IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024 Wraps Up Epic Success!

IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024 Wraps Up Epic Success!

Explore the highlights of IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024, showcasing insights from global attractions industry leaders.

The IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024, held on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, marked a significant milestone for the attractions industry, bringing together 400 attendees and 45 exhibitors. This article delves into the key takeaways, innovative strategies, and industry insights shared during the Summit, highlighting the advancements and growth opportunities within the attractions and theme parks sector.

IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024: Insights and Innovations

Welcome Keynote Address by Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi

Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, Group CEO of Miral, set the tone for the Summit with an inspiring welcome keynote address. He emphasized the importance of collaboration and innovation in driving the growth of the attractions industry in the Middle East. Al Zaabi’s insights laid the foundation for fruitful discussions and exchange of ideas throughout the event.

Exploring Destination Development and Management

Industry leaders, including Scott O’Neil, CEO of Merlin Entertainment, and Ahmad Hussain, COO of Dubai Holding Entertainment, shared insights into innovative destination development and management strategies. Topics ranged from leveraging technology for enhanced guest experiences to sustainable practices in attraction operations. Attendees gained valuable perspectives on fostering continued growth and competitiveness in the region’s attractions landscape.

Operational Efficiency and Guest Satisfaction

Efficient operations and exceptional guest satisfaction are crucial for the success of any attraction or theme park. Don Potts, President of Qiddiya Investment Company, and other industry experts led discussions on optimizing operational processes and delivering memorable guest experiences. From queue management systems to personalized service offerings, attendees explored strategies to enhance operational efficiency and elevate guest satisfaction.

IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024 Wraps Up Epic Success!

Trending Topics: AI, Digital Transformation, and Sustainability

The Summit delved into trending topics shaping the future of the attractions industry, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital transformation, and sustainability initiatives. Through interactive sessions and workshops, participants gained insights into harnessing AI for personalized guest interactions, implementing digital solutions for streamlined operations, and adopting sustainable practices to minimize environmental impact. These discussions underscored the importance of innovation and adaptation in staying ahead of industry trends.

Guided Facility Tours: Behind-the-Scenes Insights

One of the highlights of the Summit was the opportunity for guided facility tours, or “EDUTours,” showcasing the operations and creative processes behind Yas Island’s world-class theme parks and attractions. From SeaWorld Yas Island to Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi, attendees gained firsthand insights into leading regional attractions’ design, management, and guest engagement strategies. These immersive experiences provided valuable learning opportunities for industry professionals seeking to enhance their offerings.

Inaugural IAAPA Ride Safety Report

As part of its commitment to safety excellence, IAAPA presented the inaugural edition of the IAAPA Ride Safety Report, specifically tailored for the Middle East region. The report highlights best practices, standards, and regulations for ride safety, ensuring that attractions across the region uphold the highest safety standards for guests and employees. This initiative underscores IAAPA’s dedication to promoting safety and professionalism within the attractions industry.

IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024 Wraps Up Epic Success!

Expansion of IAAPA’s Presence in the Middle East

In a significant announcement, IAAPA revealed plans to expand its presence in the Middle East by establishing a local office in Dubai. Ahmed Zakaria, with over 20 years of experience in the exhibitions and event management industry, was appointed Director of Operations for the Middle East. This strategic move aims to strengthen IAAPA’s connections with members and regional industry partners, facilitating collaboration and growth opportunities.

Enhancing Member Services and Industry Connections

The addition of Ahmed Zakaria to the IAAPA team signifies a commitment to enhancing member services and industry connections in the Middle East. With a local presence, IAAPA aims to provide tailored support and resources to its members, fostering a thriving community of attraction professionals in the region. Zakaria’s expertise and leadership will be pivotal in driving the Association’s initiatives and expanding its footprint in the Middle East.


The IAAPA Middle East Trade Summit 2024 showcased the region’s dynamic landscape of the attractions industry, highlighting innovative strategies, safety initiatives, and collaborative growth opportunities. As IAAPA expands its presence and strengthens its connections in the Middle East, industry professionals can look forward to continued advancements and success in delivering unparalleled guest experiences.

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