Abu Dhabi eyes India’s MICE pie

Mubarak Al Shamisi, Director, Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, says India being largest MICE source market for Abu Dhabi in 2022, they have been revamping their earlier initiatives and launched Advantage Abu Dhabi Meetings & Incentives 2.0 programme.

Janice Alyosius

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi participated at the India Roadshow in Delhi and Mumbai, promoting the emirate as a destination for MICE travel. Coinsiding with the events, Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, the agency representing the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, unveiled its Advantage Abu Dhabi (AAD) Meetings & Incentives (M&I) 2.0 programme to stimulate MICE activities to the region and offer more “value-adds and additional benefits” to the stakeholders in order to become more competitive. Post-pandemic, the bureau has adapted its approach to MICE activities, revamping previous initiatives and creatively joining forces with partners to drive further growth.

AAD M&I 2.0 programme

AAD M&I 2.0 programme is an incentive scheme created by the Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau. “The scheme is created to help our partners, clients to push more business events toward the destination. The scheme itself has so many different verticals into it that focus on different elements of the MICE industry. India is one of the most important source markets that we are pushing from a MICE perspective to the destination. We made sure the incentive schemes of Abu Dhabi Convention Exhibition Bureau are tailor-made for the source markets,” revealed Mubarak Al Shamisi, Director, Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

Tapping MICE segment in India

The bureau has conducted meetings in India that reflect the strong MICE demand coming from the country into the destination. The incentive programme was made to strengthen the partnerships with clients in India, and to provide a tool to help them bring in more events to the destination. “The programme is tailor-made to the needs of our clients and how we can provide extra support to them to have a great value for their clients, who are coming to the destination, and at the same time supporting the agencies that bring clients to the destination,” he said.

Outlook for Indian market

Emphasising on the outlook for Indian market, Shamisi said, “India is an important source market for Abu Dhabi; cooperate and incentive business from India is very strong. We have started focusing on destination weddings also, which is also an important segment that we are looking into.”

MICE trends

The trends have changed post-pandemic and there is a need for the industry to be flexible and adapt the changes. The Abu Dhabi bureau is working to understand the new trends. They are engaging with their clients and getting their feedback to understand how can they help them make business events earlier coming to the destination rebound strongly. “The negotiations with our clients in India and other source markets resulted in the creation of the 2.0 incentive scheme of Abu Dhabi. The aim is to be very customised and cater to their requirements in the current situation. The industry has come back strongly, we have seen a lot of appeals, a lot of demand from the Indian market coming into the destination from the business events perspective, and this is something really positive for the destination. Now, we are working with our clients, we are here in India in the three major cities in India – New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai – to focus on our clients, to see them face to face here,” said Shamisi.

Incentivising trade

Speaking about the AAD M&I 2.0 programme, Shamisi said that the incentive programme is an umbrella of the incentive scheme. It provides different incentives for different clients. “When we say clients, we go directly to the groups who are coming and incentivising them. We are also incentivising the travel agencies that are working with us to strongly push Abu Dhabi. The mechanism and the way the incentive programme is being implemented makes sure that they get some benefits of driving the business towards the destination. In Abu Dhabi, we recognise loyalty and value partnership,” he said.

Tapping wedding segment

Shamisi said, “We are in the final stages of launching our wedding destination strategy, which we will announce soon. Destination wedding has been rewarding for Oman in the past years; we have seen a lot of weddings happening in the country to an extent that we need to recognise it, we need to work closely with clients, wedding planners and families to create an ecosystem that looks appealing for the destination weddings.”


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