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Abu Dhabi Wins Bid to Host World Ophthalmology Congress 2012

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, has won the bid to host the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2012, which is expected to attract in excess of 12,000 international delegates. WOC is one of the world’s longest running and largest international medical meetings. Established in 1857 the Abu Dhabi event represents the 33rd congress of its type.

Being sponsored by the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), the WOC 2012 is being hosted in Abu Dhabi by the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO). The move is a major coup for the UAE capital and a huge boost to its credentials as a preferred destination for international medical meetings.

WOC 2012 will be held at the ultra-modern Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in February 2012.

“WOC 2012 will very much be a case of the world’s oldest, and one of its most successful, international medical gatherings convening within the confines of one of the world’s most modern convention complexes to deliver an event of truly world-class standing,” said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and of ADNEC. “It also gives us an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate Abu Dhabi’s capabilities as a world-class convention destination and its uncompromising approach to delivering unparalleled hospitality.”

WOC is a biennial event traditionally held in a different world region – with 2012 marking its debut on Middle East and African territory.

“The move to the Middle East and Africa represents a significant outreach for ICO which has traditionally opted for more conventional venues within the Americas, Europe and Asia,” said Dr. Bruce Spivey, President, ICO. “We are delivering a strong message to our colleagues in the Middle East and Africa that their specific concerns are also ours – an approach which is firmly in line with the WOC’s mission of contributing to the progress of ophthalmology by stimulating discussion among professionals involved in this rapidly advancing scientific and medical discipline.”

The MICE industry is a key focus of Abu Dhabi’s inbound tourism strategy and is being prioritised for its multi-beneficial destination returns.

“This sector has higher economic returns delivering between seven-to-nine times more income to a destination than leisure tourism,” explained Sheikh Sultan. “The benefits though extend well beyond the convention as it is highly sustainable being resilient to economic downturns, it often leads to foreign direct investment, exports knowledge transfer and development collaboration and produces significant repeat delegate visitation.”

As part of ADTA’s philantrophic contribution, it has offered to provide 200 hotel rooms within the UAE capital which will be allocated to WOC delegates from less wealthy developing nations within the Middle East and Africa region.

“Abu Dhabi’s hotel room inventory will be in excess of 26,000 in 2012 and the destination is also rapidly developing the international convention expertise to ensure its success as a major global meetings destination,” Sheikh Sultan added.

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