The region’s meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) industry comes into focus again as global leaders convene in the UAE capital for the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Business Events Week (ADBEW). Running from September 26-27, 2022 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the event is organised by the Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi). An industry-led platform for peer-to-peer knowledge sharing on best practices in the MENA region, ADBEW created a permanent mark on the emirate’s annual calendar following a hugely successful inaugural event in 2021 attended by over 300 visitors from the MICE industry and had 34 expert speakers.

The event aims to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s capabilities within the MICE sector and galvanise businesses in this new era for the industry. Through its numerous social and networking opportunities, ADBEW is now recognised as a prominent platform for creating a collective vision and building strategy within the sector. This is part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s overarching strategy to enhance the emirate’s position as a global destination for business events and an industry knowledge hub, bringing to the region insights, experience, and education from a broad set of global industry experts.

Key stakeholders from the events industry, namely the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), UFI The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, MCI Middle East, and Meet4Impact will be attending this year’s event to offer their perspective on the state of the industry.

Initiated to galvanise sharing of best practices amongst industry peers, ADBEW provides a platform for MICE industry leaders and practitioners to learn, innovate and collaborate via panel discussions and workshops delivered by professional MICE associations and keynote speakers. The event also enables networking and partnership opportunities within the MICE community. This year, ADBEW is helmed by a dedicated advisory committee that is co-creating the forum’s contents with ADCEB, to ensure that they are relevant and actionable.

Keynote speeches for this year’s event include topics such as ‘Business in the times of flux and overcoming the constant challenge of disruption’ by Allister Frost, The Future Ready Mindset Expert, and ‘How the Best Get Better?’ by Paul Rulkens, The High Performance Mastermind. Panel discussion topics include, ‘State of the MICE industry in 2022 and the opportunities beyond’, and ‘Bringing Back and Attracting Events while Differentiating and Increasing Opportunities for the Industry’, to name a few. The conference will also see Nick Hall, Founder and CEO of Digital Tourism Think Tank host in-depth podcasts with select speakers.

“Business events generate immense value and opportunities for the destination and the entire tourism ecosystem. Hence, it is crucial to create platforms like Abu Dhabi Business Events Week that enable knowledge-sharing, networking, and professional development among MICE professionals and leaders. The event also provides us with an opportunity to showcase Abu Dhabi’s strong MICE capabilities and world-class infrastructure, in addition to highlighting the array of inspiring, exciting and restorative experiences that visitors can explore at their own pace,” said Mubarak Al Shamisi, Director of the ADCEB.

ADBEW organiser ADCEB has been actively building strategic partnerships to ensure the event’s objectives are met with world-class experiences for both planners and attendees. Earlier this year, ADCEB formed a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways, to further bolster support for MICE groups travelling to Abu Dhabi in the form of additional flight benefits and perks such as group booking discounts, complimentary flights for large MICE group bookings on direct flights, and special flight rates for site/destination inspection trips for eligible Advantage Abu Dhabi applicants.

In June 2022, ADCEB signed a strategic partnership with the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) to enable employees and key stakeholders to receive a specialised professional certification and benefit from SITE’s educational programme of global incentive travel industry best practices. Providing networking and destination awareness opportunities to key DCT Abu Dhabi stakeholders, the strategic partnership will provide year-round access to SITE’s dedicated incentive travel events and conferences.

On its final day, ADBEW will culminate with a SITE Executive Summit where the group’s think tank will come together to discuss the future of the incentive travel business.

Promising an exciting agenda packed with speeches, panel discussions, plenary sessions, and networking socials, this year’s ADBEW is once again poised to set new benchmarks and develop new strategies for a stronger MICE sector in the region.