Abu Dhabi tops region in hosting in-person meetings by international associations

Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions sector brought significant economic benefits to the UAE Capital


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Thu 10 Aug 2023, 10:59 AM

Leading the Covid-19 recovery in the MICE industry, Abu Dhabi has been ranked first in the region for attracting the highest number of in-person meetings organised by international associations in 2022.

Following a robust response to containing the pandemic, the UAE Capital eased travel requirements in the early half of last year and removed almost all restrictions by the end of 2022. Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector brought significant economic benefits to Abu Dhabi.

According to the report issued by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Abu Dhabi attracted more than 35 meetings organised by international associations last year.

Adnec Group and its partners in the public and private sectors have played a significant role in driving this achievement, which consolidates Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for major international events and conferences in the region.

According to the ICCA’s annual report, the UAE ranked first in the region and 35th in the world on the list of countries, which hosted the highest number of conferences organised by international associations.

“Abu Dhabi’s leading position in the ICCA rankings across the region is a testament to the emirate’s steady growth and standing as an ideal destination for hosting business events,” Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, managing director and CEO of Adnec Group said.

“We are proud of the key role that Adnec Group has played in driving this achievement, offering platforms that promote knowledge exchange and elevating national capabilities. In doing so, the Group has contributed to cementing Abu Dhabi's position as a global hub for major conferences and events.”

Last year, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre hosted 24 international conferences, including nine conferences that were held for the first time in the Middle East. It hosted nine meetings by international associations and federations, including the sixth World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Congress 2022; the 37th World Veterinary Association Congress 2022, which was held for the first time in the Middle East; International Society of the Substance Use Professionals, held for the first time in the region; World Chefs Congress and Expo 2022; the 48th annual conference of ISPAD – International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes Conference 2022; the World Union of Wholesale Markets Conference 2022; ISPAH Congress 2022; and the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) 2022.

Khalifa Al Qubaisi, chief commercial officer at Adnec added: “Adnec Group is steadfast in its commitment to hosting world-class conferences and employing modern facilities, advanced infrastructure, and high-quality services to ensure the conferences’ success. We will continue to explore cooperation opportunities with relevant stakeholders and work alongside them to drive Abu Dhabi’s economy through major events.”

In line with its continuous efforts to promote Abu Dhabi as an ideal destination for major conferences and meetings, Adnec Group, in cooperation with its partners in the government and private sectors, submitted bids to host more than 13 international conference.


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