Makkah: The destination of "Meetings & Conventions Industry"

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Makkah: Saudi Arabia's conventions industry statistics last year, conducted by the Saudi Exhibition & Convention Bureau shows that Makkah is the second most business focused district after Riyadh. Many specialists stress that the Holy City of Makkah is capable and competitive in attracting international and regional meetings and conferences given the high standards that the city immensely enjoys. This is evident in the presence of international hotels with advanced capabilities and infrastructure supporting the industry.Hotel FacilitiesThe General Manager of Jabal Omar Hilton Makkah and Convention Center, Motasem Al-Allaf, said that the city of Makkah is more than ever equipped to support the convention industry, having luxurious hotels and strategic locations as well as its extensive experience in hosting large numbers of pilgrims during the Umrah and Hajj seasons.

The United Nations Secretariat's International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities defines the "Conventions & Meetings Industry" as a specialized business activity that provides a supportive service to governments, corporations and organizations of various activities. The definition of the Joint Meeting Industry Council explains that it consists of a wide range of organizers, suppliers and facilities engaged in the development, planning and execution of business events held to achieve a range of professional, commercial, cultural, academic and medical goals. Mr. Al-Allaf further emphasized that the Holy City of Makkah is able to play a bigger role in attracting the industry of meetings & conventions due to its ability and readiness to serve all kinds of meetings and local and international gatherings. "What gives the city of Makkah a different quality from other Saudi cities in this sector is shown in its significance as the Muslims ultimate destination for religious tourism. Therefore, many governmental and non-governmental bodies and organizations are looking at this pure spot as a fruitful opportunity for business meetings with the practice of worship in the House of Allah, which stands as one of its most distinctive strengths,” he affirms.

The Jabal Omar Hilton Makkah and Convention Center is the largest conference and meeting facility in the Holy City of Makkah. It is an ideal environment with the latest audiovisual technology and a flexible area of 3,500m2. It includes 8 meeting rooms and multi-purpose management boards, as well as a 1,650m2 ballroom which can house 300 delegates. Jabal Omar Hilton Makkah and Convention Center is located in the center of Makkah in the area of Jabal Omar, a short distance from Al-Ka’aba and 60 minutes from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. According to the official website of the Saudi Exhibition & Convention Bureau, the Kingdom has recognized the importance of developing the Conventions and Meeting industry and diversifying its economic base. It can generate huge revenues that contribute significantly to the GDP, becoming a key engine for the national economy. The city of Makkah enjoys several distinct characteristics such as its strategic location, the center and haven for all Muslims around the world, being a pioneering economic driving force, its civilization and history and strong infrastructure. All of which gives the Holy City of Makkah of the Muslim World, the opportunity to be one of the most influential business hubs in the region.