ICCA announced that the 57th ICCA Congress, taking place from 11 November to 14 November 2018 in Dubai, will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.
Members of the royal family of Dubai offer patronage to certain key events, only after the potential added value that the event could bring to Dubai’s economy and knowledge economy has been justified. As such, the Crown Prince’s patronage indicates that the 57th ICCA Congress is considered to be one of the most respected and sought-after conferences in the meetings industry in Dubai and the surrounding region. Already Patron of the hugely successful Dubai Association Conference that took place in December 2017, the Crown Prince’s official support of the 57th ICCA Congress confirms Dubai’s commitment to further supporting the growth of the association meetings industry, and recognises the industry’s role as a driver of the knowledge economy in the Middle East region.
The Middle East is the fastest growing region for hosting international association meetings. Globally, the number of association meetings has doubled in a decade, from just under 6,000 in 2006 to over 12,000 in 2016. The market share of the Middle East region has grown even quicker, from 100 association meetings to 255 in a decade. This growth of over 250% is the largest for any region in the world.
The estimated total number of participants in the Middle East has grown from just 100,000 in 2007 to an average of almost 200,000 per year in the last 5 years.
Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing said, “As a leading global destination for business events, and the fourth most visited city in the world, we look forward to welcoming meetings industry and association professionals from around the world later this year. Dubai Tourism will continue to work with ICCA and local partners and stakeholders to create the best possible experience for delegates and ensure the event leaves a strong legacy behind.”
ICCA President, Nina Freysen-Pretorius added, “We are deeply honoured to receive official patronage for our Congress from His Highness the Crown Prince. We believe that by bringing together one thousand of the world’s foremost experts in our industry to Dubai, we will leave a powerful legacy of transferred knowledge and shared insights. At the same time, ICCA members will themselves learn a great deal from the experiences and vision of this great meetings destination.”
Sheikh Hamdan is the son of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. Following in the footsteps of his father, the Crown Prince’s work revolves around developing Dubai and UAE into a centre for excellence, focusing on inviting the youth of UAE to participate in their country’s strategic development. As this year’s ICCA Congress will be inspired by the youth and innovation of the UAE and Dubai’s dynamic nature, Sheikh Hamdan’s official endorsement is incredibly significant.