ibtm arabia: A one of a kind event

ibtm arabia

Recently concluded at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi from February 9-11, the 10th edition of ibtm arabia was a resounding success.

ibtm Arabia took place over three days in Abu Dhabi and brought together key stakeholders from the MICE industry in the MENA region and around the world, with hosted buyers from across the globe.

The show facilitated some 3,000 appointments alongside networking parties, an opening forum, knowledge forum, lunches and dinners, with 250 participants staying together for the duration at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers creating the Arabian region’s annual MICE community gathering. The show comprised of one day of sightseeing in Abu Dhabi (Discovery Day) and two days of meetings.


The MENA region was strongly represented at the show, with 65 regional exhibitors from the UAE and Bahrain alone attending. Also represented in the region were stakeholders from the KSA, Bahrain, Oman and Morocco.

In total, some exhibitors from 20 countries were represented, from as far afield as the Dominican Republic and Singapore, to MENA’s closest neighbour, Cyprus.

Exhibitors new to the event included FRHI, Alpha Destination Management, Attikos Ilios, Europe Hotel, Golden Tours, Hill MICE Saudi Arabia and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.

And suppliers returning following successful attendance at ibtm arabia 2015 included:  Arsenal Football Club, Etihad Airways, Matrix Audio Visual & Entertainment, Meliá Hotels International, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC, Rovos Rail Tours, San Francisco Travel Association, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau and United Nations Conference Centre – UNECA to name a few.

The show commenced with the Opening Forum on Tuesday morning. This featured the Knowledge Forum which welcomed an inspiring talk by motivational speaker, Carol Talbot. Talbot’s talk sought to empower the audience and help them think differently about their approach to work. She highlighted the difference between those who attract success and those who do not.

Following the Opening Forum, attendees then headed out for Discovery Day. Discovery Day offered attendees a chance for experiential networking through a lunch at Yas Island followed by a visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

The day was capped off with coaches escorting delegates to the Welcome Reception at Emirates Palace, in the stunning Oriental Gazebo for mingling before attendees made their way to the Gala Evening, a White Party hosted at Beach Rotana in the outdoor garden.

Days two and three of the show involved a full day of business, with meetings arranged between attendees and buyers. The day was all networking until 17:00, when socialising events took place again at Emirates Palace and Beach Rotana.

Tourism authorities that attended ibtm arabia included: Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, Qatar Tourism Authority, Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority, Spain Tourist Board, Andalucia Tourist Board, Serbia Convention Bureau, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, VisitScotland, Singapore Tourism Board, Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau, Ministry Of Tourism Dominican Republic, India Tourism, Cyprus Tourism Organisation/Cyprus Convention Bureau and Hungarian Tourism.

MICE venues that attended included: Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC), L’Amphitrite Palace Skhirat & Rabat Convention Center Morocco, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC), Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) and United Nations Conference Centre (UNECA).