The newly opened Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, is fast transforming Qatar’s meetings and events industry to be a global premier business destination. Already, the centre has hosted a number of high-profile events and, to date, 52 events with more than 30,000 visitors have been hosted there. The estimated delegate spend from overseas visitors is over QR41 million (US$11.2 million).
This year, the Centre will play host to a number of prestigious international events including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIII), April 21-26, and the 25th Universal Postal Congress (UPU) in September and October 2012.
The upcoming quadrennial UNCTAD XIII is expected to attract a minimum of 4,000 delegates from around the world including high profile political figures from the Arab region and ministers and dignitaries from the European Union. This is the first time the conference will have been hosted in the region and it will be preceded by a series of events, among which are the third World Investment Forum, Civil Society Forum and Global Services Forum to be attended by global corporations, non-governmental organisations and government officials.
Trevor McCartney, Director of Business Development of QNCC announced that QNCC is hosting one of the largest and most highprofile conferences in the world, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18) from November 26 to December 7. He said, “This is a challenging event but at the same time, it poses a great opportunity for QNCC to take centre stage in showcasing its capabilities and flexibility as the host venue. The success of this event will put us in a superior position to attract many more large conferences and exhibitions to the country.”
McCartney added, “QNCC was built as part of Qatar Foundation’s strategies, in line with Qatar’s national vision of transforming the country into a knowledge-based economy. Naturally, our key target market is the association market – specifically knowledge-based conferences and exhibitions from the MENA region. We recently concluded a familiarisation trip for a group of potential association clients and received very positive feedback.”
According to Qatar Tourism Authority, the country recorded a massive jump in the number of visitors in 2011. Visitation from the Gulf soared 50 percent compared to the previous year along with 12 percent growth from international visitors.
Business tourism accounted for 72 percent of visitors received by Qatar last year.