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February 20, 2014

GIBTM 2014: What to Expect in Abu Dhabi

Organizers of the 2014 edition of The Gulf Incentives, Business, Travel and Meetings are reporting that the show is seeing "robust exhibitor and buyer interest" thanks to new exhibition features, an expanded educational program and innovative concept areas. An estimated 300 hosted buyers and more than 2,000 trade visitors are expected to attend.

Kicking off at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from  March 24-26, GIBTM will see some first-time exhibitors attending from Spain, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, UAE, Korea, United Kingdom, Uganda, South Africa and Morocco.

Last year, GIBTM tripled corporate meetings buyer attendance accounting for 35 percent of all hosted buyers attending the show, compared to 11 percent from the corporate sector in 2012.

This year, an Africa Pavilion has been added in response to a surge in demand from exhibitors looking at targeting outbound business from the Middle East into the continent, with newcomers including Tips Tours and Rovos Rail Tours. It joins the Asia Pavilion, with Korea and Thailand confirmed newcomers, as well as the European Pavilion, which this year will occupy a much larger area due to the addition of debutants such as L’way Express from the Czech Republic, Spain’s Iberostar Management, Serbia Convention Bureau, EPI Georgia, Arsenal Football Club and AYGUN TURIZM of Turkey.

GIBTM’s ‘Knowledge Program’ has also been ramped up for 2014, with educational sessions conducted by some top meetings industry associations including MPI, ICCA and SITE covering industry trends, sustainability, issues impacting the corporate travel industry, and the challenges of staging international association meetings.

The seminar program, sponsored by Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), will include a presentation from Rob Davidson of the University of Greenwich in London. Davidson will present the results of the Middle Eastern Meeting Planners' Site Selection Survey - new research that demonstrates the factors that are most important to Middle Eastern meeting planners when they are deciding where to locate their events. Sunil Malhotra, Director, Aviation Sector - Middle East & North Africa, Ernst and Young, will present ‘The Habits of Middle East Business Travelers,’ another research study. (To view the full program visit www.gibtm.com/knowledge.)

GIBTM Exhibition Director Lois Hall said that an upswing in interest from a wider audience lead the event team to add some new initiatives including the sourceme Pavilion (in partnership with Nicholas Publishing International), which will showcase the leading event service suppliers from the Gulf region’s only annual events directory; the Technology & Services Zone, which will look at the industry’s most technologically advanced products and event planning services; and Business Travel @GIBTM, featuring exhibitors in the Business Travel Zone. 

Representatives from major industry players such as Kuoni Events, TE Connectivity, UHY International, Medicongress, Mary Kay, HelmsBriscoe, FEI Company, China International Medicine Exchange Association International Service Center, Contendam and Portigon Financial Services have all been accepted as Hosted Buyers.

“More than 8,500 pre-scheduled appointments are expected to take place between buyers and exhibitors at this year’s GIBTM,” Hall added.
Hosted Buyers will also be able to go on post-event familiarization tours to Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai, Jordan and Oman, letting the top industry execs see the destinations' business and meeting facilities, hospitality portfolio and leisure attractions to global decision-makers.

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