By Staff writer
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) have joined forces to launch the first bespoke MICE event for the Gulf Region.
GIBTM, an offshoot of the successful European MICE event, EIBTM, which was launched in 2004 and takes place in Barcelona every November/December, will be staged at the new purpose built state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company Centre (ADNEC) from March 27 to 29.
The inaugural event will showcase international meetings and incentives suppliers from national tourist organisations, destinations, hotels and hotel groups, DMCs and specialist service providers representing the Gulf region, North Africa, South and South East Asia, Europe, and other regions.
Fully hosted buyers will attend from most continents, but particularly from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
â€œWe had been thinking about launching a Middle East event for some time because of the burgeoning supplier base in this region,â€ explained Paul Kennedy MBE, group exhibition director of RTEâ€™s Meetings and Incentives Events, with responsibility for EIBTM, GIBTM, AIME and LACIME.
â€œAbu Dhabi wants to create itself as a hub for meetings and incentives, not just in the UAE, but in the entire Gulf region. GIBTM is also a good opportunity for us to showcase what we do.â€
Kennedy predicts that GIBTM will be one-third of the size of EIBTM, which last year attracted 5689 visitors and 2733 exhibitors, according to ABC audited figures.
This year it takes place from November 28 to 30 at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.
Within three months of the 2005 event, 85% of space had been re-booked and many exhibitors plan to increase their stand size.
Greece has doubled its stand size, Hollandâ€™s is 25% larger and Slovakia, Russia, Austria, Poland, India and the Canary Islands are amongst the other countries upping their exhibition space.
In terms of Middle East representation, Egypt will increase its stand size and Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Morocco, Oman and Qatar have all pledged to take part.
â€œWe will also be contacting Tunisia and Jordan.
We are anticipating another two or three countries coming on board,â€ he said.
Morocco has taken a larger percentage of the North African section to accommodate more stand partners, he added.