Published on : Tuesday, January 16, 2018
IBTM, part of global exhibitions organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), has unveiled the final itinerary for IBTM Arabia 2018, which takes place from 5 – 7 February at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. Leading the agenda as keynote speaker is Rohit Talwar, global futurist, author and CEO of foresight firm, Fast Future, who will deliver a session on how the meetings industry can anticipate, respond to and benefit from an emerging future in a world of constant change.
During the event, suppliers and Hosted Buyers will enjoy a full programme of 2,700 pre-planned business meetings, an insightful series of Knowledge Programme sessions and 12 networking events. The carefully crafted itinerary includes a tour of the recently opened and highly acclaimed Louvre Abu Dhabi as part of the event’s ‘Discovery Day’, run in partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.
As part of this year’s enhanced Knowledge Programme, ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) will chair a panel session on destination competitiveness; Albert Dias, CTO and co-founder of the UAE’s first full-service Online Travel Agency, Musafir, will host a session exploring how Travel Management Companies will need to bank on intelligence to remain relevant in an era of constant change, and a selection of suppliers will deliver presentations showcasing their destinations in the event’s Central Hub area.
The format of IBTM Arabia has been designed purposefully to embrace the importance in the region of relationship building ahead of doing business, with 12 networking events held over the three-day-long show, including the renowned White Party at Rotana Beach, Dinner at The Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi and concluding with a Sunset Farewell cocktail reception on the final evening at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.
Shinu Pillai, Exhibition Manager, IBTM Arabia, comments: “We’re very excited to welcome our suppliers and Hosted Buyers to this year’s event. We’ve listened to what our customers want and, as a result, have implemented a number of enhancements to deliver the most effective backdrop for doing business and to ensure time is very well spent with us. We have extended the Knowledge Programme to include additional presentations and a panel session and have consolidated the Discovery Day activity to maximise time spent together as a complete group.
“On the back of implementing IBTM’s enhanced Hosted Buyer programme and introducing a one-day attendance option for domestic event planners, we’ve got an incredibly high calibre pool of international Hosted Buyers joining us for our 2018 edition and we’re confident that there’s exceptional scope for great business to be done both during the event and after as a direct result of meetings at IBTM Arabia.”
Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, which is exhibiting at IBTM Arabia, said: “As Ras Al Khaimah edges closer to reaching its one million visitor target by the end of 2018, our continued focus on the meetings, incentive and events sector is aimed at realising the potential to further grow mid-week and off-season hotel occupancy, while incentives will complement our increasingly successful leisure sector. IBTM Arabia is a key part of our strategy to reach this target as the event provides us with an unrivalled opportunity to meet high-profile international meetings and events planners in an environment that is conducive to doing great business.
“The event gives us the opportunity to clearly communicate to event planners our successes over the past 12 months, as well as RAKTDA’s expansion plans to enhance the destination, including a dynamic events calendar which we anticipate will consistently grow over the months to come.”