IIA conference in Dubai to make UAE one of the world’s ‘smartest’ economies

The Dubai delegation at the handover ceremony of the IIA International Conference 2017.
Updated 14 February 2018

IIA conference in Dubai to make UAE one of the world’s ‘smartest’ economies

Dubai will play host to the world’s largest gathering of internal auditors when the International Conference of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) takes place in the city in May.
The event will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai.
“Dubai is once again proving that the city has the capability to host global conferences that will bring expertise to realize the great goal of the UAE becoming one of the smartest economies in the world,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group, and chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee.
The IIA, along with the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE-IAA), will hold the high profile global conference for the first time in the Middle East, under the theme “Connecting the World Through Innovation,” at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center from May 6 to 9. The event will feature more than 100 global speakers in over 70 sessions and is set to welcome more than 3,000 professionals from 110 countries.
“True to the spirit of the slogan of the conference ‘Connecting the World Through Innovation,’ Dubai is also living up to the image of connecting the world by becoming one of the smartest cities in the world in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
“Dubai is hosting this world class conference at a time when the UAE is emerging as one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world with superior infrastructure and an abundant supply of skilled manpower. The IIA summit will enable the internal audit professionals here to adopt best practices that will enhance the efficiency of businesses,” he added.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said: “Business events such as the IIA International Conference play a vital role in not only bringing more visitors to Dubai, but also enhancing the city’s status as a knowledge hub and a place for knowledge sharing. Driven by the leadership and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, we continue to work with organizations such as IIA to bring major business events to stimulate further growth and develop talent in key sectors for the UAE economy.”

Ascott prepares for growth in post-COVID-19 era

Updated 01 June 2020

Ascott prepares for growth in post-COVID-19 era

CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), will review the design of its lodging products and services to ensure they are future-ready for continued growth in a post COVID-19 landscape.

Leveraging the existing design strengths of Ascott’s serviced residences, it aims to redefine the guest experience to take advantage of emerging trends such as the increased popularity of working from home, deeper health and safety concerns, and a rapidly digitizing world.

Kevin Goh, chief executive, lodging, CapitaLand Group and chief executive, Ascott, said: “Ascott’s serviced residences have remained resilient amid COVID-19. We continue to be the accommodation of choice by providing a safe haven for our guests who have placed their trust in Ascott. To cement Ascott’s position as a dominant lodging player and deliver more value for our guests and business partners, we are taking steps to ready Ascott for a post COVID-19 landscape. Ascott is reviewing every touchpoint within the living and workspaces of our apartments to tap on the work-from-home trend. We are also improving our digital solutions and looking at leveraging smarter technologies to provide value and safety to our guests.”

As global and domestic travel restrictions ease, the group has launched “Ascott Cares” across its properties, to reassure guests and staff of the stringent cleanliness and hygiene measures in place, as the global properties begin to welcome new and returning guests home. These measures will also be effective across Ascott’s properties within the Middle East and Turkey: Ascott Park Place Dubai, Citadines Metro Central Dubai, Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah, Spectrums Residence Jeddah, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh, Ascott Corniche Al-Khobar, Somerset Panorama Muscat, Somerset Al-Fateh Bahrain, Somerset Maslak Istanbul, and Somerset West Bay Doha.

Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, said: “We have implemented enhanced sanitization measures across our regional properties in the Middle East and Turkey. These include daily temperature checks, and governmental directives on leisure and health facilities. In addition, the obligatory regulations of face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers are in place, while sterilizing efforts have been ramped up across apartments, lobbies and public utilities. Ascott has always been a trusted brand and we look forward to the same momentum, assuring our long and short stay guests of a care-free and safe haven when they come home to Ascott.”

To tap in to the work-from-home trend, Ascott is looking at upgrading its design to create a more productive workspace within the serviced apartment. Improvements to the overall ergonomics of the workspace may include better task lighting, better use of space and appropriate wall features suited for videoconferencing or webcasting.

Digital solutions and technologies may also be further deployed to provide convenience, value and safety to guests. The use of sensors at Ascott properties can offer better safety through thermal scanning or to track footfall and crowds to facilitate better safe distancing measures, as well as smarter room energy and water management.

Ascott will also increase the adoption of mobile technology, including the launch of a new mobile app later this year. A one-stop service, the app will offer guests contactless services such as contactless entry to their apartments, payments, check-in and check-out. It can also provide seamless in-room service and smart controls, management of Ascott Star Rewards loyalty points or redemption of special flash deals.