Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 28 2016

See How Old-World Culture And New-Age Thinking Meet In This Knowledge Destination

Jeanna Hofmeister

Sparkling sky scrapers, high-rise buildings and a city vibe that pulses with hipness might shape your perspective of Dubai. But these perceptions shouldn’t overshadow the infrastructure of knowledge the city has been developing for more than a decade.

You can trace the beginnings of this knowledge foundation to 2003, when scholars from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, unveiled an ambitious plan to build a “Knowledge Society” to fuel the region’s long-term economic growth. Their goal: to develop a thriving culture of entrepreneurs and innovators who could produce and export knowledge based products and technologies.

Their creation, The Knowledge Village, aimed to attract famous international universities, professional training centers, e-learning providers and research and development companies from around the world. Fast forward to today, and it’s clear that they have achieved their objective. The Knowledge Village has become a robust and thriving campus that’s empowering Dubai’s human capital. The city is also standing out on the global medical meetings map with Dubai Healthcare City. With a state-of-the-art conference center built to host major medical trade shows and events, Dubai has positioned itself as a go-to destination for healthcare innovation.

MORE: Inside Dubai’s Hub Of Excellence

Understanding Why The UAE Is Ideal For Meetings

The UAE has transformed politically, economically and demographically at a fairly dramatic pace, and Dubai has followed suit. The city has seen a huge influx of international companies and workers. Today’s Dubai delivers a unique combination of new-age innovation and old-world cultures and experiences to create an attractive environment for meetings and conventions.

“Dubai is a great consideration from multiple perspectives,” Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events, says. “First, geographically, it is easy to get to from nearly everywhere in the world, and second, it has great airlift.”

Ease and accessibility aren’t the only factors fueling Dubai’s growing role in the convention world, though. O’Neil adds that members of Dubai’s local community are all committed to being part of The Knowledge Village. “It's the headquarters hub for so many professions and industries,” Jakobsen adds. “And it has a very, very high ex-pat community who come from cultures that understand and appreciate continuous adult learning.”

From the International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference (IMTEC) to the World Green Economy Summit (WGES), many major events are making their way to Dubai. And since one-third of the world’s population can fly to Dubai in four hours or less, getting there isn’t an issue.

Off-site, attendees can experience Dubai’s heritage, from camel races to catching a traditional abra (small boat) across the Dubai Creek. With more than 200 cultures living in Dubai, dining out is a destination attraction in itself. The city offers abundant sunshine, sand and surf so a beach outing is always in order.  The desert lures visitors to book a safari and Bedouin breakfast at a local Bedouin basecamp.  And all that glitters really is gold at the Gold Souk, the world’s largest gold market features jewelry and gemstones all crafted in 22k and 18k gold.

As cultures collide, they have also mingled and melded into one Dubai – a city that offers a blend of experiences that break boundaries, provoke thought and promote understanding. If you’re interested in hosting your next meeting in Dubai, contact:

Learn more about what distinguishes Dubai in “Getting Down To Business In Dubai.”

Brought to you by Visit Dubai


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