Countdown to Dubai 2003

Dubai`s most massive event to date takes place in September next year when the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund come to town for their annual meeting, thereby confirming Dubai`s place at the crossroads of the global economy.

The gathering, on September 23 and 24 2003, is the world`s leading economic and business event and is taking place in the Middle East for the first time, bringing with it challenges and opportunities.

Dubai 2003 is the name given both to the World Bank/IMF meeting and the organisation set up by the Dubai Government to organise it under the chiarmanship of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and UAE Minister for Finance and Industry.

Sheikh Hamdan has said:“This gathering creates a tremendous opportunity to communicate with the world`s business leaders about the promise of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.”

Ibrahim Belselah, General Coordinator of Dubai 2003, recently attended a meeting of airline and freight company representatives called by Rashid Al Noori, chairman of Dubai 2003`s International Transport and Freight Services Committee, one of 10 management committees handling different aspects of organisation.


Mr Belselah commented: “This is a unique opportunity for Dubai to reach the key global decision makers and to show what we have to offer. Our aim is to affirm the credibility of our financial stability and to market Dubai as one of the fastest developing financial centres in the world.”

Mr Al Noori called on all companies present to ensure their head offices were fully briefed and to provide full support to ensure the Dubai 2003`s success. “Dubai 2003 will showcase Dubai for hotel, travel, exhibition and convention business; place the UAE and its cities in the first division of cities worldwide; provide a major expenditure boost across all areas of business and create a lasting legacy of world class expertise and experience,” he said.

Airlines will have opportunities for product and service delivery, pricing, promotions and distribution. Delegates will require special procedures for immigration on arrival and check-in on departure, diplomat and VIP protocol to be observed, special handling and services, special lounge services, special baggage handling, reconfirmation of bookings and hotel transfers, Mr Al Noori pointed out.

Freight companies will handle shipments for Dubai 2003 that will include 50 tons of equipment arriving by air plus four container-loads coming by sea in the two months leading up to the meeting.

The numbers involved in Dubai 2003 are stunning. Some 20,000 delegates and journalists are expected to come to Dubai, including 20 heads of state, Government Ministers, delegates and media. They will begin to arrive around one week before the meeting, with final departures taking place two weeks afterwards.

Some 57 hotels (27 five-star and 30 four-star) are committed to accommodating delegates and 6,000 people in all will be involved in looking after them.

To accommodate the meeting, Dubai is constructing a purpose-built Conference Centre, located by the World Trade Centre, comprising a 6,000-seater auditorium, 13-storey office tower, four-star hotel with 412 rooms and a business hotel with 210 rooms. It represents an investment of over Dh600 million (over US$163 million) and will be ready by January 2003.

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