Abu Dhabi goes above and beyond for MICE events

ADCEB’s Mubarak Hamad Al Shamsi shares how Abu Dhabi is going the extra mile to help businesses leave a permanent impact beyond their events.

“What’s most important for us is providing a strategic impact for the MICE events we host and creating a legacy for those industries going forward.” says ADCEB’s Mubarak Hamad Al Shamsi [middle].
“What’s most important for us is providing a strategic impact for the MICE events we host and creating a legacy for those industries going forward.” says ADCEB’s Mubarak Hamad Al Shamsi [middle].

Abu Dhabi sent its largest-ever delegation to a MICE trade show at this year’s IBTM World, signalling its intention to charge full speed ahead on the business events front. 

United Abu Dhabi stands

ADCEB’s Mubarak Hamad Al Shamsi led the largest Abu Dhabi delegation to IBTM World this year.
ADCEB’s Mubarak Hamad Al Shamsi led the largest Abu Dhabi delegation to IBTM World this year.

Where to go for rewarding incentives in Abu Dhabi
Where to go for rewarding incentives in Abu Dhabi
From bustling city to stunning salt lakes to picturesque sand dunes, Abu Dhabi offers a vast and versatile repertoire of hotels, venues, entertainment attractions and natural beauty to tick the right boxes for planners. Read more here.

Abu Dhabi’s MICE exhibitors numbered over 20 strong, and according to Mubarak Hamad Al Shamsi, director of Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB), there were even more on the waitlist. Such was the demand that ADCEB said that for next time, it is considering constructing a two-storey pavilion to accommodate more of its event stakeholders. 

“The overwhelming response is a good indicator for what we call ‘Abu Dhabi Inc’, where we come together as one team showcasing our ability as a destination,” said Al Shamsi. 

Abu Dhabi recently unveiled its new campaign and branding message “Experience Abu Dhabi. Find Your Pace” at WTM 2022. Its campaign slogan invites MICE groups to discover the destination, where they can make seamless connections between cultural immersion and back-to-nature moments, or live life to the fullest with fast-paced activities at a number of locations, such as Yas Marina F1 Circuit, CLYMB or Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

“It’s very important for us in Abu Dhabi today to share our experiences with the world, and from a business perspective that means making sure that we are positioning ourselves for our target markets – Europe, US, South Korea, China, Australia and other countries in Southeast Asia,” Al Shamsi explained. “We understand that each of these markets has its own characteristics and requirements, and we go above and beyond to identify those needs to better serve their interests. 

Making lasting impacts

Abu Dhabi hosted the 10th World Urban Forum in 2020 that brought over 18,000 international participants At the close of the forum, the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions were presented as the main outcome document.
Abu Dhabi hosted the 10th World Urban Forum in 2020 that brought over 18,000 international participants At the close of the forum, the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions were presented as the main outcome document.

ADCEB was formed in 2013, with Al Shamsi appointed director in 2014, when he galvanised the MICE scene and instilled the importance of business events to its stakeholders. Since then, Abu Dhabi and its MICE players have been standing together to continuously increase its value proposition, while integrating the fundamental tools to uphold its image as an international MICE destination. 

This is evident in Abu Dhabi’s track record of multiple international MICE events past, present and future such as the 10th World Urban Forum, the 26th World Volunteer Conference, World Health Organization regional SARS-CoV-2 workshop and the International Conference for Initiatives on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation. 

“When we host international events, we don’t simply host them from the first to the last day, we aim to provide an experience like no other,” explains Al Shamsi. “What’s most important for us is providing a strategic impact for the MICE events we host and creating a legacy for those industries going forward.” 

One such example would be the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH), where along with the standard conference programme, ADCEB curated pre- and post-itineraries that aligned with the event’s key purpose. Beyond that, Abu Dhabi took away lessons from the conference and continued its legacy by increasing tariffs on tobacco, creating programmes within the health sector to combat tobacco addiction, and commemorating World No Tobacco Day every year. 

Abu Dhabi also continued fulfilling the 9th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress’ (ISPAH Congress 2022) mission in its destination following the event, which took place from 23 to 26 October 2022. This resulted in all government entities committing to advocating the importance of exercise – gym memberships were provided, and new activities introduced such as cycling trails. 

More reasons to experience Abu Dhabi

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi provides high-octane activities for incentive groups like Ferrari driving experiences, go-kart racing, the world’s fastest roller coaster, and more.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi provides high-octane activities for incentive groups like Ferrari driving experiences, go-kart racing, the world’s fastest roller coaster, and more.

“There is a lot of value proposition promised by Abu Dhabi,” reiterated Al Shamsi. “For every corporate meeting that we host, we extend our best experiences and support that is befitting of the event’s purpose.” 

This involves everything from the alignment of international and domestic industries - for example, if a technology company were to hold an annual meeting, Abu Dhabi would look at how it can evolve its own technology industry partners to add value, to the enhanced Advantage Abu Dhabi Meetings & Incentives 2.0 programme. 

This refreshed meetings and incentives programme will enable “organisers and corporations convening events in Abu Dhabi to leverage the diverse offerings of the UAE capital and provide its delegates with a memorable experience – from its culture and entertainment to its amazing landmarks and natural landscapes - all within close proximity to one another.” 

“There’s a utopia of varied experiences in Abu Dhabi – it is 98% land mass offering a variety of different propositions. That’s what Experience Abu Dhabi is about,” said Al Shamsi.

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