Dubai urged to drop complacent attitude

Dubai still lacks awareness of its responsibilities as a MICE destination, according to a key player in its meetings industry. Speaking at an ICCA seminar at Arabian Travel Market last month, Net Conference and Conventions vice-chairman Ali Abu Monassar, warned that the emirate was in danger of appearing too complacent in clients’ eyes. "We are a new destination and we mustn’t lose sight of that – we’re not the finished article," he said. "At the moment, DMCs and PCOs confuse their categories and overlap their roles. Hotels also have a lack of real knowledge of MICE requirements and tend to take over responsibilities that aren’t theirs. "There’s also no real co-operation between the convention centre and the local convention bureau," he continued. The comments come at a time when others in the industry have suggested Dubai has a presumptuous approach to attracting C&I business. ICCA CEO Martin Sirk also spelt out the importance of a joint approach. He said: "There has to be teamwork, individual client focus and a commitment to long-term infrastructure." Monassar outlined three key steps to cement Dubai’s future – work with ICCA and a willingness to learn; a clearer definition of roles within the sector, and greater investment in conference equipment.

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