Oman CEC shortlisted for first major congress

OMAN The Sultanate of Oman has been selected as one of the finalist bidding to host 1,500 delegates at the 37th annual congress of the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) in 2017. If successful, the event will be one of the first major meetings to be held at the new Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat. Similarly, if successful, Oman would be the first Middle East destination to host the congress.

The winning bid is to be announced at the 36th Annual IAHR Congress in Chengdu in September this year. Oman faces tough competition, however, as it is up against some of the world’s best convention destinations. Turkey, Singapore, India, Malaysia and South America have all been announced on the shortlist.

Due for completion in late 2016, the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is located in its own fully integrated precinct only four kilometres from Muscat International Airport.

Once completed, the Centre will feature a tiered auditorium capable of seating 3,200. Meanwhile the exhibition halls will feature 22,000 sq m of column-free exhibition space capable of hosting large-scale events of up to 10,000 seated, theatre-style. For smaller events 14 meeting rooms will be able to cater for groups of 70-360 delegates whilst two dedicated ballrooms will seat up to 2,360.

Rochelle Uechtritz, convention sales development for, venue manager, AEG Ogden said that being the only Middle East destination chosen as a finalist is testament to the Sultanate’s destination appeal. She said: “We have had enormous confidence in Oman as a convention destination but we cannot bid for these events alone. They must be supported by the Omani member, association or society to become the local host.

“That support will again be crucial in another bid soon to be lodged for a world medical congress for 3,000 delegates in 2018.”

She also indicated that this is only one of many large-scale convention leads that AEG Ogden is in advanced stages to secure for the Sultanate and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. Events are already being planned right through to 2024.

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