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ICCA Congress Delegates Support Dubai Charity

Pictured L-R; Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dennis Speet, acting CEO of ICCA and Dr. Manal Taryam, board member and CEO Noor Dubai Foundation

Delegates at the 57th ICCA Congress, taking place in Dubai later this year, will have the opportunity to support a local charity that prevents blindness and visual impairment globally, with organizers partnering with Noor Dubai Foundation on a number of initiatives.

Meetings industry professionals from around the world are set to descend on Dubai when the annual flagship event of the International Congress and Convention Association comes to the Middle East for the first time, Nov. 11-14. As with previous editions of the event, a strong corporate social responsibility element has been incorporated, allowing members to contribute to and raise awareness of a global cause.

In the morning of Nov. 12, the ICCA Charity Run’n’Walk will take place along the Arabian Gulf coastline at La Mer, Dubai’s newest beachfront entertainment, retail and dining district and a popular attraction for both residents and tourists. Meraas, the developer behind La Mer, will be official venue sponsor for the event, which is building on the first run at last year’s ICCA Congress in Prague. With the choice of a 3km run or a 1.5km walk, participants will be encouraged to make a donation to Noor Dubai Foundation.

In addition, throughout the congress delegates will have the opportunity to donate old pairs of glasses, including prescription glasses and sunglasses to Noor Dubai Foundation who will re-lens and distribute these to those in need through its mobile eye clinic campaigns.

“When Dubai bid for the ICCA Congress, we made it clear that there would be a robust CSR element, and partnering with Noor Dubai Foundation on these initiatives ensures we are able to live up that promise,” says Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing. “In choosing a charity to work with, the Local Host Committee was eager to select an organization that has an international reach and can make a direct impact on people’s lives, and crucially, we wanted to make sure that delegates could easily get involved. With these initiatives in partnership with Noor Dubai Foundation, we will be able to ensure that the event leaves a strong legacy and enable delegates and organizers to make a lasting impact.”

Launched as an initiative in 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, and later established as a non-governmental organization in 2010, Noor Dubai Foundation has touched the lives of over 27 million individuals across Africa and Asia through free treatment and preventive programs, including the provision of eyeglasses and medication.

“Funding prevention of blindness programs is a great opportunity for corporate social responsibility and we would like to thank ICCA and the Local Host Committee for their support,” says Dr. Manal Taryam, board member and CEO Noor Dubai Foundation. “Their contribution will greatly improve both the social and economic conditions of the individuals who will receive treatment through Noor Dubai programs.”

According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured and about 90 percent of the world’s visually impaired live in developing countries. Through its international mobile eye camp outreach program, Noor Dubai Foundation provides eye medical care in the form of vision screening, surgeries, and medication to those living in remote areas with minimal access to primary healthcare facilities.

ICCA Congress organizers have seen strong interest in the 57th edition of the event, with registrations outpacing previous editions. In addition to a strong core program taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre, the event will also feature a series of evening events to facilitate networking and cultural exchanges. Venues will include the Armani Pavilion at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Al Lisaili Desert Camp.

“Ensuring our annual Congress contains a strong, meaningful corporate social responsibility element has long been a central aim of our event planning strategy,” says Dennis Speet, acting CEO of ICCA. “As a result, we partner with charitable organizations in every Congress host destination, both to support local causes and allow our delegates the chance to give something back to the community that is so graciously hosting them. Our Local Host Committee and Noor Dubai Foundation have outdone themselves with the variety of initiatives they have planned for our 2018 Congress; they have made it incredibly easy for delegates to get involved in supporting the Foundation’s work at home and abroad. To maximize our impact on the charity’s cause, we will also make donations to Noor Dubai Foundation, replacing speaker and Local Host Committee gifts.”

The International Congress and Convention Association represents the world’s leading suppliers in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, and is comprised of 1,100 member companies and organizations in almost 100 countries worldwide. Since its establishment 55 years ago, ICCA specializes in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivaled data, communication channels and business development opportunities. ICCA members represent the top destinations worldwide, and the most experienced specialist suppliers. International meeting planners can rely on the ICCA network to find solutions for all their event objectives: venue selection; technical advice; assistance with delegate transportation; full convention planning or ad hoc services. ICCA’s head office is based in the Netherlands. ICCA’s regional offices are based in Malaysia, South Africa, U.A.E., U.S. and Uruguay. For more info, visit https://tinyurl.com/iccaeye2018.

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