Abu Dhabi is a key meetings and events destination

The UAE capital and the largest of the seven Emirates, Abu Dhabi has emerged as a global business centre with world-class infrastructure. As well as its city of Abu Dhabi – after which the Emirate is named – it boasts a collection of 200 islands located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, desert and mountain ranges. Altogether, you can see why the World Travel Awards dubbed it as the Middle East’s Leading Business Travel Destination 2022.

Home to more than 200 nationalities, Abu Dhabi is a contemporary and cosmopolitan destination. Thanks to its focus on innovation and business development, and investment into oil, gas, telecommunications, culture and tourism, the city is a hub of connectivity, creativity and global collaboration.

Abu Dhabi is rapidly unlocking its Meetings, Events, Incentives and Exhibitions (MICE) potential. Following the Abu Dhabi Business Events Week in late 2022, organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi’s aim to fully establish itself as a leader in the meetings and events arena was solidified.

What does abu dhabi offer groups, meetings and events?

When considering Abu Dhabi as a meetings destination, its capability in being one of the best destinations for events can be evidenced in the number of large-scale successful conferences, meetings and incentive programmes it has already hosted.

“Throughout 2022 Abu Dhabi proved to be the power capital of the UAE. It hosted many annual events including energy summits, media and medical conferences, as well as world policy programmes,” Reed & Mackay Asia Pacific Strategic Operations Director Gary Chakraborty says.

He believes that Abu Dhabi’s past success in hosting key events, alongside the quality of hotel and business facilities, and amenities on offer for conferences and exhibitions, global companies are enthusiastic to hold their annual conferences and events in Abu Dhabi.

“The MICE industry in Abu Dhabi is expected to have an organic growth of 6.5% year on year over the next five years,” he says. This is in line with DCT Abu Dhabi’s ultimate strategy for 2023: “To enhance the Emirates position as a global leader in business events” by bringing insights and experience to the region from a vast array of global industry experts, as identified by Business Traveller.

Why should you consider abu dhabi as an event destination?

Abu Dhabi’s is well connected with many world-class facilities

·        Location

Meeting planners will find it’s well served by international flights; around 30 airlines operate flights to more than 120 destinations from Abu Dhabi International Airport. This makes Abu Dhabi both accessible and an ideal global hub for international company events. And its state-of-the-art public transportation system connects across the Emirate, permitting efficient travel to and from event venues.

·        Facilities/Experience

Its renowned Arabian hospitality, culture and abundance of facilities. Whether you’re seeking a corporate-style hotel offering onsite meeting rooms and hotel rooms, or one with an in-built waterpark, Abu Dhabi has many options to make your event memorable. 

Now is the time to venture into the MICE space in Abu Dhabi, adds Chakraborty. “Many global clients have already established hubs away from the UAE, therefore, as a new destination and experience, Abu Dhabi offers better rates from partners in support of the Abu Dhabi vision, wider connectivity and venue availability.”

a commitment to sustainability

Mangrove kayaking. Image provided by The Department of Culture & Tourism, Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi was the first country in the GCC region – the Gulf Arab states – to commit to a distinct net-zero target by 2050. Both regionally and globally, the destination invests in sustainable initiatives such as carbon capturing, decarbonisation and green hydrogen production.

In terms of its role as a global MICE hub, business events also hold great value and opportunity for the tourism ecosystem of Abu Dhabi.

Sustainability projects within the travel industry, run by national carrier Etihad Airways, are paving the way in environmental advocacy and reducing travel’s impact on the planet. Voted environmental airline of the year in the Airline Excellence Awards, Etihad Airways projects include ecoFlights and the Etihad Greenliner programme. Since these projects launched two years ago, 72% of CO2 emissions have been reduced through operational efficiencies and 67% carbon intensity reduction per guest on board.

Overall, this year Abu Dhabi is poised to bring new expansions, implement exciting strategies, and primed to set new benchmarks for an even stronger MICE offering.


Contact our Groups, Meetings & Events team today.


Reed & Mackay has recently opened an office in Abu Dhabi, as it continues to expand in the UAE.