In the heart of the Arabian Gulf, there is a definite buzz in the air as construction goes into full swing for the Middle East’s newest international standard convention center in Qatar.

The World Petroleum Council recently announced the city of Doha will host their triennial congress with an anticipated attendance of over 5,000 global energy experts in November 2012.

It is the prestige of this style of world congress that captures the interest of international association conference organizers to consider the destination for their worldwide events.

Ms Carolyn Earle, who is responsible for future site selection for the World Meeting of the International Society of Sexual Medicine, said she was truly amazed and surprised at what Qatar had to offer.

“Qatar is a destination that I would have not thought of, but due to the backing of experienced professionals in venue and destination management that I have worked with before. I am now considering Doha for an upcoming conference,” stated Ms Earle.

Newly appointed General Manager for the Qatar National Convention Center, Mr Paul D’Arcy said that a key priority for Qatar is to become a world leader in innovative education and research.

The Center will be located at Doha’s Education City. It is envisioned that Qatar Foundation’s flagship project, will become a center of excellence in education and research that will help transform Qatar into a knowledge-based society.

“The location of the new center is only one part of a whole new city devoted to providing excellent opportunities to the people of Qatar and the Gulf,’ said Mr D’Arcy.

As well as the Qatar Science and Technology Park and the Sidra Medical & Research Center, five world-class universities will be housed on on-site at Doha’s Education City including: Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Carnegie Mellon and Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service.

The new Qatar National Convention Center will set a new benchmark in world-class convention facilities. The extraordinary attention to detail in the overall design elements will meet the most sophisticated demands of global conference organizers.

With an opening date soon to be announced, the Qatar National Convention Center will include a 2,500-seat auditorium, a 500-seat theatre and two lecture halls for 300-400 delegates each. An additional 15 meeting rooms and a 4,000-seat multi-purpose hall for conferences or seating 2,500 delegates banquet style. Initially, 4,200sqm of exhibition space will be built, extending to 15,000sqm in Stage 2.

Managed by international venue management specialist, AEG Ogden, the Qatar National Convention Center will be one of the architectural showpieces of Education City.

Japanese architect, Arata Isozaki created the stunning design incorporating huge tree-like structure in the main façade symbolizing the Sidra Tree. Traditionally the shade of the Sidra tree was a retreat for poets and scholars, who gathered beneath its branches to discuss and impart knowledge. The fruit, flowers and leaves of the Sidra, whose deep roots allow it to flourish in harsh desert climates, were components in many traditional medicines. All these qualities make the Sidra Tree a beloved icon in Qatari history and culture.

AEG Ogden currently manages the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Cairns Convention Centre and the new Darwin Convention Centre opening in June 2008.