The highly awaited report of International Congress of and Convention Association (ICCA) about the international market of meetings and its trends across various countries in the world was released concurrent to the eighth year of Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM) that began on Monday, 24th March, at Abu Dhabi.
Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions, or MICE, as it is more popularly called is one of the most important functionings that takes place throughout the year in various countries on a rotational basis covering several important business-related subjects and topics.
The ICCA celebrated its golden jubilee two years ago in 2012 and to commemorate the occasion, it came up with the idea of publishing a detailed statistical tabulation report on the MICE events conducted ever since its inception. The recently published findings injected a massive dose of positive vibes for the MICE domain whilst giving valuable insights regarding them.
But alongside the more generic insights emphasising on the exponential growth of the MICE spectrum to the tune of 100% in each decade following its initiation, ICCA also focused specifically on the widening of MICE in the Middle East.
Some of the core specific points about the spread and growth of MICE in the Middle-east as enumerated in the ICCA study include:
- The number of MICE-based gatherings in the Middle-eastern region has grown steadily from about 532 meetings between 1998-2002 to about 1,776 between 2008-2012
- The report has also specified that the number of MICE events in the Middle-east has been growing at a very fast pace as compared to other countries and has grown at over three-times in the last 10-years
- It is expected that this number will increase even more substantially with the Dubai Expo 2020 towering in the Middle-eastern horizon
- The GITBM conference will conduct a specific meeting to emphasise on the do’s-and-don’ts to be followed in order to better the existing qualitative standards of MICE events conducted in the region
According to the CEO of ICCA, Mr. Martin Sirk, “The Middle East joined the Information Revolution more recently than most regions, so it is not surprising to see some of the world’s fastest growth rates here, now that excellent meetings infrastructure has been developed, governments have created knowledge strategies to underpin their economic development agendas. We are confident that the region will enjoy even greater international meetings activity in the future, based on these underlying fundamentals.”
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Board Member of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities, UAE, inaugurated the start of this year’s GITBM at Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Nahyan expressed keen backing to the GITBM endeavour so as to bring about greater concentration of MICE events in the Middle-eastern region and also in the UAE.
Nearly 250 locally and internationally buyers from across 36 nations will be part of this year’s GITBM initiative. These buyers are expected to interact with around 300 exhibitors from around 25 global countries. This year’s GITBM will also feature the maiden Middle-eastern MICE Buyers Report which is expected to be released on Thursday, 27th March which is being highly awaited by the entirety of the Middle-eastern business fraternity.