Dubai creates unique platform to inspire with first Association Leaders Getaway

Dubai Association Centre (DAC), a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), is to host the city’s first-ever Association Leaders Getaway. Taking place from 10-13 December, it follows on from the success of the first Dubai Association Conference, held in late 2017, which focused on building a strengthened community and robust ecosystem for associations in the region. The Getaway is designed to offer a unique platform for networking, trials and discussions, all set amidst immersive experiences and scenic settings around the city.

Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Following the inaugural Dubai Association Conference last year, the city has witnessed a marked increase in interest from association representatives, both regionally and globally. The Association Leaders Getaway is an effort to harness this interest and create a platform for association members to network, share knowledge and best practice, in an engaging setting, beyond the confines of meeting rooms. We are confident that the Getaway will prove to be an invaluable experience for all attendees, while being a crucial step forward in our city’s evolution.”

The four-day event will bring together 60 attendees representing local, regional and international associations, in addition to Dubai Government representatives, university students and academics, as well as association volunteer leaders. The Getaway will support in curating themes and topics of interest for the next Dubai Association Conference, set to take place in 2019.

Hassan Al Hashemi, Member of the Executive Committee of Dubai Association Centre and Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Foto: Edelman

Hassan Al Hashemi, Member of the Executive Committee of Dubai Association Centre and Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “By launching this unique event, we are creating a platform for open and constructive dialogue where associations from around the world can discuss important matters and share valuable insights. These perspectives will help the Dubai Association Centre tailor its activities and agenda to meet the needs of associations. We are confident that the event will provide unforgettable experience for participants and boost Dubai’s global profile as an attractive hub for associations.”

The itinerary features sessions aimed at tackling current themes and trends that impact associations in the region. The inaugural session focuses on the significance of having a ‘global mindset’, where attendees will be encouraged to think global and communicate beyond local or regional borders. A session, titled ‘Association Insomnia: What Keeps Association Executives Up at Night?’’, is a workshop aimed at identifying workable solutions to overcome current challenges, all in the midst of preparing an authentic Emirati lunch.

The agenda also includes a session on ‘Youth Integration’ as associations are increasingly looking at ways to become more appealing to the next generation. Attendees will also witness a panel discussion on ‘Working Together to Advance Humanity’ which will be led by the Dubai Future Foundation following a tour of the Dubai Future Academy. The closing session, titled ‘Going Back to Basics: Going Back in Time’, is centred around understanding how Bedouins survived in the past, travelling across the desert with the stars being their sole guide.

Mahir Julfar, Senior Vice President, Venues Management at Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “Dubai’s first-ever Association Leaders Getaway will provide industry leaders and delegates the platform to collaborate and connect with one another, and help cultivate innovation in our region. It is our pleasure at DWTC to facilitate such efforts, which further the UAE’s economy and position it as a knowledge hub. By tapping into industry networks and fostering stimulating discussion, we are confident the Associations Leaders Getaway will enrich business activity in key industries, regionally and globally.”

The launch of the Association Leaders Getaway comes following the surge in associations building a presence within the city. As of July this year, the Dubai Association Centre had a total of 58 licensed associations, with 16 registrations received in the first half of 2018, reflecting growth of 38%. This is testament to Dubai’s strengthened position of being the destination of choice for associations to set up regional headquarters. Since its establishment in 2014, the Centre has evolved to become a gateway for international associations that are looking to tap into the rapidly transforming city as well as the Middle East region.