The meetings industry is about to welcome a major player to the global market: the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. While most North American-based meeting planners may not be familiar with the Sultanate of Oman, the members of the meetings and hospitality industry in the oldest independent state in the Arab world are committed to introducing them to the opportunities along the scenic Arabian Sea coastline.
Earlier this month, PCMA brought 15 leaders from around the meetings industry together for the inaugural PCMA Sultanate of Oman Advisory Summit in the capital, Muscat. We’ve facilitated a similar program in Mexico for the past five years as suppliers south of the border continue to make tremendous strides in elevating the country’s value proposition for meeting planners.
The participants in Oman are equally committed to creating an environment where planners will feel confident and attendees will feel safe. They’re doing the necessary research to understand what today’s associations need. They’re asking the right questions to develop the meetings infrastructure. They’re working with the government, advocating to relax immigration and custom clearance policies. From learning how to properly respond to RFPs to understanding service expectations in the industry, our advisory board members delivered high-level insights that can help Oman transform to a global meetings destination.
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The new convention centre is set for completion in 2016, but general manager Trevor McCartney is hard at work to ensure its success long before the doors officially open. As we left the program, we learned that the OCEC just secured a notable Middle Eastern conference that will bring more than 1,000 food industry professionals to Muscat in December 2016.
That’s just the beginning, too. As suppliers in Oman continue to enhance their knowledge of the needs of today’s planners and attendees, I believe the country is on a promising path toward becoming a leader in the industry. For planners who have not yet considered the Middle East, it’s a perfect time to start looking at your options. According to the International Congress and Convention Association, the number of international association meetings in the Middle East has more than tripled in the last decade.
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Looking to learn more about the emerging business destinations that will stand out on the meetings industry map soon? Click here to access PCMA’s OnDemand Global Professionals Education Bundle.