The Dubai Association Centre (DAC) concluded its successful participation in the American Societies of Association Executives (ASAE) 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville, United States, with 200 mainly North American associations expressed interest in DAC and in knowing more about Dubai as a hub for international associations.
DAC, a joint initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DTWC), won the conference’s award for best island booth, which attracted around 1,000 visitors.
The event attracted over 6,000 participants, 1,800 exhibitors from 30 countries and had 707 booths. It was the ASAE’s largest annual gathering since Chicago in 2007 with 24% of delegates’ first-time participants.
Hassan Al Hashemi, Member of the Executive Committee of DAC and Vice President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber, said hundreds of associations met with Dubai Chamber officials and expressed an interest in DAC’s registration process.
Mr. Al Hashemi said: “DAC’s presence at the ASAE Annual Meeting was very successful in terms of promoting our services to North American associations. Worldwide, associations are major generators of conferences and exhibitions, with about 90% of these events organised by associations. As DAC attracts more international associations we will see additional benefits across Dubai’s MICE sector.”
Mr. Al Hashemi added: “To date, DAC has received over 80 enquiries from various global associations, out of which 30 applications are under study and 9 are in the licensing process.”
For associations, the advantages of setting up in Dubai go beyond the obvious attractions of a well-developed city at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and all the prospects for new business this creates. DAC provides practical support, in the form of serviced office accommodation in Sheikh Rashid Tower and access to the networking facilities of the World Trade Club, both located at Dubai World Trade Centre – the region’s leading events and exhibition venue.
“We continue to see buoyant interest from the North American market which is further expanding with increasing airlift, enhanced connectivity and Dubai’s established reputation as a gateway to the burgeoning Africa, South Asian and wider Middle East. This is evidenced with us welcoming more than 42,000 US trade visitors to DWTC in 2013, across 115 key events,” said Ahmed Al Khaja, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Certainly, DAC will expand and deepen Dubai’s established reputation to become a base for decision-makers in an industry that is expanding rapidly both globally and within the region.”
Steen Jakobsen, Director of Convention & Business Tourism at the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “North American associations are an important target group for Dubai. Exhibiting at the ASAE Annual Meeting and Exposition has been a positive experience for us and we have seen great interest for Dubai as a gateway for North American associations to tap into the fast-growing economies in our region.”
As a strategic event partner, DAC is now engaged with the ASAE for the next three years and will be exhibiting next year at the ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition in Detroit.
DAC allows a formal environment where international non-profit, professional associations and trade bodies can form a membership-based community or open a regional representative office to conduct business in the UAE and beyond.
Being the region’s unique model, the Centre provides assistance to trade and business associations to set up office space, obtain visas for staff, establish local bank accounts, and develop their activities and membership in Dubai and the wider Middle East region.