Posted on October 15, 2015

A tourism panel is showcasing Qatar's high end conferences and business events facilities at a trade exhibition in Las Vegas, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) said Wednesday. QTA Exhibitions Director Hamad Al Abdan (pictured) is leading the delegation to IMEX America, the USA’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. QTA is hosting an exclusive breakfast for leading professional conference organizers, event planners and association representatives at the tradeshow, considered the largest for the business events industry in the USA. 

"We are keen for event planners in the US to understand what Qatar has to offer, and that we are open to developing meaningful, long-term partnerships with the stakeholders involved in establishing a business events destination," Al Abdan said. Despite coming into the global spotlight for winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup, Qatar’s strategy to become a destination for business and mega events extends far beyond 2022, he said. 

To further strengthen ties with the group of Meetings, Initiatives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) executives, part of the group would be invited to Qatar in early 2016 to tour and see its conference and exhibition facilities. QTA's aims to triple the number of business tourists by 2030. Business tourists currently account for 70% of visitors to the country, which has witnessed a substantial increase in activity in the business meeting and exhibition sector, averaging 150 events a year. 

How does it feel to fly with the best ?

The number of exhibitions in Qatar has on an average grown 35% per annum for the past three years, from 2013 to 2015. "Qatar projects a further growth of 20% in 2016 with an expected 60 shows on the calendar covering jewellery and watches, education and technology, manufacturing, food and even coffee," said Al Abdan. Qatar's busy MICE calendar reiterates its plan to diversify the economy and build a hub for innovation. In 2014 Qatar hosted 22 international association related events, he said. 

Growth of allied sectors matches Qatar's work to expand MICE events business events. Fifteen new hotels opened in 2015, with construction work on for more additions in 2016. This development will further propel MICE events at the upcoming Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) that will host its first event in November this year. Qatari Diar has constructed the new premises spanning over 90,000 square metres. It has five huge pillar-free halls, covering 29,000 sqms of exhibition space, he said.

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