High-caliber industry executives join Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre team

The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) continues to attract a high level of experienced industry professionals to its team as it prepares for opening in 2016.

High-caliber industry executives join Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre team

The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) continues to attract a high level of experienced industry professionals to its team as it prepares for opening in 2016.

OCEC General Manager Trevor McCartney said today he was delighted with the quality and standard of the venue’s latest recruits.

“This centre is one of the country’s pillar projects and I’m confident that the team we’re presently assembling will contribute to Oman’s economic diversification by attracting some of the world’s most prestigious events to its pristine shores.

“The marketing efforts of venue manager, AEG Ogden over the past two years has positively positioned the Sultanate of Oman as a future emerging convention destination which in turn has contributed to the high level of interest from applicants from both at home and abroad,” Mr McCartney said.

Mr. McCartney announced the appointment of internationally respected convention industry executive, Ms. Gillian Taylor as OCEC’s Director of Business Development.

Ms. Taylor joins the Centre after having worked for the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority for the past eight years. Previously, she served as a Board Member of the Society of International Travel Executives (SITE) and Australia’s Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau (now Business Events Sydney). Prior to Abu Dhabi, she was General Manager for a destination management company in Sydney for more than 10 years.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Sultanate’s vision to position itself as a serious contender for world congresses and major events. Oman has been asked to host so many international conventions that have not been possible before the development of this superb venue and I will work in collaboration with all Omani stakeholders, the Ministry of Tourism, and the academic community to make that dream a reality,” Ms. Taylor said.

Another appointment is Mr. John Burke as Director of Operations. Mr. Burke brings extensive operational experience to the venue having served most recently at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha and prior to that, over 15 years with the NEC Group in the United Kingdom which included the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham, International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham, LG Arena and National Indoor Arena (NIA).

Mr. Burke will also assume the joint role of OCEC’s Technical Assets Manager.

“The combination of both Ms. Taylor’s and Mr. Burke’s knowledge and experience will lay a sound platform to position the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre as the first venue of choice for international and regional conventions and exhibitions in the Arabian Gulf,” Mr. McCartney said.

Other appointments include Mr. Salim Al Flaiti as Director of Human Resources, Mr. Ahmed Al Habsi as Director of Finance & Administration and Mr. Akram Al Maawali as Protocol and Liaison Manager.

Mr. McCartney said Mr. Al Flaiti, Mr Al Habsi and Mr. Al Maawali were highly experienced and with their commitment, passion and drive would be enormous assets to OCEC’s operation in the lead up to the Centre’s opening in 2016.

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He said further recruitment drives were planned over the next 12 months in the areas of operations, event planning, production, venue presentation and food and beverage.

“We are on track for our target of 60% Omanisation by the end of 2015 therefore ensuring every attendee will experience the Omani traditional hospitality first hand,” Mr. McCartney concluded.

About the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre
Opening in 2016, the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is located in its own fully integrated precinct only four kilometres from Muscat International Airport.

The design of the Centre will ensure a flow of the meetings space to suit the most discerning conference and exhibition organisers. It also incorporated expansive concourse areas to enable ease of large delegations with floor to ceiling windows overlooking landscaped gardens and water features.

The Centre will feature two tiered auditoria to seat 3,200 and 450 while the exhibition halls will feature 22,000 square metres of column-free exhibition space. Halls 1 and 2 will have a superior fit out, specialised acoustic treatment, advanced lighting and rigging requirements to act as a multi-purpose space for plenary sessions, concerts, performances, gala events on a larger scale of up to 10,000 seated, theatre-style.

The Centre will also include an additional 14 meeting rooms for 70-360 delegates, two well-appointed ballrooms to seat up to 2,360, VIP Pavilion, a spacious food-court and a multi-storey car park with capacity for 4,000 vehicles.

The Precinct will provide the infrastructure necessary to host successful international, regional and local events and for the enjoyment of the community. These include a five star hotel linked to the convention centre, two four star, and a three star hotel and apartments with a combined total of 1,000 rooms. A business park, retail shopping mall surrounded by a nature reserve which will be a haven for Oman’s exotic birdlife, parklands and wadi (valley) park are also part of this picturesque precinct. www.omanconvention.com

About AEG Ogden

AEG Ogden is an Australian controlled joint venture between Australian venue management interests and AEG Facilities of the United States.

AEG Ogden manages venues throughout the Asia Pacific region, including convention centres in Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Kuala Lumpur, Hyderabad (currently in design), Oman (opening 2016), the ICC Sydney (opening December 2016) and the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island; Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane; arenas including the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and the adjacent Sports Centre, Sydney’s Allphones Arena, the Qantas Credit Union Arena (formerly the Sydney Entertainment Centre), the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Perth Arena; and live theatres including Perth’s His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth Concert Hall, the WA State Theatre Centre, Albany Entertainment Centre, and Subiaco Arts Centre. www.aegogden.com

In addition, AEG Facilities was recently announced as operator of both the Los Angeles Convention Centre and Hawaii Convention Centre.

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