INTERNATIONAL : How Abu Dhabi is Approaching Meetings and Events in 2020
SkiftX: Attendees want more than flat business events; they want event experiences. What does Abu Dhabi offer to planners designing event experiences in the year 2020?
Ali Hassan Al Shaiba: Authentic local experiences combine entertainment and education. As such, we always involve a local committee in co-creating content and experiences (i.e., panel discussions, delegate hospitality experiences). For example, pearling is intertwined with Abu Dhabi’s history and heritage, and business delegates can enjoy a pre- or post-event tour. Another is Falcon Hospital, which educates delegates on the local history and culture of falconry.
Abu Dhabi also offers visitors a chance to unwind after business events by experiencing extraordinary destinations and activities. The Empty Quarter is the largest and least explored sand desert on earth, a passage between old Arabia and the modern United Arab Emirates, and features glamping festivals with an astronomer.
SkiftX: One of the biggest event trends in 2020 is a shift toward data-driven events and decision-making. As a leader in technology, what can Abu Dhabi offer to planners trying to collect more data for improving their events and event experiences?
Al Shaiba: As data and analytics are essential to businesses achieving their ambitions, Abu Dhabi has invested significantly in data integration by developing advanced data warehousing capabilities to allow a centralized daily view from more than 80 tourism-related data sources. Moreover, we’re in the process of further integrating unstructured marketing data sets to inform strategies that engage visitors in Abu Dhabi’s authentic experience journey.