ICCA and Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB), the Middle East’s newest and largest exhibition and convention centre, announced signing an Association Relationship Partner (ARP) Agreement with ICCA  for a duration of three years starting in 2024.

The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the 62nd annual ICCA Congress, held in Bangkok, Thailand, in the presence of HE Dr. Nasser Qaedi, the CEO of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), and was signed by Dr. Debbie Kristiansen, the General Manager of EWB, and Mr. Senthil Gopinath, the CEO of ICCA.


Under this ARP Agreement, EWB will gain enhanced networking and exposure at ICCA events, with additional exposure for Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, benefiting from the Association’s meeting intelligence, content, and brand exposure. In addition, the ARP agreement will allow EWB, as an active ICCA member, to strengthen its own ties and foster its profile within the international association community.


The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is a global community and knowledge hub for the international association and governmental-meetings industry. Founded in 1963, ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, education, communication channels, business development and networking opportunities. Today, ICCA is one of the most prominent organisations in – and advocates for – the world of international meetings.


EWB is a proud member of 12 international organisations and associations specialising in the MICE and business tourism sector, including the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and more.


Commenting, Dr. Nasser Qaedi, the CEO of BTEA, stated: “We are pleased to witness the signing of this new partnership between EWB and ICCA, which dovetails with our keen endeavour to draw more internationally distinguished events to the Kingdom. EWB has been an integral part of an unprecedented volume of investments injected in the tourism sector during the last few years, pointing the MICE industry to become a great contributor to economic growth and tourism diversity for many years to come. With an impressive pipeline of projects to be announced soon, Bahrain is well positioned to host highly targeted conventions and exhibitions regionally and globally, supported by ICCA’s effective global business networking platform.”


Dr. Debbie Kristiansen, the general manager of EWB added: “We are immensely thrilled to ink this new partnership with the leading global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. It will help us maximise potential opportunities with our extensive global network and gain a greater understanding of the needs of international associations today and in the future. We at EWB are vigorously committed to serving Bahrain’s main goals to become the most sought-after MICE and business tourism destination in the region, with our long-term aim to attract more prestigious events both regionally and internationally, relying on our ultramodern facilities and state-of-the-art MICE services.”


Mr. Senthil Gopinath, the CEO of ICCA, said: “We are extremely delighted to formalise this dynamic partnership, which holds the promise of taking the Exhibition World Bahrain experience to unprecedented heights. Embracing the role of an association partner with ICCA offers a multitude of benefits for Bahrain, ranging from global visibility and knowledge exchange to capacity enhancement and economic prosperity. This collaboration positions Bahrain as a pivotal player in the realm of business events, attracting international association meetings and spotlighting the Kingdom as a premier destination.”