, Adnec also attracted several new exhibitions and witnessed a steep growth in the specialised conferences and congresses segment that posted a 110 per cent growth compared to the previous year.
The company won the rights to host four new international congresses that are set to be held in 2016 and in coming years.
Adnec has also established strong synergies with Abu Dhabi’s business tourism stakeholders, including TCA Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, to develop joint bid strategies and seize opportunities in the global congresses and association meetings sector.
Al Dhaheri highlighted Abu Dhabi’s growth in the MICE sector globally as evidenced by the city’s recent wins as the host city of several leading international conferences. These include the World Diabetes Congress, the biennial international health congress which advances the cause of diabetes treatment worldwide. The event will be held at Adnec in December 2017. Around 15,000 experts are expected at the Congress which is set to deliver an anticipated economic impact to the emirate of Dh150 million.
Adnec attracted 1.8 million people across 369 events in 2015.