OMAN EXPLORES USA FOR CONVENTION OPPORTUNITIES

OMAN EXPLORES USA FOR CONVENTION OPPORTUNITIES
Oman’s standing as a new, emerging destination for international business events was explored at the recent IMEX America convention and meetings industry tradeshow.

An Omani delegation lead by the country’s government-mandated organisation, Omran, which oversees the development of significant tourism infrastructure projects attended the event to ensure the country’s readiness leading up to the completion of its cornerstone project, the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in 2016.

Omran CEO, Mr. Wael Al Lawati, said the objective of the visit was to understand the globalisation strategies of international organisations based in North America, determine how Oman can be part of this and also meet with other countries to share their experiences.

Since its debut into the North American market last year, IMEX America has recorded a 30% growth in exhibitor participation from 140 countries and 2,400 hosted buyers in attendance in 2012.

“Our venue operator, AEG Ogden co-ordinated meetings with the executives of the peak convention industry bodies to learn and understand what are the essential elements and services required to win the confidence of the North American meeting planners to choose Oman and implement a strategy to support our capacity building.

“Whilst it is important to have all the infrastructure in place, it is also essential that the Omani community are fully prepared to offer the level of services that is required to host world-class events.

“It is no use building international-standard venues, resorts and hotels if we do not fully understand the exact needs of these key decision makers and have the ability to entice their participants to attend and stay a few extra days to explore Oman’s natural beauty and diversity. Omran is focused on developing environmentally sustainable projects, to ensure that every person leaves our shores with the desire to return again and again with their family and friends,” Mr Al Lawati said.

He said the visit was also significant, given the historical treaty of friendship and trade that was signed between the Sultanate of Oman and the United States in 1833.

“Here we are, almost 180 years later, introducing Oman to the US as a new, but significant business events destination,” he said.

Accompanying Mr Al Lawati were Ambassador Richard Baltimore, an advisor to the Board and former US Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman and Ms Rochelle Uechtritz, Group Manager, Convention Sales Development with AEG Ogden.

Ms Uechtritz said about 23 percent of international associations were headquartered in North America and given the already strong trade partnerships between the two nations, it was only fitting to expand on these relations by attracting international conventions.

“Omanis have been actively involved in international and regional associations for decades and have been asked to host many of the world’s most prestigious congresses, however that has not been possible until the development of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre,” she said.

While in the US, Ms Uechtritz also participated in the annual two-day Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Global Professional Conference aimed at creating stronger awareness and knowledge of Oman to more than 40 international meeting planners.

About the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre
Strategically positioned in the Sultanate’s capital city of Muscat, the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is located only four kilometres from Muscat International Airport and is scheduled for completion in 2016.

The design of the Centre will ensure a flow of the meetings space to suit the most discerning conference and exhibition organisers. It also incorporated expansive concourse areas to enable ease of large delegations with floor to ceiling windows overlooking landscaped gardens and water features.

The Centre will feature an elaborate tiered auditorium to seat 3,200 while the exhibition halls will feature 22,000 square metres of column-free exhibition space. Halls 1 and 2 will have a superior fit out, specialised acoustic treatment, advanced lighting and rigging requirements to act as a multi-purpose space for plenary sessions, concerts, performances, gala events on a larger scale of up to 10,000 seated, theatre-style.

The Centre will also include an additional 14 meeting rooms for 70-360 delegates, two well-appointed ballrooms to seat up to 2,360, VIP Pavilion, a spacious food-court and a multi-storey carpark with capacity for 4,000 vehicles.

The Precinct will provide the infrastructure necessary to host successful international, regional and local events and for the enjoyment of the community. These include a five star hotel linked to the convention centre, two four star, and a three star hotel and apartments with a combined total of 1,000 rooms. A business park and retail shopping mall surrounded by parklands overlooking a Wadi (valley) and elevated sea views are also part of this picturesque precinct. http://www.omanconvention.com

About AEG Ogden
AEG Ogden is a joint venture between Australian interests and AEG Facilities of the United States. AEG Ogden manages venues throughout the Asia Pacific region, including the Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Kuala Lumpur and Qatar convention centres and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (under construction), Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, five live theatres including Perth’s His Majesty’s Theatre, the Perth Concert Hall and Subiaco Arts Centre, and a network of arenas including Sydney’s Allphones Arena, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, and the Perth Arena (currently under construction). http://www.aegogden.com

AEG, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports, entertainment and venue operator in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone affiliate of AEG, owns, operates or consults with 100 of the industry’s pre-eminent venues worldwide, across five continents, and works in concert with affiliated AEG entities, including live event producer, AEG Live, AEG Global Partnerships and AEG Development to support the success of AEG venues across the globe. AEG owns, operates or provides services to venues including STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, Calif.), The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.), Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Los Angeles, Calif.), Citizens Business Bank Arena (Ontario, Calif.), Valley View Casino Center, (San Diego, Calif); Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.), XL Center and Rentschler Field (Hartford, Conn) The Rose Garden (Portland, Ore.), KeyArena (Seattle, Wash.), KFC YUM! Center (Louisville, Ky.), American Airlines Arena (Miami, Fla.), AT&T Center (San Antonio, Tx.), Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte, N.C.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.), Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), MastercardCenter (Beijing, China), The O2 Arena (London, England), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Pernambuco Stadium (Recife, Brazil), Allphones Arena, (Sydney Aust), Globe Arenas (Stockholm, Sweden), Turk Telekom Arena (Istanbul, Turkey) and the Qatar National Convention Centre (Doha, Qatar). For more information, visit http://www.aegworldwide.com.

For more information contact:
Rochelle Uechtritz
AEG Ogden Group Manager, Convention Sales Development
E: ruechtritz@aegogden.com | M: +61 400253392 | +968 9221 3154

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