IBTM Arabia 2016 drives MICE industry in the Gulf
The international MICE industry gathered in Abu Dhabi this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ibtm arabia (formerly GIBTM). Representing buyers and sellers of MICE products from more than 40 countries, some 3,000 appointments took place alongside networking parties, an opening forum, knowledge forum, lunches and dinners with 250 participants staying together for the duration at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers creating the Arabian region’s annual MICE community gathering.
“Despite a late start, the rapid expansion of infrastructure, commerce and tourism in the UAE has outpaced every other destination in the world. As a result this year we have had a lot of new exhibitors wanting to be part of our unique meeting pod event. We then matched each supplier’s business objectives with the right professional meeting planner resulting in a broad spectrum of Hosted Buyers from every sector of the industry.
“ibtm arabia really does provide the perfect setting for business connections. From Discovery Day providing an icebreaker to meet other attendees whilst exploring Abu Dhabi together, to 2 days of back to back business meetings to further those connections and create new ones, to the numerous networking events and the incredible hospitality of the 5-starJumeirah at Etihad Towers”, commented Shinu Pillai, Exhibition Manager, ibtm arabia.
With the MICE sector as the highest earning component of any tourism industry and increasingly having the greatest economic impact on a city and destination, ibtm arabia kicked off with the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau showcasing the Emirate’s depth, breadth and diversity of business event products and services with a Discovery Day.
The Hosted Buyer community also showed their support for the event. “I wouldn’t expect anything less from Reed Exhibitions, this has been the best chance to network in the Middle East, and it has provided a combination of business opportunities as well – I have signed 4 deals!” added Gavril Misios from 7 of 9 Services Cyprus.
Esther Romero of Andalucia Tourist Board said of the Hosted Buyer community; “We have met good Buyers who are looking for DMC’s and Convention Bureaus in Andalucia. It has been very interesting and a great show.”
ibtm arabia this year provided 100% new Hosted Buyers and saw an increase in the total number of exhibitors attending– the event is considered the leading international event of its kind in the region.