Sunday 1, May 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Affirming Dubai’s success in consolidating its position as the centre for professional associations in the region, the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) has announced 44% rise in its membership in the first quarter of 2016 which takes the Centre’s total membership to 23 from last year’s 16.

The recent joining of seven new associations reflects on the Centre’s attractiveness to professional associations. The new entrants include Young President Organisation, Middle East and North Africa Leisure and Attraction Council (MENALAC), Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), The British Institute of Facilities Management, The Society of the Golden Keys, The Building Industry Consulting Service International and The Marketing Society.

Besides granting permission to these new professional associations, DAC is looking at attracting a large number of international associations to set up base in Dubai. The Centre’s aim also is to highlight emirate’s position as a strategic hub of trade and finance supported by a stimulating investment environment and modern infrastructural facilities for global associations to make their base in the region.

Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice-President, Commercial Services Sector, Dubai Chamber, stated that since its launch DAC has succeeded in consolidating Dubai’s position as a regional centre for professional associations to strengthen their economic activities in the region.

He added that the emirate with its easy access to the regional markets and highly developed infrastructural and logistics facilities including world-class airports connecting Southeast Asia and Africa provides an ideal platform for these bodies to operate from.
Nasib also said that the Centre’s efforts to promote Dubai as a hub to attract regional and global professional associations complement the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021, adds value to the lucrative business environment of Dubai as well as contribute to the sustainable development process of the emirate and the region.

Jamal Lootah, CEO, Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), said: “We are glad to be based in Dubai under the DAC umbrella which helps us to benefit from the amazing developments taking place in Dubai and GCC region where we can use the facility management expertise to manage these facilities. This also helps us to enhance the company’s focus in creating a knowledge platform for professionals in the field as well as creating a sustainable facility management industry that will have positive impact on the regional economy in the long term.”

Ahmad Hussain Bin Essa, the Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Leisure and Attraction Council, said: “MENALAC aims to promote and enhance excellence in the entertainment and attraction industry in the Middle East and Africa region, therefore, we chose Dubai because the emirate is one of the fastest growing cities in the region in the area of entertainment and tourism with several world class projects under construction and in the pipeline.

“The Dubai Association Centre had an integral role in setting up MENALAC in Dubai with all the facilitation and support it provided in licensing the council and introducing it to the market. It also encourages various global associations to explore the potentials available in the emirate, benefit from economies of scale, experience in the association marketplace, flexibility and adaptability, and buying power,” he said.

Hani Ghorayeb, President, International Advertising Association (IAA) – UAE Chapter said: “The IAA UAE Chapter is privileged to be one of the first non-profit organisations to be officially registered with the Dubai Association Centre. Established in 1979, the UAE Chapter is one of the world’s largest Chapters headquartered out of Dubai reflecting upon the dynamic growth of the UAE’s marketing and communications industry. Its breadth of local membership enables it to speak for the marketing communications industry as a whole.”

Senthil Gopinath, Regional Director (Middle East), International Congress and Convention Association: “The International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) mission is to be the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry, creating competitive advantage and business opportunities. The presence of ICCA in the Middle East will enhance its contribution towards the meetings industry and development of the association segment in the Middle East region. ICCA will be hosting the first ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum in May 2016.

“The annual event for ICCA members and meetings industry stakeholders. The forum will comprise of internationally renowned speakers and will be attended by global meetings associations. The 2016 Forum marks the first steps on the journey towards the 2018 ICCA Congress, preparing the region to take complete advantage when over 1,000 of the world’s top meetings experts will converge on Dubai,” he said.

Ahmed Alkhaja, Senior Vice President – Venues, Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “It is encouraging to see a steady growth in the number of professional associations setting up base in Dubai. The emirate’s strategic location makes it an ideal hub for associations to connect with fast growing markets in this region.”

Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events, said: “In Dubai’s transformation into a knowledge economy, the presence of international associations play an important role. Associations drive education, training and research, and they offer a platform for experts and scientists to network and exchange knowledge. The more international associations we can attract to Dubai, the stronger a knowledge hub the emirate will become.”

The new entrants joined the long list of associations licenced earlier including the Arab Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes (ASPED), Gulf Heart Association, UITP – Advanced Public Transport, The Institution of Fire Engineers Gulf Cooperation Council UAE Branch, (GSMA), Middle East Gas Association (MEGA), the World Free Zones Organisation, and International Advertising Association (IAA).

Also included in the list are The Southern Arabian Peninsula Chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, Middle East & North Africa Franchise Association, International Institute of Business Analysis, International Inter-professional Wound Care Group, The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, The Gulf Chapter of The American Association of Clinical (AACE) and the Pan Arab Interventional Radiology Society (PAIRS).

The Centre was established in the beginning of 2014 under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and 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 the emirate of Dubai.

DAC allows a formal environment where international non-profit, scientific and professional associations can form a membership-based community and open a regional representative office to conduct business in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.

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. DAC provides practical support, in the form of serviced office accommodation in Sheikh Rashid Tower and access to the networking facilities of the World Trade Club, both located at Dubai World Trade Centre, the region’s leading events and exhibition venue.