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Sat 13 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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United Abu Dhabi triumphs once again

Abu Dhabi secured the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2012, because of its united approach, according to leading medical council directors.

Abu Dhabi secured the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2012, because of its united approach, according to leading medical council directors.

The WOC, which is expected to attract more than 12,000 international delegates to the UAE capital, is the world's longest running and largest international medical meeting.

His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmad Al Saud, chairman of the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) and member of the board of directors of the International Council for Ophthalmology (ICO) Foundation said, "the over-riding factor in Abu Dhabi's selection was its total-destination approach" to the bid.

"Various government organisations came together to produce what can only be described as an impressive, consolidated and convincing bid," he added.

The move is seen as a major coup for Abu Dhabi and a huge boost to its credentials as a preferred destination for international medical meetings.

WOC 2012 will be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in February 2012. WOC is a biennial event traditionally held in a different world region - with 2012 marking its debut on Middle East and African territory.

"The move to the Middle East and Africa represents a significant outreach for ICO which has traditionally opted for more conventional venues within the Americas, Europe and Asia," said Dr. Bruce Spivey, President, ICO.

"We are delivering a strong message to our colleagues in the Middle East and Africa that their specific concerns are also ours - an approach that is firmly in line with the WOC's mission of contributing to the progress of ophthalmology by stimulating discussion among professionals involved in this rapidly advancing scientific and medical discipline."

"WOC 2012 will very much be a case of the world's oldest, and one of its most successful, international medical gatherings convening within the confines of one of the world's most modern convention complexes to deliver an event of truly world-class standing," said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and ADNEC.

"It also gives us an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate Abu Dhabi's capabilities as a world-class convention destination and its uncompromising approach to delivering unparalleled hospitality."

As part of ADTA's philantrophic contribution, it has offered to provide 200 hotel rooms within the UAE capital which will be allocated to WOC delegates from less wealthy developing nations within the Middle East and Africa region.

"Abu Dhabi's hotel room inventory will be in excess of 26,000 in 2012 and the destination is also rapidly developing the international convention expertise to ensure its success as a major global meetings destination," explained Sheikh Sultan.

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