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July 4, 2008

Combined UAE marketing effort needed

Dubai-based Congress Solutions International (CSI) is calling for the various tourism boards of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to pull together to promote the country as one destination with a diversity of attractions.

The professional congress organiser, which recently assisted in the organisation of the WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit, which brought together 1,450 travel industry leaders, believes the UAE would attract greater congress business if it was marketed as one destination.

“We need a coordinated approach; not competing with each other. We should go out as one force. We need that to happen at all levels. As a buyer and a seller I would like to have the variety of all seven emirates presented. Some people don’t like Dubai. But if you show them the mountains of Fujairah that is what they want,” Frederic Bardin, senior vice president, CSI, told meetme.


The flag of the UAE


“This is a call for the industry to push authorities to promote the UAE in general as a destination for meetings. We are pushing for one ministry of tourism,” he added.

CSI has had a busy first half to 2008, organising the WAIE (World Airline Inflight Entertainment) conference, the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) conference and the WACS (World Association of Cooks Societies) congress, as well as handling its first overseas convention in Tenerife for 200 pax.

“Tenerife was not a big event but it was very important to us as it shows we’ve got the expertise in CSI to source the right people anywhere in the world. We are not shy of saying to clients that they can call on us to organise events somewhere else,” Bardin remarked.

However, Bardin and his team now have their eyes on an even bigger prize: the World Diabetes Congress in 2011.

“In 2010, an explosion of new hotels will happen plus the new convention centre at Dubai World Central. We will have more access and there will be no stopping Dubai then.

“We need a conference like the diabetes one to kick-start things. Some associations will wait to see how Dubai handles the diabetes congress before deciding on the emirate for their event. However, we have got real PCO professionals in place now and the confidence in the business is there,” Bardin said.

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