AMSTERDAM, NETHERLAND – After an intensive recruitment period which attracted major industry interest, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has appointed Anju Gomes as new Director Middle East to take the helm of the global meetings industry trade association’s fastest-growing region. Anju Gomes is, an accomplished Events Strategist and Director of Business Development with over two decades of experience in the international events sector in the Middle East.
Anju has been based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates since 1996 and has spent a significant portion of her career working in senior positions across both the association and corporate meeting industries, specialising in local and international stakeholder relations, sales and service optimisation, and event management.
The former MENA Head of Events, Finance and Administration for the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), Gomes is a skilled communicator and strategist with in-depth knowledge of regional market conditions and local business culture.
Senthil Gopinath, ICCA Chief Executive Officer, said of Anju’s appointment: “Anju’s extensive association management experience, strong professional history of association development work in the Middle East, and strategic knowledge of what is important to stakeholders in the region makes her the ideal person to continue the growth and development of our Middle East Office.”
“ICCA Members in our Middle East Chapter are an incredibly active and knowledgeable community, with a passionate drive to develop their destinations further through the expertise and skills and knowledge exchange opportunities offered by international association meetings. They will most certainly find the support they need to continue to do this in Anju as ICCA’s Director Middle East.”
Anju Gomes will be based at ICCA’s Middle East Office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the association is registered with the Dubai Association Centre. Gomes will represent the region at the fourth ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum from 18-19 September 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and at the 58th ICCA Congress from 27-30 October 2019 in Houston, U.S.A.
Anju Gomes said: “I feel extremely fortunate to be engaged with ICCA, the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. I believe there is great scope to increase association meetings in the region and enhance ROI for members and their trade shows and business events. I am keen to contribute to the growth and development of the ICCA Middle East Chapter.”
Gomes will continue the incredibly successful work of ICCA’s Middle East Regional Office, which was established in 2012 in response to the growing importance of the international association meetings industry to regional development strategies.
As a strong testament to the skyrocketing value and influence of the industry in the Middle East, the period since ICCA set up permanent representation in the region has been marked by rapid growth in both ICCA engagement and the local market. The region reached the 50-member milestone in 2017 and was the fastest-growing region between 2006 and 2016, with the number of meetings increasing from 100 to 255 in a decade. According to ICCA Statistics, this growth of over 250% was the largest for any region in the world during this period.