Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) invited UFI MEA to attend a workshop in Qatar to discuss QTA’s active involvement with UFI, the global Association of the Exhibition Industry. UFI was represented by Regional Manager, Ibrahim Alkhadi.
The workshop reviewed UFI rules and regulations covering international procedures and classification of exhibitions under MICE, which would now apply to exhibitions being held in Qatar,
QTA Chairman, HE Eng. Issa Al-Mohannadi, commented: “This meeting confirmed that QTA is now an active member of UFI. It was significant for the QTA to ensure that we align our exhibitions as part of MICE to international standards in every way. This will benefit Qatar’s exhibition industry enormously to meet international expectations and it will enable QTA to regulate the selection and approval of events being held in Qatar. To this end QTA has already announced in the media that individual exhibitions will need to meet the relevant criteria to be admitted.”
Other discussions covered the close link between the exhibition industry and business tourism in Qatar, particularly the focus on MICE events that attract significant business to the country.
Al-Mohannadi added: “The workshop comes at a crucial stage for QTA as we develop our new strategy for the tourism sector involving stakeholders and partners throughout the country to show Qatar at its best. MICE is a core part of our strategy moving forward.”
Ibrahim Al Khaldi, UFI Regional Manager commented: “It was a pleasure to meet H.E. Eng. Al Mohannadi and his senior team. It is vital for us to have an in-depth understanding of the Qatar exhibition market with its ambitions, targets, concerns and challenges. It is UFI’s main mission to provide members with valuable industry knowledge, timely information and help them find the best cooperation and partner opportunities through the unique UFI professional network. We will always maintain contact with QTA as the official representative of the Qatar Mice sector”
UFI regional trends from 2006 – 2011 show that the Middle East is the second fastest growing region in the exhibition industry after Asia Pacific with a 16% growth rate, double that of Europe and South America.
UFI represents some 616 global members and promotes and supports the exhibition industry worldwide through information, news gathering, education, research and networking.
UFI’s mission is to highlight the power of exhibitions. Studies have shown that they generate more leads for business than any other media and are among the top three most powerful and cost-effective forms of marketing.
UFI also focuses on issues of common interest in regional chapters and working groups of its members. 4,500 exhibitions are organized or hosted by UFI members each year in 85 countries including the 40 largest economies.
Europe leads the world with 496 exhibition venues with 15.6 million sqm – 48% of the world’s total, and the Middle East contributes with 33 venues that represent in total 0.8 million sqm, 2% of the global total.