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Abu Dhabi to host world ophthalmology congress.

Summary: Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is to host the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2012, which is expected to attract in excess of 12,000 international delegates. WOC is the world's longest running and largest international medical meeting having been established in 1857 with the Abu Dhabi event representing the 33rd congress of its type.

Abu Dhabi to host world ophthalmology congress UAE capital venue for 2012 meet of world's longest running & largest international medical convention more than 12,000 delegates due

Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is to host the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2012, which is expected to attract in excess of 12,000 international delegates. WOC is the world's longest running and largest international medical meeting having been established in 1857 with the Abu Dhabi event representing the 33rd congress of its type.

Being sponsored by the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), the WOC 2012 is being hosted in Abu Dhabi by the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO). The move is being seen as a major coup for the UAE capital and a huge boost to its credentials as a preferred destination for international medical meetings.

WOC 2012 will be held at the ultra-modern Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in February 2012.

"WOC 2012 will very much be a case of the world's oldest, and one of its most successful, international medical gatherings convening within the confines of one of the world's most modern convention complexes to deliver an event of truly world-class standing," said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and of ADNEC.

"It also gives us an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate Abu Dhabi's capabilities as a world-class convention destination and its uncompromising approach to delivering unparalleled hospitality."

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Abu Dhabi was chosen as the 2012 venue following a collaborative bid which featured leading stakeholders from throughout the emirate.

"The over-riding factor in Abu Dhabi's selection was its total destination approach in which various government organisations came together to produce what can only be described as an impressive, consolidated and convincing bid," said His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmad Al Saud, Chairman of the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) and member of the Board of Directors of the International Council for Ophthalmology (ICO) Foundation.

WOC is a biennial event traditionally held in a different world region -- with 2012 marking its debut on Middle East and African territory.

"The move to the Middle East and Africa represents a significant outreach for ICO which has traditionally opted for more conventional venues within the Americas, Europe and Asia," said Dr. Bruce Spivey, President, ICO.

"We are delivering a strong message to our colleagues in the Middle East and Africa that their specific concerns are also ours -- an approach which is firmly in line with the WOC's mission of contributing to the progress of ophthalmology by stimulating discussion among professionals involved in this rapidly advancing scientific and medical discipline."

Business Tourism -- previously known as the Meetings, Incentive, Conventions and Exhibitions industry -- is a key focus of Abu Dhabi's inbound tourism strategy being prioritised for its multi-beneficial destination returns.

"This sector has higher economic returns delivering between seven-to-nine times more income to a destination than leisure tourism," explained Sheikh Sultan.

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"The benefits though extend well beyond the convention as it is highly sustainable being resilient to economic downturns, it often leads to foreign direct investment, exports knowledge transfer and development collaboration and produces significant repeat delegate visitation."

As part of ADTA's philantrophic contribution, it has offered to provide 200 hotel rooms within the UAE capital which will be allocated to WOC delegates from less wealthy developing nations within the Middle East and Africa region. "Abu Dhabi's hotel room inventory will be in excess of 26,000 in 2012 and the destination is also rapidly developing the international convention expertise to ensure its success as a major global meetings destination," explained Sheikh Sultan.

Abu Dhabi's successful WOC 2012 bid had the full backing of the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi.

"A critical ingredient in achieving our aim of delivering reliable excellence in healthcare is to increase private sector investment and ownership of Abu Dhabi's health care infrastructure," explained His Excellency Zaid Al Siksek, Chief Executive Officer, Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD). "This congress will allow us to share our commitment to excellence with thousands of medical practitioners in the ophthalmic field and to ignite within them a willingness to join us on our journey of enhancing learning and infrastructure investment."

The ADTA and HAAD are now to support MEACO in the international promotion of WOC 2012. "We are already drafting a blueprint for the international promotion of this important event which will see WOC 2012 and Abu Dhabi given prominence both at MEACO's own conference in Bahrain next year and at WOC 2010 in Berlin, as well as many key international ophthalmic meeting" said Dr. Abdulaziz AlRajhi, President MEACO.

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About the World Ophthalmology Congress:WOC is held every two years in a different region of the world. Having been established in 1857 as the International Congress of Ophthalmology, the WOC is convened for the purpose of contributing to the progress of ophthalmology and the discussion amongst professional interested in this specialised scientific and medical discipline. In 2006 WOC was held in Sao Paolo, Brazil with the 2008 meeting in Hong Kong.

WOC 2008 exceeded all expectations with total registration close to 13,400, from 105 countries and territories including more than 10.500 ophthalmologists and other participants, along with 2,500 exhibitors. The congress featured 1100 internationally recognised speakers in 319 scientific sessions, many organised by 40 international, supranational, national and subspecialty ophthalmologic societies.

There were also 200 submitted free papers and 3,600 posters, with 34 symposia sponsored by industry and seven live surgery sessions. A subspecialty day focussed on cataract and refractive surgery, glaucoma and retina. 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

2008 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com)

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Publication:Albawaba.com
Article Type:Company overview
Date:Nov 17, 2008
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