Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC), the Sultanate’s landmark business events hub, revealed its latest 3D structures and aerial drone images in the lead up to the opening in 2016 at a press conference held in IMEX Frankfurt 2015.
OCEC General Manager Trevor McCartney said that the opening of the Exhibition Halls and hospitality suites will be a truly memorable occasion, changing the face of events in the region and putting the global spotlight on Oman as the new Centre of opportunity.
“Our collaboration with the Oman Ministry of Tourism at IMEX over the last four years, and this most recent one in particular, has showcased the Sultanate as a formidable international events destination and intellectual knowledge hub, with the OCEC as its driving force and catalyst,” explained McCartney.
Oman’s current meetings and conventions industry offer, ahead of the opening of the OCEC, was recently endorsed when it was ranked, for the first time, in the top 80 countries worldwide, by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) – one of the most preeminent global meetings organizations. The attraction of Oman as a business events destination has also been underpinned by the latest statistics from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, placing Oman at an impressive 9th position out of 141 countries worldwide under the security and safety criteria.
Sharing the statistics at an IMEX media conference, the OCEC General Manager said “The most recent WTTC report on Oman, and indeed the many international accolades the Sultanate has received in the last year, is a positive affirmation of Oman’s tourism strategy. Striving to become a pioneer in business events in the Arabian Gulf, the OCEC is enormously proud to be a major force in the momentum of the industry.”
Indeed, as well as creating 8 percent of the 72,000 jobs created in the travel and tourism sector by 2025, the OCEC with its surrounding precinct, is expected to contribute well over USD 400 million to GDP by the same year . In addition, the OCEC will be the impetus for a multitude of opportunities for SMEs in areas of food and beverage supplies, equipment hire, transportation, IT support, design and printing and event production.
According to HE Dr. Ali bin Masood Al Sunaidy, Chairman of Omran, the government mandated organization for the development of major tourism projects in Oman – “The OCEC plays a key role in the Government’s vision for the diversification of the national economy and stands as the centerpiece of Oman’s business development program. The development will position the Sultanate as a major venue for regional and international events and in doing so, will increase Oman’s business tourism offerings and strengthen the sector at large.”
The interest generated at IMEX, along with the global conventions that have already been confirmed and are in process, are a resounding endorsement of the OCEC’s Business Development Team’s on-going efforts. These efforts have included identifying, researching and verifying over 3,000 international meetings as potential clients for the Centre, of these, the team is currently focusing on in excess of one hundred particularly strong possibilities. Agreements already signed with Oman’s top three local exhibition organizers mean that in its inaugural year, the Centre will welcome an impressive 200,000 visitors.