Abu Dhabi has won the rights to host the 2020 edition of World Conference of Family Doctors (WONCA 2020), a prominent biennial conference of family physicians that will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
The event is expected to draw the participation of 4,000 delegates from across the globe and discuss a variety of topics related to the development of family medicine.
Abu Dhabi was in competition with Lisbon, Portugal, and chosen as the host city by WONCA’s Council Members representing its seven regions during the 2016 Conference in Rio de Janeiro.
His Excellency, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said: “We are excited that Abu Dhabi has been chosen as the host country for WONCA 2020. The emirate has been a very strong contender as an emerging destination for international events due to its excellent infrastructure, world class business and leisure tourism facilities, multi-purpose event venues, great variety of hotels and seamless connectivity with all parts of the world.”
“I am confident that the experience we have acquired through hosting many top global conferences recently will contribute significantly to the success of WONCA 2020.” He added.
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Acting Group CEO, at ADNEC, said: “We thank all our strategic partners for their relentless efforts in putting together and winning this great bid. Our win demonstrates the ongoing confidence of leading international associations in Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art capabilities in the business tourism sector following closely on the successful delivery of many high profile international events in recent years. Recognising the huge potential of Abu Dhabi’s emerging healthcare sector, ADNEC is committed to expanding its portfolio of healthcare events in the years to come.”
Al Dhaheri added: “Abu Dhabi fought off stiff competition from well-established international MICE destinations in notching up this win to host an international, high-calibre event. This is clear evidence of the international vote of confidence in ADNEC’s credentials in this important domain. We look forward to welcoming WONCA and its members to Abu Dhabi in 2020.”
The bid was lead by the Emirates Family Medicine Society. as the official UAE member organization of WONCA. Dr. Wadeia Al Sharif, President of Family Medicine Society in EMA & Dr. Mohamed Farghaly, Head of Scientific Committee in Family Medicine Society EMA & General Secretary of WONCA EMR said: “Winning the right to host this important conference in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of WONCA for the first time in its history, is a major milestone for our Society and the family physicians of the region. Thanks to the tremendous support from Abu Dhabi Tourism, ADNEC, Meeting Minds Experts, our colleagues the members of the Eastern Mediterranean Region and all healthcare organizations in the UAE, this bid was successful.”
Medhat Nassar – CEO – Meeting Minds Experts, said: “Once again Abu Dhabi continues to benefit from its “collective city approach” as a tested formula for winning and staging high profile international conventions.”
“Overall it has been a remarkable two years’ journey and an outstanding team effort, which
I believe was the crucial force behind this important win. We are delighted to have been at the heart of this collaboration and a major supporter of the Abu Dhabi bid to host WONCA 2020 World Congress. By engaging all the key stakeholders from the start, we managed to put forward a powerful bid that received the overwhelming support by WONCA member organizations from around the world.” He added.
Founded in 1972, the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) is a not-for-profit professional organisation representing family physicians and general practitioners. WONCA now has 118 member organisations in 131 countries and territories. Some 500,000 family doctors and medical professionals are members of WONCA.
The mission of WONCA is to improve the quality of life of people around the world through defining and promoting its values, such as respect for universal human rights and gender equity, and through fostering high standards of care in general practice/family medicine.
ADNEC offers 133,000 square metres of inter-connected floor space to match the expectations of a wide variety of events and exhibitions. Equipped with modern facilities and built to international standards, the venue attracted 1.8 million people across 369 events in 2015.