McCartney, who is currently the director of business development at the Qatar National Convention Centre, has been promoted by AEG Ogden, which manages the OCEC venue on behalf of Omran, the company established by the government of Oman to deliver major projects and manage its assets and investments in the tourism sector.
"The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is the new kid on the global conventions block and has tremendous potential," said McCartney. "We look forward to working closely with Omran, the Ministry of Tourism and the local community to deliver first-class events that showcase the traditional and unique Omani hospitality and in creating extensive local employment opportunities."
Prior to taking up his role in Qatar in June 2011, McCartney was chief executive of the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching in Malaysia for three years and director of international sales and operations at the Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall in Thailand for a further three years. He has also worked at the ICC Birmingham, the NEC Birmingham and Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
McCartney added: "It's a very well-designed venue, with a good mix of exhibition space, banqueting and meeting rooms - it's probably the most suitable [in the region] for holding international events as well
as local meetings and exhibitions."
Geoff Donaghy, director of convention centres for AEG Ogden, highlighted this regional experience as one of the key factors in McCartney's promotion. "In the past decade, he has developed a strong understanding of the local cultures and managing congress venues in Asia and the Middle East and is suitably qualified to meet the challenges in the highly competitive business events industry," said Donaghy.
AEG Ogden was involved in the planning and design of OCEC, which is situated in its own precinct 4km from Muscat International Airport. When completed in December 2016, the centre will feature a tiered auditorium capable of seating 3,200 as well as 22,000sqm of column-free exhibition space.
The centre will also include 14 meeting rooms for between 70 and 360 delegates, two ballrooms with seating for up to 2,360, a VIP pavilion, a food court and a multi-storey carpark with capacity for 4,000 vehicles. According to McCartney, AEG Ogden has already identified a number of conventions with the potential to be held in Oman as far ahead as 2024.