Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, chief executive officer of Expo Centre Sharjah, has been elected as chairman of the Arabian Gulf Chapter of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the association for the global exhibition industry.
IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organisers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organisers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE.
The recognition for Expo Centre Sharjah and its CEO comes a few months after Al Midfa was elected as the first vice chairman for the Middle East/African Chapter of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Paris.
He commented: “It is an honour for both me and Expo Centre Sharjah. It is the regional chapters that spearhead the front-line operations of the IAEE and offer superior networking and educational opportunities to members. We will now be able to play a significant role in extending benefits in education, research, statistics and general exposure for members of the chapter."
Expo Centre Sharjah’s close association with IAEE can be traced back to 2008, when the Arabian Gulf Chapter, although set up in 1997, was formally inaugurated at ECS. The Arabian Gulf Chapter has had an office at ECS since then.
Globally, IAEE is composed of 1,300 members (organisations) and over 9,000 member representatives (individuals), while the Arabian Gulf Chapter has 30 members. Its CEM programme provides a globally recognised professional title for those in the exhibition and event industry, besides helping build business and technical knowledge that holds practical value in the marketplace. Al Midfa will play a key role in extending the reach of IAEE’s Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) programme in the GCC region’s $1.3 billion Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Event (MICE) industry.
He said: “Today, within the region, we host some of the most prestigious events and exhibitions. Besides, we are also getting ready to host mega events like the World Expo 2020 and the FIFA World Cup 2022. The MICE industry here is growing fast to keep pace with these developments. We see major expansion of venues and other facilities, launch of more trade events and a rise in the workforce. Through its activities and education programmes, the IAEE Arabian Gulf Chapter will be able to deliver better results for its regional members."