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Dubai welcomes first ever BestCities Global Forum

Dubai Business Events in collaboration with the BestCities Global Alliance and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), inaugurated the first ever BestCities Global Forum today.

Dubai Business Events in collaboration with the BestCities Global Alliance and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), inaugurated the first ever BestCities Global Forum today. Dubai is proud to host the first event of its kind organised by the global alliance, set to pave the way for future collaboration among the industry.


BestCities Global Alliance, a strategic collaboration between 11 of the world’s premier meeting destinations, kicked off the BestCities Global Forum today at the JW Marriot Marquis and will continue until the 7th of December. The BestCities Global Forum presents the ideal learning environment for senior association executives responsible for organising international events. The unique and stimulating forum is guaranteed to educate and inspire delegates to create a lasting legacy for their organisation, while also generating new opportunities for future collaboration with peers from around the world. The Forum is pleased to have over 35 international association executives in attendance, including World Autism Organization, International Society of Endocrinology, International Astronautical Federation and SWIFT; in addition to all 11 BestCities partner cities.

Day one revolved around an impressive programme that featured welcoming remarks from Ahmad Al Falasi, CEO of Corporate Services and Investment at Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, thought leadership sessions around the importance of creating legacies facilitated by Philip Davies, President, EMEA Siegle + Gale and Michael Foreman, Founder of Kindology. The day also included presentations about Dubai from four perspectives: business, travel, tourism & hospitality and healthcare featuring HE Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline.

The Forum comes at a time where Dubai’s reputation for holding world-class business events is steadily growing, a strong testament to the cooperation which exists between the government and the business events industry in the Emirate. The BestCities Global Forum is just one example of the significant strides Dubai Business Events is making in the field.

Paul Vallee, Managing Director of BestCities Global Alliance said: “We’re thrilled to be in such great company as we launch the first BestCities Global Forum today. With an extremely high-calibre of speakers and representatives from our 11 partner cities in attendance, associations attending can tap into their collective knowledge and experience, gaining invaluable insight into how they can partner with destinations to advance the purpose of meetings, beyond delegate numbers to long-term impact and legacy development.”

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: The BestCities Global Alliance is a unique example of how cooperation among the world’s top meetings destinations is facilitating knowledge sharing and enabling growth in industries that are playing a crucial role in Dubai’s vision for the future. Not only is this partnership inspiring innovation locally, as an organisation it also ensures we are able to offer our international clients much deeper insights into the experiences of our cities. Over the course of the next three days, attendees will have the chance to hear from thought leaders who are shaping our intellectual infrastructure and to familiarise themselves with Dubai’s state-of-the-art meeting facilities and services.”

Over the course of the week, the Forum feature thought provoking sessions from speakers including: Dr Tommy Weir, Speaker and Professor of Hult International Business School; Oliver Martin, a stakeholder engagement strategist, specialising in destination development; Philip Davies, President of strategic brand consultancy EMEA Siegel + Gale and Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operations Officer, PCMA.

The Forum is set to cover a range of relevant topics such as advancing the purpose of international association meetings through long-term legacy development, improving the benefits of association meetings to the host community and creating strategic partnerships with destinations.

Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operating Officer, PCMA, said: “After being involved with the education content development of the BestCities Global Forum, we’re thrilled to see such an excellent lineup of speakers here with us in Dubai this week. This Forum will be a great opportunity for all of us to learn from one another about long term legacy creation and strategic partnerships while experiencing all of what Dubai has to offer for business events.”

In doing so, Dubai Business Events – the official convention bureau for Dubai gains ground in its goal to further develop and increase Dubai’s share of the international business events market to spur innovation, create job opportunities and develop an economy that is prosperous and knowledge based.