A recent signing ceremony at the Louvre Abu Dhabi witnessed the Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB) with the China MICE Advisory Group demonstrating its commitment to further developing the Emirate's Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector.
The China MICE Advisory Group, a panel of key Chinese MICE trade partners and media, was formed by ADCEB in 2019 to gain insights into the dynamic Chinese market's MICE and business travel trends. The group is the first of its kind in China, created in partnership with ADCEB, and reflects ADCEB's proactive approach to engaging with the growing outbound MICE sector from China.
The Chinese market is one of Abu Dhabi's top source markets for tourism and MICE, reflecting a robust bilateral relationship. As the demand for outbound MICE in China rises, reaching levels similar to the country's outbound leisure market, a significant increase in outbound Chinese MICE is anticipated in 2024.
"Our thriving partnerships with China and track record of successfully attracting tourists and business travellers to Abu Dhabi demonstrate the strength of this partnership," stated the Director General for Tourism, H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. As part of our dedication to preserving and promoting the emirate's heritage, culture, and tourism resources, this renewal will facilitate ongoing knowledge exchange and strategic planning regarding our tourism prospects. Abu Dhabi's status as a preferred international destination is further cemented by the substantial increase in incoming visitors from China, made possible by our ongoing collaboration.
The partnership's objective is to incentivise MICE visitors to extend their visits to the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, as part of its larger strategy to increase international MICE arrivals from China. Concurrently, it aims to enhance recognition of the unique allures of the capital and its extraordinary ability to accommodate business events of the highest calibre.
The official BRICS group membership of the UAE in August 2023 enhanced its standing and facilitated the formation of strategic trade alliances, most notably with China. This membership promotes enhanced economic cooperation and international business recognition by facilitating business events and conferences in Abu Dhabi. The advantages encompass a broader range of international collaborations, enhanced prospects for trade and investment, and active engagement in multilateral forums.
Visa-free entry and a 30-day stay with a valid passport are permitted for Chinese visitors to the UAE. Abu Dhabi companies are implementing various measures to assist Chinese tourists, such as streamlined and simplified digital payment processes. The integration of WeChat Pay via the Magnati platform has become feasible for Abu Dhabi enterprises as a result of the recent collaboration (October 2023) between WeChat Pay and Magnati.
Alipay+ and Payby/Astra Tech have formed a partnership that has enabled the integration of the payment system into approximately 7,000 taxis throughout Abu Dhabi as of November 2023. Using this partnership, the Payby merchant network situated in the United Arab Emirates is now capable of accommodating six partner e-wallets of Alipay+. These e-wallets include those associated with China, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Italy.
Increasing international recognition of Abu Dhabi attracts investors and businesses and promotes the exchange of technologies and information. Concurrently, the Advantage Abu Dhabi Meetings & Incentives 2.0 program, which delivers value-added advantages to corporate groups selecting Abu Dhabi as their MICE destination, is being actively promoted by ADCEB. This initiative is directed at intermediaries and corporations. This development establishes Abu Dhabi as an appealing and practical option for incentive groups and meeting organisers, thereby enhancing the overall experience for these parties.
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