All eyes on the UAE as IAA congress hits town

Over the next five days the eyes of the international advertising world will be focussed on Dubai as the 40th International Advertising Association’s World Congress kicks off in the city.

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By  Steve Wrelton Published  March 19, 2006

Over the next five days the eyes of the international advertising world will be focussed on Dubai as the 40th International Advertising Association’s World Congress kicks off in the city. More than 2000 local, regional and international advertising and media professionals from 50 countries around the world are expected to attend the four-day long event, which starts tomorrow at the Dubai International Convention Centre. The congress, which is held every two years, is being run under the theme ‘Challenges of Change’ and is being viewed by its organisers, the IAA’s UAE chapter, as an opportunity to put the country — and in particular Dubai —on the international advertising map. It is the first time it has ever been held in the Arabian Peninsula. It was last held in the region in 1998 in Egypt. The event will see appearances from top-name advertising personalities, including Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, Tateo Mataki, chief executive of Dentsu, Tom Bernardin, chairman and CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide. Other big names include Donald Gunn, publisher of the Gunn Report and Colin Gottlieb, CEO of Omnicom Media EMEA. IAA World President Joseph Ghossoub, who also heads up The Holding Group of companies, including Team Y&R and Mediaedge:cia, said: “This is a big seal of approval of Dubai’s position in the advertising, marketing and media world. We will try our utmost not to have anyone leaving here with a bad experience.”

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