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The Dubai Association Conference is being hosted by the Dubai Association Centre (DAC), a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). It is scheduled to take place 11-12 December 2017 at DWTC.


Promising to be an insightful event for association representatives from around the world, the line-up of speakers includes His Excellency Helal Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and His Excellency Hamad Buamim, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who will discuss their vision for associations. Paul Bennett, Chief Creative Officer of IDEO, will explain how associations can unlock the energy of knowledge to upgrade their offerings, while Greg Bogue, Vice President of Experience Design at Maritz Global Events, will speak about creating engagement through purpose, passion and a picture of the future.

With the number of associations steadily growing across the Middle East region, the conference will aim to offer a vital platform for networking and knowledge-sharing, in an effort to further boost progression across industries. The Dubai Association Conference will be held under the theme Building a Community and bring together association executives, government representatives, university faculties and students, as well as professionals who are interested in forming associations.


issam_abdulrahim_kazimIssam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Dubai has seen a tremendous rise in the number of associations over the past few years, which is testament to the city’s significance to reaching their target groups based in the region. This rise has resulted in a heightened demand for networking and engagement platforms for associations across different industries. Dubai Association Conference is a step towards fostering a collaborative environment for associations to expand and thrive. We also believe that this conference will mutually support Dubai in its journey to becoming the regional hub for associations, and strengthen the city’s positioning as a gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies.”


The first day of Dubai Association Conference will focus on further building the association community and showcasing Dubai’s vision for the future through in-depth sessions featuring some of Dubai’s key leaders and industry experts. Sessions from day one include: The Impact of Associations delivered by Susan Robertson, President of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation, which will highlight how associations have a unique opportunity to make great contributions to their country’s economy, competitiveness, and quality of life; and The Future: Associations and Government Unite led by Dr. Noah Raford, Chief Operating Officer and Futurist-in-Chief at Dubai Future Foundation, which will elaborate on how stronger collaboration between associations and the government is the key forward.

The second day will largely concentrate on skills development and sharing best practices in an effort to provide attendees with the required tools to succeed, through self-development panels such as: Building Your Career Path delivered by Vicki Loise, CEO of Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), Debra Bachman-Zabloudil, President and CEO of The Learning Studio, and MaryLynn Fayoumi, President and CEO of The Management Association.


Dubai Chamber of Commerce Portrait: Hamad Buamim,
Director General, photographed at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai, UAE, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. Photo by Tina Hager- Magnet/ Arabian Eye

His Excellency Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “Associations play a crucial role in driving growth within mature markets around the world, and the same can be said about the fast-expanding association community in Dubai. The Dubai Association Conference will establish an important platform for open dialogue between regional and global associations where they can explore industry trends and share valuable insights. This premier event will also provide an opportunity for associations to learn more about the benefits of setting up in Dubai and leveraging the emirate’s position to expand their footprint in the Middle East. I am very optimistic about the outcome of the conference, and I expect the event to pave the way for fruitful partnerships between associations in the future.


Following the conference, attending association representatives will be invited to join the Dubai 360 experience which will be hosted in tandem with the Dubai Association Conference. The immersive study mission will offer a unique opportunity for attendees to explore Dubai’s diverse facets and discover what makes the city the most dynamic destination in the world. The tour will encompass exploring UAE’s rich heritage through a visit to the Etihad Museum, and being offered a glimpse of Dubai’s future vision at the Dubai Future Foundation. The engaging itinerary will also include a behind-the-scenes peek of the Expo 2020 Dubai site, in addition to a desert safari, gala dinner, and a tour of the Gold and Spice souk.


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Mahir Julfar, Senior Vice President, Venues Management at Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “The inaugural Dubai Association Conference, to be hosted at DWTC, reiterates Dubai’s reputation as an international business gateway, as it will facilitate collaborations, connect people and foster innovation, all of which are crucial to the development of a knowledge and creative economy. This highly anticipated conference will serve as an unprecedented platform that supports the growth of regional and global associations by tapping into industry networks and by encouraging invigorating discussions, designed to create new associations and expand the presence of established ones.”


Supporters and partners of the inaugural Dubai Association Conference include MCI, ASAE, PCMA, ICCA, IAPOC, AfSAE and the Global Association Hubs Partnership.

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