IBTM Arabia took place from 10–12 February at St Regis Saadiyat Island hotel in Abu Dhabi. More than 200 hosted buyers and exhibitors attended the event, which began on Tuesday (10 February) with a visit to Yas Island. Delegates made their way round Ferrari World before being transported to Yas Marina Circuit to experience go-karting, speed drifting and racing around the F1 track in a Formula Yas 3000. This was followed by two days of business meetings and one-to-one meetings with destination representatives, with more than 3,000 appointments taking place.
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On Monday (9 February), the SITE Executive Summit opened at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. The weeklong event featured educational sessions with speakers including John Iannini, vice president Meetings & Events America, Melia Hotels International; Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group; and Steen Jacobsen, director, Dubai Business Events.
Wednesday (11 February) saw attendees gather for a celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee at the ICETANK, London, to find out more about the incentive and conference destination. Key speakers included Bernard Harrison, the brains behind the Singapore Zoological Gardens and World Famous Night Safari and Damian D’Silva, a celebrated Singaporean chef.
Also on Wednesday, the GRIFCO & Ophir Supper Club took place at the Dorsett Hotel in Shepherds Bush, London. Both agencies showcased their new clients, while guests enjoyed drinks, bowl food and canapés.
On Thursday (12 February), the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association’s evening reception took place at BMA House in Bloomsbury, which was attended by 100 representatives. Royal Patron of the charity, HRH The Princess Royal, greeted guests and gave a speech thanking everyone who helped raised money through the Ice Bucket Challenge, before Rhiannon Lambert entertained guests with a special live performance.