AI disruptions and legacies on agenda as global and regional association leaders prepare for 4th Dubai Association Conference

AI disruptions and legacies will be on the main agenda at the fourth edition of the Dubai Association Conference 2024 from 27 – 28 February at Dubai World Trade Center, which is set to host a transformative gathering of association executives, stakeholders, government officials and strategic partners, with the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), digital disruptions and legacy planning all on the agenda. The event will provide a global platform that will delve into innovative strategies, best practices, and collaborative approaches, to amplify the influence of associations.

The fourth edition of the flagship event of the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) aims to create a path for associations to be at the forefront of value creation, both within and beyond their membership. Participants will learn successful member engagement strategies and sustainable practices to enhance their societal contributions and build a lasting legacy. The event also offers a packed schedule of lively discussions, networking breaks, peer-to-peer sharing, and fireside chats that will explore association life and long-term plans within the dynamic context of Dubai.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment said: “The association sector plays a vital role in today’s world as a key driver of positive change, and the DAC Conference will strengthen its impact. Themes and key topics at the conference – such as member engagement strategies, technology-driven tools, sustainable practices and ethical governance – are all important priorities for associations and will support them in their roles as agents of positive change by tackling societal challenges through collaboration and advocacy. This is complemented by a strong line-up of speakers, who will deliver insights on trade and investment opportunities for sustainable economic and social development. Dubai’s strategic position and dynamic vision make it a global association hub – and this vital conference will amplify how to leverage this for future growth.”

Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chambers, commented: “Dubai’s rapid transformation from a bustling trading port to a leading global hub of commerce, innovation, and culture stands as a testament to the power of vision, determination, and collaboration. The establishment of the Dubai Association Centre embodies this spirit and reflects Dubai’s ecosystem of diverse cultures, ideas, and ambitions. Dubai Chambers’ support for the annual DAC Conference comes as part of our continuing efforts to expand global trade relations, champion sustainable business practices, and nurture the growth of local businesses. Associations play a vital role in business communities, and the fourth edition of this conference creates a valuable platform to strengthen connections, build new partnerships, and shape the future of the business world.”

The stellar line up of key speakers includes Hoda Barakat, President, International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property National Group (AIPPI-UAE); David Macadam, Chief Executive Officer, MECS+R; Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General, International Association of Public Transport (UITP); and Philip K. Bell, President, Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA). They will be joined by local and international association leaders, such as Alaa Al Boali, Executive Director, Middle East Facility Management Association; Vicky Koffa, Deputy Director, Boardroom; and Anju Gomes, Middle East Regional Director, ICCA.

Speakers providing their insights as thought leaders in the association and meetings sectors will include: Mike van der Vijver, Conference Facilitator, MindMeeting; Geneviève Leclerc, Co-founder and CEO, #Meet4Impact; Martin Sirk, CEO, Sirk Serendipity; and Amy Hissrich, Vice President of International Affairs, ASAE.

Key sessions include ‘Society’s Shapers: Associations Leaving a Lasting Economic Legacy’, which will delve into how associations can gain a clearer understanding of their societal and economic impact and learn effective communication strategies; focusing on mission, legacy, impact, and value.

The impact of AI is being felt across various aspects of organisational functioning, including associations. ‘AI for Associations’ will address AI’s potential contribution to associations, including personalising member services, data analysis, chatbots, virtual assistants, and predictive analytics, among others. The session will explore practical AI implementation with Veemal Gungadin, Co-founder and CEO, Gevme, who has successfully harnessed AI in his organization.

‘Dealing with Disruptions’ will offer a blueprint for associations to navigate uncertainty, including geopolitics, climate change, shifts in employer-employee dynamics, and leadership paradigms, to enhance their resilience. ‘Navigating an Association in Dubai’ will feature a panel of distinguished DAC members who will share diverse experiences and practical takeaways.

DAC founders His Excellency Helal Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, and His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, will participate in a lively fireside chat to discuss the bigger role that associations play in global society and how to position the association sector as a key driver of positive change. They will set the scene for the Conference offering an engaging exploration of the core of association life, unveiling a vision for the future of associations, the economy, and society itself, all within the dynamic context of Dubai.

In addition, the conference will feature the Oracle Awards to celebrate an individual who has offered the most valuable suggestions to their colleagues, and a participant who has demonstrated outstanding listening skills.

Dubai Association Centre is a gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies – offering an ideal setting for global associations to expand within industries across the Middle East, and beyond. Since it was launched in 2014 by Dubai Chambers, the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism and the Dubai World Trade Centre, it has protected the interests of regional and global associations that operate in Dubai. As a result, associations can benefit from economies of scale, experience in the association marketplace, flexibility and adaptability, buying power and centralised facilities of the Dubai Association Centre.