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Like many new markets, the Middle East and North Africa has its own characteristics, requirements and dynamics when it comes to meetings, conferences and business events. This is a young market, with a transient and moving population, where there is high demand for education and learning products. The online learning environment is a big seller, but the culture here is very much about personal relationships, so face to face interaction is important for business.
Countries in this region have traditionally relied on oil for a large portion of their income, but with prices in that sector on a long-term low, several are now re-focusing their economies on business; increasing tourism is also a significant target. Strategies such as Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020, Egypt’s Refreshed Tourism Strategy 2013-2020, Morocco’s Vision 2020, The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and Saudi Vision 2030 are examples of national strategies aimed at developing the country’s economy across a wide range of industries including technology, healthcare, tourism, education and finance. Jordan and Oman are pursuing similar goals – business tourism is on the rise across the Middle East. It’s an exciting time and the MICE industry is rapidly becoming a leading priority for governments in the entire MENA region.
The strategy is working. Ever since the opening of the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau in 2013, the UAE capital has established itself as a leading business events destination. Abu Dhabi Airport is the world’s fastest-growing hub, registering growth in connectivity of 1,479 per cent between 2007 and 2017, according to the Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2017, published by Airports Councils International (ACI). A new fourth terminal of the airport is currently under construction and due to open in late 2019. While the existing Abu Dhabi International Airport handles around 26 million passengers each year, the additional terminal will increase the airport’s capacity by an additional 30 million travellers annually. This is a testament to the UAE capital’s rise as a major leisure and business tourism destination, with some of the world’s fastest growing hubs in the Middle East.
New regions open for MICE business
Across the Middle East, we see evidence that the region is gearing up for events business. Saudi Arabia is experiencing sweeping change across all aspects of life from entertainment to the economy and a major part of the country’s strategy is to become a powerhouse in meetings and events. The country is investing in road, rail and air infrastructure and will open over 50 new four and five-star hotels in the next four years, creating 11,000 bedrooms. State-of-the-art event facilities are also on the way.
Saudi is not alone. Growth in business tourism in Morocco has been supported by the development of several economic clusters, including Casa Nearshore for ICT, Midpark for aeronautics and Casablanca Finance City for capital markets. These developments have helped maintain a healthy demand for increases in hotel capacity. Additionally, in light of Casablanca’s shortage of large-scale event facilities, the city has been making substantial investments to grow its attractiveness as a MICE destination in recent years. A new 3,500-seat congress centre has been built on the city’s marina and a 1,800-seat event room forms part of Casablanca’s first opera house – the newly opened CasArts Theatre Complex.In Dubai, the 20,000 capacity Dubai Arena will open in 2019 and will be the largest of its kind in the region. A multi-purpose arena spanning half a million square feet, this new space will greatly enhance Dubai’s leisure and entertainment offering. The state-of-the-art venue will make the most of the latest advancements in venue design and will feature automated malleable seats, allowing it to transform depending on the size of the event.
Leaving a legacy
Also in Dubai, preparations are well underway for the next World Expo – Expo 2020 Dubai. Intense efforts are being made to ensure the landmark event leaves a meaningful, long-lasting and multi-layered impact way beyond this futuristic city. Leisure and business tourism are expected to skyrocket during the six months of the event, with up to 25 million visitors attending – 70% from outside the UAE. With a plan focused on providing a lasting framework for the city’s MICE sector, the industry is set to benefit from the sleek and ultra-modern event spaces being added to the expo site.
Expo 2020 Dubai will be a showcase of new innovations and technologies of all kinds and, of course, technology is vital to the success of events and meetings and it’s at the heart of the evolution taking place across the Middle East’s emergence as a business events hub. Technology is being used to make existing processes better, adding-value and efficiencies to enhance the event experience.
Technology to watch
Once piece of tech that is really changing the game here is facial recognition. Houston based Zenus Biometrics has created facial recognition technology that enables you to begin impressing attendees the moment they enter your event. The company’s API integrates with event registration partners, to create a frictionless entry process that takes just seven seconds. Entry for attendees is efficient, quick and non-evasive, while the planner reduces queues with easy entry and adds an extra layer of security. All data collected is deleted immediately after the event.
Guest management software, such as Concierge.com is also popular. Concierge includes services from registration options to itinerary building tools and in-app smart systems for managing travel arrangements. It also enables users to send messages to different groups of attendees, allowing the segmentation and targeting of different groups.Measurable event sponsorship ROI is another new tech set to make inroads in the region. Bright Box has created a phone charging station that can carry branding for sponsorship purposes. The beauty of the device is that it has a camera that can track how many people pass by. Now you can put figures on your promise to provide exposure.
As an up and coming region in the world of business events, it makes sense for MENA to embrace the latest technologies and events trends – as technology continues to impact every aspect of our industry, it’s essential that we embrace and understand the potential implications the lie ahead.
As a way to boost interaction between buyers and sellers before, during, and in-between the 4 annual DISCOP Markets, DISCOP CLUB is a digital interface and customized service tailor-made for buyers who now can enjoy the ease of having a digital catalogue featuring relevant information and videos for each property offered by DISCOP registered vendors.
Registered buyers can also screen full-length versions or full-length episodes whenever available, and by using the instant and real time CHAT BOX service they can request the assistance of ‘PERSONAL SHOPPERS’ to set-up meetings with DISCOP VENDORS or to help them in their selection of programs.
DISCOP Markets are uniquely positioned to offer this service with a 92% industry recognition factor and the ability to rapidly engage with over 1,500+ key buyers representing broadcasters, premium cable channels, mobile operators, and streaming platforms that have a marked preference for homegrown content.
Similarly, with its strong and continued focus on independent producers, DISCOP Markets are able to engage directly and speedily with over 500+ key independent producers active in the 70 countries of Africa and the Middle East.
In fact, the DISCOP CLUB is specifically designed to support independent producers with small catalogues of content, with projects in development, and with works in progress. Based on outreach via a survey to over 300 of these producers from the Middle East and from Africa, 100% responded hat they would like to see an online marketplace to compliment the four DISCOP Markets/
Via the PERSONAL SHOPPER service, buyers are able to have 24/7 access to content with experts on hand via the website to compliment and and support interactions between buyers and sellers outside of the physical market space. This service will assist buyers in navigating the various content streams available, and ultimately also benefit vendors and producers by providing sales opportunities outside the parameters of the DISCOP events.
Specifically designed for Africa and the Middle East, DISCOP CLUB will service content buyers and sellers for a region with a combined population of 1.5 billion. Africa and the Middle East still account for a very marginal share in B2B content trading, both in volume and in value. However, these regions anticipate dynamic growth in the near future.
DISCOP CLUB membership includes a host of innovative features including:
- Quality screening. Whether it’s a desktop computer or a mobile phone, DISCOP CLUB provides a fast, high quality video playback experience for viewers across multiple devices. DISCOP CLUB web player supports Adaptive Bitrate streaming support (ABR) which helps optimize the streaming experience for viewers, based on their current bandwidth.
- Full-length version or full-length episode of the program, in addition of the trailer. The full-length versions are available only to DISCOP registered BUYERS.
- The option to feature projects in development.
- A team of PERSONAL SHOPPERS. They are dedicated to reviewing, indexing and storing the content, thereby giving Vendors and Producers more personalized attention.
- CHAT WINDOW will allow Buyers to ask questions about the content, and schedule meetings with Vendors ahead of a market.
- More visibility for the content among Buyers all year round. A strong communication strategy (online and on the phone) will promote DISCOP CLUB with persistent frequency.
- Analytics. The team can provide analytical data to best inform you about the Buyers’ reach (number of impressions, number of plays, stream hours by consumer, most requested videos)
Prestigious magazine Forbes International this year named Maboneng as one of the world’s coolest neigbourhoods, beating its counterparts in big global cities such as London, New York and Paris.
Last month, Gauteng Tourism showcased the breath-taking developments that have made this neighbourhood a visitor hotspot and earned it accolades to journalists, social media influencers and tourism stakeholders.
Acting Gauteng Tourism Acting CEO Yoland Ruiters expressed pride and joy over the achievement. “This is no mean feat for a neighbourhood that until not-so-long ago was suffering urban decay and seen as a crime hotspot,” she said.
“It is even more impressive considering the calibre of alternatives Forbes International would have considered before including Maboneng in its list of top 12 coolest places in the world. The only other South African neighbourhood that made it is Kalk Bay in the Western Cape.”
Maboneng has received other global accolades in the past including New York-based magazine Travel and voting it in 2015 one of the world’s coolest attractions. It shared the honour with leading international attractions such as Shanghai Tower in Shanghai and Eiffel Towers in Paris.
Others too have noticed the phenomenal transformation of Maboneng and have held it up as a model for urban renewal. United Kingdom’s leading daily newspaper The Times and BBC Travel have given the neighbourhood extensive positive editorial coverage.
The allure of Gauteng is unrivalled in many ways and urges residents to play a bigger role in promoting it, Ms Ruiters says. “One way of doing this, would be by them becoming champion hosts.
“Research indicates a sizeable portion of arrivals in Gauteng are from visiting friends and relatives. We, therefore, need more and more of our residents visiting and being exposed to exciting spaces in the province such as Maboneng – it is only through familiarising themselves with the destination’s leisure offerings that they would become champion hosts and great Gauteng brand ambassadors.”
To encourage residents of the province to explore their own backyard, the destination is rolling the #GPSho’Left campaign, which kicked off with the Maboneng celebration, Ms Ruiters adds. The place, which denotes the “place of light” in Sesotho, offers an eclectic mix of experiences and attractions including restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, clothing boutiques and art galleries.
Maboneng is part of the broader Johannesburg inner city that has over the year suffered urban decay and an upsurge of crime, making it a no-go area for many. The rejuvenation process began in 2008 when developer Jonathan Liebmann bought old, derelict industrial buildings and transformed them into a cultural oasis that is now a top attraction in the area, Arts On Main.
The post Gauteng Celebrates Success of Destination Maboneng appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.
“We are very excited about our sky bridge which we believe is both beautiful and functional. The sky bridge is being constructed to connect CTICC 1 and CTICC 2 and will allow for the seamless movement of delegates between the two buildings. Our clients love the design of the bridge as well as the integrated CTICC complex that the bridge facilitates. As a world-class venue the CTICC is now able to welcome more events as well as host large scale events across both buildings,” said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer at the CTICC.
The 70m-long bridge comprises a steel frame with a concrete floor and roof, supported by slanted columns. Aluminum fins finish off the bottom. Full glass sides will reveal views across the city of Cape Town, up the historic Heerengracht-Adderley Street axis, to the iconic Table Mountain.
The bridge will deflect vertically by 5-10mm, and horizontally by a similar amount. The maximum capacity is estimated at more than 5 000 people per hour.
The CTICC has already secured several bookings, many of which are international conferences and will take place either in CTICC 2 or across both buildings.
The first of these is the World Congress of Audiology 2018, which will take place in October 2018. This will be followed by Africa’s largest telecoms, media and technology event, AfricaCom, in November 2018. In February 2019, Investing in African Mining Indaba will be at the CTICC, followed by the Congress of the International Society for Gynecologic Endoscopy in April 2019, to name but a few.
Of particular note is Africa Utility Week, with 9 000 delegates expected to descend on the city and the CTICC in May 2019, 2020 and 2021.
“The views from the sky bridge across our beautiful city will be incredible and will certainly add to the extraordinary experience of attending an event at the CTICC. We look forward to welcoming Capetonians and visitors to experience walking across the sky bridge when it is complete,”added Ellingson.
For more information, contact the Corporate Communications Department at +27 21 410 5000 or email@example.com.
The post The Sky’s the Limit for the Expanded CTICC appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.
Many of the changes implemented in 2014 had a negative impact on foreign visitor numbers, not only affecting tourism, but also business travel and the ability of companies to attract niche critical skills to grow and be globally competitive.
These changes will have a noticeable and positive impact on tourism, trade and investment in the Western Cape and South Africa, in the following ways:
- increasing the number of countries that will be visa exempt, particularly the Middle East, will help unlock new tourism markets for our province and country, helping boost visitor numbers;
- the implementation of 3 to 10 year multiple visas especially for China and India is critical for the growth of our economy, with China boasting the 2nd largest economy in the world and the biggest tourism spend globally, and India ranked the 7th largest economy with a rapidly growing tourism spend – ranked 17th according to UNWTO;
- waiving the requirement for visa applications to be made in person in India and China will significantly increase ease of travel – travellers wishing to visit South Africa currently have to apply in person often having to travel great distances to the very few visa application stations in these large countries;
- relaxation of documentary requirements for minors travelling with foreign nationals – the strict requirements for parental consent and unabridged birth certificates caused major upsets for bona fide travellers visiting South Africa with children;
- the review of the critical skills list and offer of permanent residence for foreign students studying critical skills degrees is an important measure to ensure that South Africa remains a strong contender in the global skills economy, and potentially a big boost for our universities and tertiary education institutions;
- steps announced to ease congestion at ports of entry particularly land ports could have a significant impact on South Africa’s trade with the rest of Africa and ease of doing business on the continent; and, implementation of e-visas and e-gates will ease congestion and enhance efficiency at boarders, making South Africa a more attractive destination to visit and do business with.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: “Ease of travel and movement across borders is a fundamental building block of the global economy. We live in an integrated world, where goods, services, supply chains, business, research, entertainment and education cut across national borders. For South Africa to remain relevant and competitive in this integrated global economy we cannot erect barriers for visitors, we need to make it easier for people to come to South Africa, while maintaining tight security at the border.”
To this end, Wesgro is planning to facilitate a visa stakeholder engagement to allow for the details of the amendments to be elaborated upon for Western Cape businesses and to provide support for the implementation of these changes.
Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “Cape Town welcomes the visa relaxation as it will encourage more visitors to the city and South Africa. This will lead to stronger trade ties with countries and cities from across the world. We know the world owes us nothing and we have to make it easier for tourists and investors to visit our shores, while we build a globally competitive forward looking Cape Town. Last week, the World Bank released a report that showed Cape Town is the top metro in South Africa when it comes to making it easier for businesses to obtain construction permits and getting electricity to their premises.”
Minister Alan Winde added: “Tourism is a vital part of the Western Cape economy and the previous visa regulations had a damaging impact on the sector. The changes announced today, if properly implemented, will help to stabilise the sector and ensure that we can focus on growing the economy and creating more jobs.”
Wesgro is Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, and receives its mandate and funding from the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the City of Cape Town.
The post Visa Relaxation to Boost Trade, Tourism & Investment appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.
Alternating between regions across the globe, this year the conference was held in Europe (Rome, Italy), in partnership with Meetings Professionals International (MPI). SITE + MPI Global Forum attracted over 550 incentive and meeting professionals, the highest attendance ever recorded for a SITE event outside of North America.
In 2019, SITE returns to Asia for SITE Global Conference 2019, taking place 11-14 January in Bangkok, Thailand at the stunning Shangri-La Hotel. Ranked as one of the world’s top tourist destinations with its colorful culture, multifaceted attractions and bustling city life, Bangkok attracts tens of millions of international visitors each year.
“To host SITE Global Conference 2019 is really a great honour for us,” said Mr Chirut Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president and chairperson of the local host committee. TCEB and host committee members are working hard to prepare an extraordinary educational and social program, plus Thai local experiences, that await all of you in January. We are committed to doing our best to welcome you here.“
The conference has been designed as a true Thai experiential immersion. Every aspect – education, evening events, tours and CSR – will engage the richness of the Thai culture, food and history with a keen focus on the revitalization and Innovation demonstrated by the River Alliance. The conference theme, “Incentivising Diversity and Innovation”, recognizes the magnificent diversity and brilliant innovation of the Thai culture, and also highlights how business innovation and success stem from a wholehearted embrace of diversity.
El Kwang, CITP, CIS, CEO Untangled pte ltd. and Lynne Coyne, CITP, manager of event services, Intuitive Conference & Events are serving as SITE Global Conference Co-Chairpersons.
“I am very humbled to be serving as chairperson for the 2019 conference in Bangkok. Conference participants will experience culturally diverse, deep dive sessions along the famous Bangkok River. There will be plenty of networking and thought-sharing opportunities with local and Asia-based talent. We cannot wait to welcome SITE to Bangkok!,“ Kwang shared.
Register for SITE Global Conference 2019 by 19 October and receive USD $50.00 off your registration fee.
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The conference will host a Zimbabwean Ministerial and private sector panel to unpack infrastructure development opportunities in Zimbabwe for attending developers and project owners. This panel will serve as a revered platform for stakeholders in the Zimbabwe infrastructure development sector to uncover growth opportunities, the latest infrastructure trends and incentives as well as to network and collaborate with relevant contacts vested in the industry.
The event has announced its’ agenda which includes a dynamic offering of engaging sessions discussing a range of thought-provoking topics, amongst which are attracting infrastructure funding; the role of state-owned enterprises; infrastructure partnerships; improving project bankability; digitisation in Africa; transforming Africa’s transport and logistics infrastructure as well as discussions presenting Zimbabwe as an invaluable developing economy in Southern Africa.
The Zimbabwe infrastructure sector has deteriorated significantly over the past decade, negatively impacting productive sectors and the quality of services provided. Improvement in this sector will require boosting the regulatory landscape, policy framework for private investments including PPPs as well as technical and financial restructuring. Implementation of such strategies will be explored to encourage the sector’s stakeholders of Zimbabwe to grow their establishments and create a competitive edge that will see them at the forefront of the industry. These endeavours require the participation and support of the nation’s industry players if they are to share in the future resurrection and profits of the sector in question.
Since the new President of Zimbabwe, Emerson Mnangagwa, was elected in 2018, the country has proven prominent on the radars of investors. In addition, the nation has won the support of major world powers as expressed by China’s Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Chen Xiaodong assuring to “enhance development strategy alignment…to inject more impetus for economic development.” UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson shared similar sentiments, “This can now be a turning point, a moment of hope for this beautiful country, full of potential.” This collaboration will, for the first time in decades, set Zimbabwe on a path to renewed progression and economic growth.
Confidence in the nation will be further boosted in view of Mnangagwa’s pledge to incentivise new farmers and rightfully compensate those who previously lost their land. Together, these could significantly drive GDP growth above the 4% mark that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe predicted earlier this year.
It appears that those vested in Zimbabwe’s infrastructure sector will be set to share the credits of these promising assertions, reigniting their businesses and contributing to the nation’s economic revival.
In addition, the conference will focus on attracting funding for Zimbabwe’s infrastructure sector. Discussions will delve into how industry professionals can access capital and secure finance to develop projects. These discussions will unpack funding options to encourage investment in Southern Africa’s infrastructure facilities, assisting them to initiate and execute potential projects. Several requirements must be met by candidates in order for businesses to gain access to these funding initiatives and these Zimbabwean Ministerial and private sector panel will serve as platforms to inform potential applicants thereof.
Moreover, well-versed industry leaders will share their expertise on opportunity development and management of threats in Zimbabwe whilst proactively implementing strategies to defend its competitive advantage and boost profits through the digitalisation of infrastructure technologies.
Discussions focused on Infrastructure Partnerships will explore how PPPs are assisting industry players in Zimbabwe to develop African infrastructure and attract private sector investment. Furthermore, the conference programme offers a platform for improving project bankability which remains essential to bridging Africa’s infrastructure gap. This can be achieved by comprehensive project preparation and due diligence thereof.
The conference is set to explore how infrastructure development will drive economic growth in Africa followed by Africa’s action plan to achieve growth in this sector. Moreover, forums have been established to enlighten members about a prospective business opportunity that presents itself in Africa’s transport and logistics infrastructure.
The Infrastructure Africa 2018 is expected to deliver a durable and positive impact on Africa’s infrastructure community by enabling attendees to identify significant participants, speakers, financiers, influencers and leaders, thereby giving them the means to not only survive but thrive in this highly competitive sector.
The event has evolved annually, allowing participants to explore challenges and opportunities to promote innovation in infrastructure operations, which has made it Southern Africa’s leading infrastructure event. Attending this event affords anyone vested in Africa’s infrastructure sector with the knowledge of devising advanced solutions and business models to grow competitive and sustainable projects and businesses, ultimately contributing to the growth of the economy within which they operate.
Though not among Kenya’s top tourist source markets, Australia is a market of focus for Kenya.
However, Kenya does not have a strong market presence yet in Australia.
In 2017, arrivals from Australia grew by 19.3 percent to 18,779 tourists despite the fact that Kenya is considered a long-haul destination by travelers from Australia.
The Australian travel market features strongly among the source markets that look to Kenya for wildlife and safari, adventure, culture & heritage, sports and special occasions.
The post MKTE 2018 Market Presentation Platform: Australia appeared first on The Event | Africa’s Leading Business-Events Industry Update.
Europe is Kenya’s top tourism source market by region as it contributed 36% of arrivals to Kenya in 2017.
The number one tourism source market for Kenya in Europe is the United Kingdom (UK). The UK is actually Kenya’s second biggest tourist source market after the United States of America. In 2017, arrivals from the UK grew by 11.1 percent to 107,078 tourists.
The growth in the performance of the UK market is attributable to a stronger destination brand following positive visibility and endorsement from recent global recognitions, visitation by high profile individuals and conferences held in Kenya.
Other tourist source markets of focus within Europe for Kenya include Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
The German market is ranked at position six (6) and is among the resilient source markets into Kenya.
Below is a table on how these markets performed in 2017:Country 2016 2017 Percentage Growth/Decline Germany 43,502 49,247 13.2 Italy 35,953 45,018 25.2 France 20,416 22,126 8.4 Netherlands 16,504 18,808 14.0 Spain 10,949 15,335 40.1
There is a positive outlook in the performance of these markets, despite the fact that Kenya is considered a long-haul destination from these markets. Improved air connectivity, as well as market presence have facilitated this growth.
Travellers from Europe look to Kenya as a destination for wildlife & safari, beach, adventure and special occasions. While tourists from the UK love sightseeing, German travelers prefer to experience local food and relaxation by the beach.
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We have four camps located in Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
Our seasonal Woodland Camp has been strategically situated so that it is possible to gain access to migration and the drama, beauty of majestic wildebeest calving season. It is slightly removed from main tourist venue, allowing for more privacy.
High on top the eastern side of Ngorongoro Crater Rim is Lions Paw Camp. It is one of the only tented camps in Ngorongoro Crater Rim area to boast a panoramic view of the Crater Highlands. It is a mere ten minutes from the crater floor.
Sametu Camp is found on the eastern edge of Central Serengeti away from crowds of tourists at the Seronera Valley which is known as ‘The Big Cat Capital of Africa’. There is no better place to see big cats in action.
Ideally located 320 meters from the famous Mara River at the northern Serengeti is River Camp. This camp offers quick access to viewing the spectacular migration crossing river Mara during the dry season months of July to October.
We look forward to welcoming you into our circle of friends and family.
Contact us on:
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