Dubai – MENA Herald: As part of its efforts to promote Dubai as a hub for global associations, the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) organised an interactive seminar Going Global: Prospects for Growth for the high level delegation from the global Association Network including delegates from the London-based association on the sidelines of their study mission to Dubai from March 10 to 14.

The objective behind organising the seminar is to demonstrate Dubai’s capabilities as host city for international association congresses while informing the visiting delegation about the benefits offered by DAC to global associations interested in reaching out to the regional markets through Dubai hub, as well as to apprise the delegates with the emirate’s business environment and the investment opportunities available in the local market.

The Dubai Association Centre was established in the beginning of 2014 under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Dubai Business Events (DBE, part of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing) and the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) to offer assistance for the establishment of non-profit, apolitical and nonreligious professional associations and trade bodies in Dubai and to develop their activities and membership in the emirate and beyond.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the networking seminar for the delegation to meet representatives of the business community in Dubai at its head office on Monday in the presence of Mr. Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice-President, Commercial Services Sector, Dubai Chamber, Mr. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and Mr. Damien Hutt, Executive Director, Associations Network.

The London headquartered Associations Network is the largest network of association executives outside North America as it brings together employees of professional, scientific, medical and business associations, societies, federations and other membership organisations.

In his welcome address, Mr. Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice-President, Commercial Services Sector, Dubai Chamber, stated that this visit paves the way for a stronger partnership between DAC and global associations in the long run while highlighting the benefits of operating out of Dubai for global associations seeking expansion in the regional markets.

He also shed light on Expo 2020 and its importance for Dubai’s economy stating that all companies, institutions and even economic and professional associations will greatly benefit from Dubai’s hosting of this mammoth global event in the emirate.

Mr. Nasib further stressed on Dubai’s evolution in becoming the leading centre of trade and finance in the region, stressing on the emirate’s strategic location and growing sectors, such as tourism, retail, logistics and financial services, which he said augur well for global associations seeking to set up business here.

The Senior Vice-President of Dubai Chamber’s Commercial Services Sector called upon the delegates to make Dubai their base as the emirate has the potential to be an associations’ hub in the region as it offers an attractive business environment, unconditional Government support, excellent logistics and financial services and world-class infrastructural facilities.

He said that DAC currently has 18 licensed associations and 9 applications are under the approval process, adding that DAC has filled the gap by providing the framework for international associations to open a regional representative office in Dubai and to engage with other associations and build a knowledge base for the development of associations in the region.

In his speech, Mr. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, highlighted the importance of Dubai as a vibrant knowledge hub in the region and its achievement in the field of tourism accredited to four key factors. Firstly, the vision of Dubai’s Rulers; secondly, the quality and depth of the emirate’s destination offering; thirdly, strong cooperation between private and government stakeholders; and finally, successful collaboration with partners.

He called upon global associations, including the Associations Network for cooperation in promoting the emirate as a centre of knowledge and sharing of experiences and ideas, stressing the commitment of DCTCM to support associations based in Dubai to attract international conferences and events to the emirate as well as to help these bodies to host specialised international conferences here which he said will also showcase Dubai’s potential in hosting global associations to the world while enhancing the emirate’s reputation and competitiveness globally.

On his part, Mr. Damien Hutt, Executive Director, Associations Network, informed that in 10 years of its operations, the UK-based Association which is the largest network of association executives outside North America has gathered 20 members from Europe, Africa and India and is looking to open offices in new destinations.

He added that this visit will enable the network members to explore Dubai’s potential as a destination for establishing their associations while building a strong partnership with their Dubai counterparts from professional, scientific, medical and business associations, societies, federations and other membership organisations.

The two panel discussions focused on the elements that local or regional associations take into consideration when going global and the importance of Dubai as a hub of opportunities in the region while the second interactive session provided case studies from local associations who shared their experiences of working in the emirate.

The meeting was also attended by DAC Ambassadors of the Ambassador’s Programme launched mid last year to promote the Centre, engage with other associations and build a knowledge base for the development of associations in the emirate.

Being the region’s unique model, the Dubai Association Centre provides assistance to trade, scientific and business associations to set up office space and develop their activities and membership in Dubai and the wider Middle East region.

DAC allows a formal environment where international non-profit, professional associations and trade bodies can form a membership-based community or open a regional representative office to conduct business in the UAE and beyond.

For associations, the advantages of setting up in Dubai go beyond the obvious attractions of a well-developed city at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and all the prospects for new business this creates.