Around 40 UK buyers arrived in the Arabian Gulf to have one-to-one meetings with local suppliers, hear from industry experts and experience Abu Dhabi as a C&I destination.
The Forum opened with a panel discussion, chaired by the magazine’s acting editor Mike Fletcher, who interviewed ADNEC Group chief executive Pieter Idenburg, Mohammed Al Dhaheri from the Abu Dubai Tourism & Culture Authority, Stuart Hopwood from Lingua Franca International and Clive Dwyer, director of DMC Miral.
The audience heard how the emirate has grown its offer, is overcoming negative perceptions associated with a Middle East destination and is working with its local infrastructure to incentivise global event planners.
During the course of the opening day, UK buyers also heard from Universal World Events sales and marketing director Mark Saxby, who delivered a workshop on leveraging technology for improved delegate engagement.
Saxby told delegates: "Technology shouldn’t be used for technology’s sake. Know your audience, understand the attendee journey and decide on the most appropriate technology to enhance that journey before, after and during the event."
The first evening was spent at Ferrari World, where delegates were invited to ride Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster reaching speeds of 240km in under five seconds.
C&IT’s Middle East Forum concluded yesterday with a workshop on future industry trends presented by GPJ business development director, Duncan Miller.
Delegates will then be invited to experience ‘hot laps’ around Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 racing circuit as a passenger before embarking on a two-day familiarisation trip around the Arabian peninsula.
The Forum is supported by Yas Marina Circuit, Etihad Airways, Yas Viceroy and the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau.