MOCIIP to allow new types of expos to help event management firms

Muscat: The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MOCIIP) said it is working on new amendments to the regulations for organizing and managing exhibitions, issued by Ministerial Resolution 182/2017, to keep pace with the current economic conditions in the Sultanate.

The ministry seeks to make amendments to help more companies and encourage them to expand and diversify when holding exhibitions and conferences in the Sultanate, and even to attract regional and international events.

The new amendments to the regulations will contribute to more organization of the exhibitions and conferences sector, which is one of the most important economic, social and cultural tools that contribute to encouraging and attracting investments in the various economic sectors.

The new amendments will include adding new types of exhibitions that will keep pace with the current economic and health conditions, which are virtual exhibitions that are organized through electronic platforms.

With regard to marketing exhibitions (commercial), the organizing company will be allowed to directly sell to consumers on the last day of the exhibition only.
Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI)’s committee on exhibitions and conferences recently demanded exemptions from government fees, such as rents and tax, in addition to discounts of nearly 75% from Oman Convention and Exhibition Center when activities resume.

The Exhibitions and Conferences Committee of OCCI held its first meeting for 2021 by Eng Faisal al Shanfari, vice chairman of the committee, and in the presence of Eng. Redha Juma al Saleh, chairman, OCCI.

The meeting discussed the issue of financial compensation and the members of the committee urged Oman Development Bank to finance companies with reasonable guarantees to mitigate the effects that the exhibition and conference companies faced due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The committee suggested that the exhibitions sector should be included in ODB Bank and Raffd Fund for loans to small and medium enterprises to help these companies to obtain financial compensation, in addition to financing loans guaranteed by the commercial registry to pay off the debts accumulated on them and to rearrange their conditions to continue.

According to GlobalaData, Meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions (MICE) tourism was one of the first types of tourism to be impacted by the global spread of COVID-19 and it could be one of the last to fully return as international business arrivals are still affected =.

MICE events are now taking place online, without the need for companies operating in the tourism sector. This is a worrying trend for all industries involved in travel and tourism – the length of restrictions and guidelines last around MICE tourism, while other national economies start to pick up, the more companies, attendees, and event organizers may start to become accustomed to hosting and attending MICE events online, whilst appreciating the unseen benefits they bring, the report said.

Companies in all sectors will be looking for ways to reduce costs in the coming years as they reel from the economic impact created by COVID-19. Business travel is a costly expense for all companies, and with the rise of video conferencing software such as Zoom and Google Meet, many will realize that this type of ongoing expense is unnecessary.