In the First Half of 2018
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.- Dubai Association Centre announced rapid growth in registrations of international associations in the first half of 2018. Established in 2014 as a joint initiative between the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the Centre now has a total of 58 licensed associations, with 16 registrations received since the start of the year, reflecting a growth of 38%. Newly registered associations include: Energy Institute, Arab Association of Urology, International Coach Federation, Gulf Flight Safety Association, and the International Live Events Association.
The substantial increase this year comes on the back of the inaugural Dubai Association Conference, which took place in December 2017. The event offered a vital platform for networking and knowledge-sharing, in an effort to further boost progression across industries, bringing together association executives, government representatives, university faculties and students, as well as professionals who were interested in forming associations.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Associations undoubtedly play a significant role in our city’s evolution journey, as they are catalysts for knowledge transfer and industry progression. Through the Dubai Association Centre, we are facilitating this transformation agenda, and are working cohesively to create an ecosystem for associations to thrive. This accelerated growth in registrations is a positive step towards unlocking the city’s potential as a global knowledge and business events hub.”
Dubai Association Centre, since its establishment, has evolved to become a gateway for international associations that are looking to tap into the rapidly transforming city as well as the Middle East region. Associations have recognised the value of a stronger presence in the region, and Dubai has emerged as the destination of choice to set up regional headquarters. International associations stand to benefit from the innumerable opportunities the city has to offer, as well as from the growth mindset that Dubai embodies.
Hassan Al Hashemi
Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber said: “There is huge potential for associations to make great contributions to the UAE’s economy and vision, especially in the areas of research, academia, knowledge sharing and the development of future industries. We look forward to working closely with our members and partners to grow the association community in Dubai and promote the emirate as a strategic hub that global associations can leverage to expand their presence in the Middle East and North Africa.”
The expanding presence of associations in Dubai demonstrates the high calibre of business leaders and industry experts who reside in the city. There is also an increasing interest from local trade professionals to become part of international associations, or form local ones, and play a part in overall industry progression. This interest was recognised at the first-ever Dubai Association Conference held from 11-12 December 2017. The Conference laid a strong foundation to attracting a solid network of international associations that support in achieving the nation’s vision – to become the most innovative country, not just in the region, but globally.
Commenting on the occasion, Mahir Julfar, Senior Vice President, Venue Services Management at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) said: “At DWTC, we pride ourselves with offering a platform that allows individuals and organizations alike to network, as well as tap into potential sectors that aim to serve the overall industry progression and contribute to the UAE’s economic development. The growth that the Dubai Association Centre has witnessed in the first half of 2018 is a testament to that, particularly as the increase has come on the back of the inaugural Dubai Association Conference hosted by DWTC. We strive to continue to play an integral role in aligning with the government’s vision and expanding and enhancing Dubai as the international platform that fosters business growth in the region and beyond.”
Associations play a vital role in attracting business events to Dubai, something which will come into focus when Dubai hosts the 57th edition of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress, from 11-14 November 2018. The congress is set to bring together meeting planners and industry professionals from all around the world, creating a platform for knowledge and business exchange as well as networking opportunities.
The Dubai Association Centre was established in response to the surge in the demand for association engagement in the UAE and the Middle East. It offers assistance for apolitical and non-religious professional associations as well as trade bodies who are looking to set up representative offices or chapters in Dubai. Local trade practitioners from common industries or professionals can also form member-based associations through the Centre. Its main objective is to become a platform for dialogue and education for associations interested in exploring opportunities in the Middle East Region and to ultimately contribute to building an association community that drives the knowledge economy in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Arabian Peninsula.
Among the associations to set up through DAC this year has been Eurovent Middle East, which is aiming to educate the ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration market and work with authorities to increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Brian Suggitt, Chairman of Eurovent Middle East, said: “The Dubai Association Centre has been really helpful and supportive in establishing Eurovent Middle East in Dubai. We would like to thank everyone at the Chamber and the Dubai Association Centre to provide this facility and service.
“Technical developments, higher standards and an increasing regulatory framework demand increasing efforts in education and exchange. As an association we are able to connect people, coordinate efforts and support initiatives by governments and other organisations to improve the understanding for and awareness of a sustainable development. As an industry, we are looking forward to work with all concerned institutions to improve the well-being of everyone in the region while reducing the carbon footprint of an ever-growing population.”
The Association of Corporate Counsel Middle East (ACC) also joined DAC this year, building on the trade association’s global membership of over 43,000 and supporting its innovative Dubai-based programme. James Merklinger, President, ACC Credentialing Institute, said: “Through the DAC, we’ve gained access to facilities and networks that make it easier for ACC to do business in Dubai. Given Dubai’s role as a global business hub, local ACC members (who are in-house lawyers at multinational corporations) as well as in-house lawyers from outside of the region are eager to come to Dubai for their legal certification and education.”