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Meetings industry is expanding 'rapidly'.

EVERY year the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) look into the development of the Meetings Industry and publish the Middle East Meetings Industry Research report. This year the report highlighted the rapid expansion of the industry in the UAE and predicted continuous growth. The UAE and wider Middle East region have received a huge amount of investment in the Meetings industry over recent years and we are now seeing the results. The Middle East has witnessed 38 per cent growth in indoor exhibition hall space over the past five years and has succeeded in attracting high profile local and international meetings and events. Examples include the World Diabetes Congress in December in Dubai or the World Ophthalmology Congress in February 2012 in Abu Dhabi; these are the biggest meetings ever held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, each with over 15,000 delegates.

Globally, the Meetings industry has also experienced steady growth. New Mice hubs are emerging including Malaysia, which attracted over one million international business event visitors last year. The Malaysian government has been supporting the Mice industry via the Tourism Ministry and has allocated $16 million to finance business tourism events in 2011.

Advanced technologies and facilities, personalized services and rich cultural heritage, make India an increasingly appealing Mice destination. India is globally connected to a network of over 50 international airlines and several domestic airlines, which provide convenient connectivity within India.

Kuwait's Five-Year Plan (2010-2014) includes numerous mega projects such as the new business hub (Silk City) which will cost an estimated $77bn, a 25km causeway railway and metro system and additional spending on new cities, infrastructure and services; particularly health and education to push the Meetings industry in their country.

We are very happy to see increased interest in the Meetings industry and in our show. Destinations like India and Kuwait have begun to market Mice products to specialised agencies and the corporate world at large. The industry holds enormous potential for any country. It is estimated that a person travelling to a country for a conference or convention spends anywhere four to eight times more than a normal leisure traveller.

Lois Hall is the exhibition director for GIBTM. GIBTM 2012 will take place from March 26 -- 28 at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi. Copyright 2008

Copyright 2011 Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group

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Publication:Travel & Tourism News
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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