Dubai: Dubai has won the bid to host the 34th International Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) in 2016, beating Paris, Rome and Copenhagen in the competitive bid process.

More than 4,000 leading health-care professionals are expected to travel to the UAE to attend the seven-day event, which will be held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The bid was led by the Ministry of Health, with support from the UAE Embassy in Holland, Dubai Convention and Events Bureau and Dubai World Trade Centre, where the Congress will be held.

Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, the UAE Ministry of Health’s Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Practice and Licence, Chairman of the Supreme National Blood Transfusion Committee and Congress President, said: “We are honoured that the UAE has been chosen to host the 34th International Congress in 2016, the first time this will be hosted in the Middle East. The selection of the UAE reflects the trust that the international community places in the leaders of the country in the field of medicine and, specifically, blood transfusion.”

The American Association of Blood Banks classifies the UAE as one of the five foremost countries in blood transfusion safety and the Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Centre has been the collaborating global centre of the World Health Organisation for the East Mediterranean region since 2008.

“The UAE and, in particular, Dubai’s investment in blood transfusion capabilities over the last decade was a considerable factor in Dubai being chosen to host the Congress, and we give thanks to the UAE’s leadership for their commitment to offering both citizens and visitors the best possible facilities,” Al Amiri added.