The Dubai Association Centre (DAC), a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), has announced the launch of the first-ever Dubai Association Conference which will be held 11-12 December 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event, a first of its kind in the region, reinforces the crucial role associations play in Dubai’s socio-economic development and its transition to a knowledge-based economy. The announcement was made at the prestigious Associations World Congress that is currently underway in Vienna, Austria.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “It is undeniable that trade and professional associations play a key role in driving social integration, competitiveness, and knowledge sharing, and therefore support in the development of a knowledge economy.
“As associations look to expand their footprint around the world, our aim is for Dubai to be at the top of their list. We are confident that the Dubai Association Conference will greatly support our efforts in welcoming more associations to Dubai, offering an opportunity to experience first-hand the emirate’s innovative and cutting-edge knowledge and expertise that is available for each to tap into. This conference will also help us continue to position Dubai as a premier host city for business events, reflecting our ambition in discovering solutions to worldwide challenges, the diversity of our economy, and our keenness to collaborate.”
Hassan Al Hashemi, Member of the Executive Committee of DAC and Vice President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber, said: “We are delighted to be launching this premier international event in Dubai as it will strengthen the emirate’s position as the leading centre for professional associations in the Middle East and North Africa region. The conference will serve as an ideal platform for attracting associations from around the world to Dubai, which will ultimately improve the competitiveness of its business community, and contribute toward the emirate’s transition to a knowledge-based economy.”
Al Hashemi explained that the event will also support objectives outlined under Dubai Chamber’s 2017-2021 strategy, including its aim to boost the emirate’s global profile as a preferred hub for trade and investment. He added that the Dubai Association Centre has already achieved considerable progress since it was launched as it saw a 100% year-on-year increase in the number of associations registered in Dubai during 2016, while it has also established its reputation by participating in international conferences.
The Dubai Association Conference will welcome association executives from regional and international associations, government representatives, university faculties and students as well as other professionals with an interest in developing associations.
The inaugural Conference, under the theme of ‘Building a Community’, is designed to cater to an increasing number of associations that are looking to expand within the Middle East, and the growing industries across disciplines from technology and healthcare to education and finance. It will also provide a platform to gain insights from international and regional experts on the latest trends in areas such as membership, online communities, restructuring education, volunteerism and governance, among others.
Over the course of two days, the conference will go beyond traditional methods of education to focus largely on collaboration and engagement within key industries across the region. It will also facilitate engaging and thought-provoking sessions that offer an exclusive opportunity for key opinion leaders and association executives to engage in discussions aimed at exploring and nurturing new partnerships and relevant opportunities arising between associations, government, academia, and the private sector. The event’s strategic partners will include PCMA, ASAE, ICCA, The Global Association Hubs Partnership and MCI.
Ahmed Alkhaja, Senior Vice President – Venues, Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “The inaugural Dubai Association Conference, hosted at DWTC, is set to serve as a distinct platform to support the growth and development of local and global associations regionally. This will be achieved by connecting industry professionals, facilitating discussions and knowledge sharing, helping to create new associations and supporting the expansion of established ones in the region. Furthermore, the highly-anticipated conference helps to reaffirm Dubai’s role as a leading business gateway that leverages a coordinated approach to bringing associations and conferences to the country with the aim of connecting people across a diverse range of interests.”
DAC has been established in response to the surge in the demand for association engagement in the UAE and the Middle East. It offers assistance for the establishment of non-profit, apolitical, and non-religious professional associations and trade bodies in the Emirate of Dubai. Its main objective is to become a platform for dialogue and education for associations interested in exploring opportunities in the Middle East Region and to ultimately contribute to building an association community that drives the knowledge economy in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Arabian Peninsula.