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February 3, 2015

Dubai Extends Vision Beyond 2020 Expo

The collaborative efforts of the PCMA Global Initiative were in evidence at Convening Leaders last month in Chicago. More than 300 international delegates attended, boosted by representation from the Best Cities Alliance—including the gulf state of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Building Relationships

Steen Jakobsen, director of Dubai Conventions and Events, is reaching out to associations and corporate incentive planners through relational partnerships with PCMA, ICCA, and SITE as the emirate builds connections with planners. “We are expanding our reach through strategic partnerships,” he said, reflected in the high profile that Dubai will maintain at this year's international trade shows, hosting a PCMA Forum for 25 key US outbound buyers in December, and where SITE will convene its Executive Summit at the JW Marriott Marquis next week.
Jakobsen, a former board member of ICCA, knows how important connections and business events will be for supporting Dubai's drive to a knowledge economy and has overseen the establishment of the Dubai Association Centre as a regional (or global) hub for associations to establish a foothold in the emerging region. His next task will be to build relationships with association communities in sectors identified for growth including pharmaceuticals, financial services, logistics and retail.


Momentum Shift

The 2020 World Expo in Dubai, another regional first, is providing the momentum for infrastructure development in the emirate. In tune with the "mobility" theme of the Expo, construction is already underway for the Expo site, including a state of the art logistics system which includes a totally new underground system linking the City to the Expo pavilions. Further capital projects include  80,000 new hotel rooms due upstream to meet demand for the Expo as Dubai doubles its capacity.
But Jakobsen recognizes that the injection of structural capital supporting the Expo provides only one essential ingredient to a successful knowledge economy. The relational capital he is building with the association communities through the events they hold in Dubai, for example, will leave a legacy for generations after the world's spotlight on Dubai in 2020 moves inevitably on. By then, Dubai will have established a broader knowledge base underpinned by education, inward investment, and an influx of human intellectual capital.   

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About the Author: James Latham

James Latham





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