Wanted: Ambassadors for Dubai business

Dubai is seeking qualified and well-connected professionals who can attract conferences and meetings to the city

Dubai Business Events, a division of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, is looking for new ambassadors to join its drive to bring more meetings and conferences to the emirate, a senior official said.

Abdulla Yousuf, senior manager of business development, Dubai Business Events and City Operations, said his team regularly reached out to qualified and well-connected professionals as well as their respective organisations to increase membership.

“However, we also encourage anyone who thinks they could contribute by tapping their expertise and connections to identify and attract conferences and meetings to Dubai,” Yousuf told Khaleej Times.

It was in 2010 that Dubai Business Events established the ‘Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors Programme’ with the purpose of gathering and engaging a strong network of scientists, business professionals and organisations based in Dubai.

“The programme encourages its ambassadors to use their expertise and connections to identify, bid for and bring business events to Dubai. The programme focuses on driving global knowledge, encouraging the growth of thought leadership and ultimately supporting in the growth of the city’s business events industry while positioning Dubai as a premier business events destination,” Yousuf said.

He said in 2016, leads for 52 bids for international conferences that Dubai Business Events (DBE) assisted and managed came through network members’ relations to international institutions and associations.

The DBE won 25 pending bids involving ambassadors, including those submitted before 2016, resulting in an expected attendance of over 30,000 delegates between now and 2021. Some of these wins include the Congress of the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology Annual Congress 2017, World Congress of Cardiology 2018 and World Down Syndrome Congress 2020.

On the effectiveness of the programme in bidding for international business events and ultimately bring them to Dubai, Yousuf said the Al Safeer Programme’s ambassadors are all experts across various industries and sectors, and they use this expertise in addition to their trade and industry knowledge to support the DBE in identifying key meetings, conferences, exhibitions and congresses that are of significance to Dubai.

“These events will ultimately guide the city’s transition to a knowledge economy. The Al Safeer ambassadors also support in the bidding process by representing a specific sector and by being the guiding expert, and this plays an instrumental role in bringing key business events to Dubai,” said Yousuf.

He said business events contribute greatly to the economy and help in its growth, whether it’s by increasing the number of jobs or through knowledge creation and industry progression.

“Our efforts are guided by Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020, aiming to achieve growth and transforming the city into becoming not just a regional leader, but also a global knowledge hub. Business events also foster thought leadership and drive global knowledge exchange. This is evident through the numerous initiatives and policies that the government has put in place to ensure a smooth transition to a knowledge-based economy,” he said.

Yousuf said the DBE is focusing its efforts to attract events that fit under any of the seven sectors outlined as part of the National Innovation Strategy, namely healthcare, technology, energy, transport, education, water and space.

– issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

Issac John

Associate Business Editor of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE’s mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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