While Abu Dhabi has growing attractions, it does not have the critical mass of malls, brands, facilities and amenities that Dubai has. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive/Abdul Rahman

Abu Dhabi: As effort to boost business tourism from 1.3 million to 1.5 million this year, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is hosting two major international medical congress here, among other meetings.

The 2015 Asian Pacific Congress of Cardiology will be staged for the first time in the Middle East, bringing together 18 societies throughout the Asia Pacific region, while the upcoming World Ophthalmology Congress (twill be held in February 2012), the longest-running medical congress, is expected to attract 8,000 to 12,000 delegates.

Speaking to Gulf News, Gillian Taylor, ADTA business tourism manager, explained that the authority is focusing on 12 sectors relating to the 2030 vision; namely energy, petrochemicals, metals, aviation/aerospace/defence, pharmaceuticals/biotech/life sciences, tourism, health care, education, transport/trade/logistics, media, financial services and telecommunications.

"In 2015, we aim to become the number one meetings destination in the region, a top-100 meetings destination, host four times the number of current MICE events, and double the number of MICE visitors arrivals and yield," said Taylor.

By 2020, ADTA has plans to become a top-50 meetings destination in the world, have ten times the number of current MICE events, and four times the number of MICE visitors arrivals and yield.

ADTA expects an increase of 20,000 business tourists this year. Approximately 1.3 million of the 1.8 million guests across 115 hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate are business travellers, out of which 215,000 guests have arrived specifically for MICE related activities.