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.
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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
“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.
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
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
“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
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
“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.