The Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB) reaffirmed its commitment to further developing the emirate’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector with the renewal of its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China MICE Advisory Group at a signing ceremony recently at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The China MICE Advisory Group, a committee of key Chinese MICE trade partners and media, was established by ADCEB in 2019 to gain insights into MICE and business travel trends unique to the dynamic Chinese market. As the first-ever dedicated advisory committee in China created in partnership with ADCEB, its formation reflects ADCEB’s proactive approach to engaging with the growing outbound MICE sector from China.
The China market ranks among Abu Dhabi’s top source markets for tourism and MICE, reflecting a strong bilateral relationship. As the demand for outbound MICE in China increases, approaching levels comparable to the country’s outbound leisure market, a substantial surge in outbound Chinese MICE is expected in 2024.
H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General for Tourism, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said, “Our thriving partnerships with China and a proven track record of attracting tourists and business travellers to Abu Dhabi underscores the strength of this partnership. This renewal will enable us to continue to share knowledge and strategically plan for our tourism future, in line with our commitment to promoting and preserving the emirate’s heritage, culture and tourism assets. Our continued collaboration empowers our efforts while significantly contributing to the growth of inbound visitors from China, solidifying Abu Dhabi as a destination of choice globally.”
As part of Abu Dhabi’s broader efforts to boost international MICE arrivals from China, the partnership aims to incentivise MICE visitors to prolong their stays in the UAE capital. Simultaneously, it seeks to promote awareness of the capital’s distinctive attractions and its exceptional capacity for hosting world-leading business events.
In August 2023, the UAE officially joined the BRICS group, further amplifying its status and opening avenues for strategic trade partnerships, particularly with China. This membership brings enhanced economic cooperation and global business recognition, acting as a catalyst for business events and conferences in Abu Dhabi. The benefits span increased trade and investment opportunities, participation in multilateral platforms, and a diversification of international partnerships.
Chinese tourists with a valid passport can enter the UAE visa-free and stay for 30 days. Abu Dhabi businesses are incorporating an array of initiatives to support Chinese visitors, including seamless and convenient digital payment experiences. For example, the recent collaboration (October 2023) between WeChat Pay and Magnati has empowered businesses in Abu Dhabi to integrate WeChat Pay through the Magnati platform. In another development, Alipay+ has been introduced in nearly 7,000 taxis across Abu Dhabi as of November 2023, courtesy of a partnership between Alipay+ and Payby/Astra Tech. This collaboration ensures that the Payby merchant network based in the UAE can now accept six partner e-wallets of Alipay+, catering to tourists from China, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Italy.
Abu Dhabi’s visibility on the global stage is on the rise, drawing businesses and investors and fostering knowledge and technology exchange. ADCEB, in parallel, is actively promoting the Advantage Abu Dhabi Meetings & Incentives 2.0 programme, targeted at corporates and intermediaries, offering value-added benefits to corporate groups choosing Abu Dhabi as their MICE destination. Elevating the overall experience for meeting planners and incentive groups, it positions Abu Dhabi as an attractive and convenient choice for both incentive groups and meeting planners.