As one of the world’s hottest major events locations, the Arabian Gulf is poised to shine on a global stage by hosting a series of high-profile mass gatherings over the next five years, to include Dubai’s Expo 2020 and Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022.
Government officials agree that major events play a significant role in the development of every city and country by elevating social and economic indexes, fuelling a sense of community and providing opportunities for employment and revenue generation.
Still, the primary role of any government is to provide for the protection of its people, and major events do present significant safety and security challenges, as much as they allow for destinations to show the world their very best sides.
One of the most important implications for hosts of events is how to mitigate the risks regarding safety and security because both a positive, and potentially negative, experience can have significant reputational impact and therefore global economic consequences.
“Gulf authorities will be ready for any possible safety or security threat, because they are meticulous about their planning and preparation,” said Meline Eolmezian-Soulie, Group Exhibition Director of the Security & Safety Portfolio at Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading event organizer.
“In just over three years’ time, more than 25 million visitors will descend on Dubai for Expo2020, with more than one million expected for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022. Using their experience with the International Exhibition for National Security and Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi), Reed has been asked to create an exclusive and dedicated forum addressing safety and security for major events, a unique new concept that connects end-users with solutions providers and experts,” Eolmezian-Soulie added, referencing the Major Events Safety & Security Summit, organised by Reed Exhibitions, in collaboration with Major Events International (MEI) which will run from 25 to 27 April 2017 in Dubai.
It is well known that the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda aims to make the UAE the safest place in the world. The country has invested heavily in its homeland security and infrastructure to reinforce its citizens’ sense of security and has affirmed a strong commitment to achieving leading positions in the areas of emergency preparedness, reliability of police services, and road safety. As the UAE is constantly evolving, so too are its safety and security needs, and, thus, the need for innovation and knowledge sharing in the industry has never been greater.
“Dubai Police and its concerned committees are constantly developing comprehensive strategic security and safety plans for any major events to take place in the emirate. The impact of all potential threats, from traditional fire or traffic congestion up to more advanced cyber malware or terrorist attack are enhanced by the fact that major events are driving massive crowds and getting special media exposure. Delivering safe and secure events is the top priority for our department, taking into serious consideration all required prevention, responses and resilience counter measures for any emergency situations,” said Brigadier Abdulla Ali Al Ghaithi, Director General of the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency at Dubai Police.
“Major Events Safety and Security Summit (ME3S) reflects the strength of solid partnerships and coordination between security government authorities, event organizers, venue operations, private sector and civil society in an ever-demanding event hosting industry in the region,” added Brigadier
The UAE is gearing up for the 2019 edition of the Asian Football Cup (AFC). As a result, stadia in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Al Ain are to witness massive infrastructure renovations and technological upgrades. AFC 2019 will also be the first pilot in UAE for hosting an international multi-site sport event.
Additionally, the UAE will be developing significant projects where many of the same skills and solutions are required for operators and therefore bringing additional commercial opportunities for companies catering to major events’ safety and security industry. Examples include unique infrastructure, leisure and business facilities, and various large-scale developments such as Saadiyat Island Cultural District, Yas Island, Meydan One, Jumeirah Central, Dubai Parks & Resorts, and Al Maktoum Airport expansion to name a few, which all support the long-term growth strategy of moving the economy beyond oil.
An innovative interactive forum, the Major Events Safety & Security Summit, taking place in April, is organised to enable international experts to network and share experience with regional stakeholders – including major events organization committees, sport venues’ and entertainment facilities’ developers and operators, government safety and security forces, tourism and sport authorities, consultants, specialized solutions and services providers – providing exclusive networking opportunities and empowering attendees to identify potential partners through tailored matchmaking.
The format will be fully interactive with 200+ pre-arranged one-to-one meetings, and focused panel discussions, interactive roundtables, technical workshops and closed-door sessions including cases studies, regulations and future trends.
Major Events Safety & Security Summit will take place at the Sofitel the Palm Dubai hotel from 25-27 April 2017, and participation is by invitation only; however, interested organizations are advised to contact Reed Exhibitions to determine if participation may be possible.