Dubai welcomes associations 
by the Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB)
Dubai Association Centre. The emirate of Dubai is taking great strides to improve its business hub credentials, most recently leveraging its premier logistics, hospitality and events infrastructure by creating a base for international associations to serve the Middle East and wider region through the establishment of the Dubai Association Centre (DAC).
A joint initiative by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), DAC is a legal entity that licenses the formation of associations in Dubai, allowing global bodies access to untapped markets in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. As associations seek to boost their membership numbers and find new funding opportunities through strategic partnerships, Dubai has emerged as an ideal platform to help spur growth.
Steen Jakobsen, Director of the Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB), said: “Dubai Association Centre has a very exciting offer for international associations that are looking for growth opportunities. Gaining access to this region is a huge opportunity to bring new members on board, liaise with private and public institutions who are looking for training and educational opportunities and establish local and regional chapters of existing organisations.”
In addition to being well positioned geographically for unparalleled access to nascent markets, Dubai also has the benefit of being well placed to be an associations hub thanks to its central position between Brussels in Europe and Singapore in South East Asia.
DAC is a one-stop shop for licenses and permits required for associations to establish themselves, open bank accounts, secure visas, employ staff and open offices. What’s more, associations also have access to office facilities within the DWTC’s iconic Sheikh Rashid Tower from where they can manage their operations in the wider region.
Dubai recently launched an ambitious strategy called Tourism Vision 2020 to increase visitors to the emirate to 20 million by 2020 from the 10 million who visited in 2012. Business events serve as one of the strategy’s key pillars and the DTCM has been actively leveraging the city’s world-class transport and hospitality infrastructure to attract the congresses of international associations to the emirate.
So far this year, Dubai has a dozen association events booked including the International Symposium on Electronic Design, the International Tennis Federation AGM, the Asia Pacific Dental Congress and the 19th Conference of International Association of Prosecutors. The emirate also has a number of medical association meetings scheduled to be held in 2015 and 2016, including the International Association of Legal Medicine Congress, the International Society for Sexual Medicine Congress and the 34th International Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion.
To date, approximately 30 international associations are in talks with DAC to operate in the Middle East and the wider region. Out of these associations, 11 are already engaged in the registration process and the centre has already established its first association, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which is the world’s second largest association with 240,000 members worldwide.
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