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Singapore studies Dubai lessons for 2006 meeting

posted on 24/09/2003: 1418 views



Even before the dust of Dubai 2003 settles, the Singapore 2006 team is already busy reviewing plans for the next away meeting of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. For the last fortnight, a 45-member delegation from the Singapore 2006 Planning Team has studied the Dubai International Convention Centre and logistics arrangements around the city to see how best the Asian city-state can play host to the world's largest financial meet.



Goh Chye Boon, co-chair of the Singapore 2006 Planning Committee, said the Dubai experience provided many vital lessons, particularly with Dubai 2003 staffers providing access to behind-the-scenes organisation.



"We can see how much planning and effort has gone into hosting these meetings," said Goh. "From the airport onwards, everything fell into place seamlessly." "When we first arrived in Dubai, we were very deeply impressed," said Goh. "Then we got a little bit worried because this has set a very high benchmark." As a growing city, Dubai has the clear advantage of having the space and capability to commission a purpose-built, state-of-the-art convention centre and hotels. The Singapore meetings will be held in the city's existing convention centre with existing hotels.



The tricky part, Goh said, would be to tie the existing facilities together to work seamlessly - in essence, building the convention around the city, unlike Dubai. The Singapore team, including members from its Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence and Tourism Board, also took note of the heightened security requirements required of an IMF/World Bank meeting, and the importance of showcasing the region's culture and capability.



"It's not just about being efficient," said Goh. "It's a question of appealing to the mind and heart as well. When you are able to welcome people from an entirely different part of the world and make them feel at home in your country, that's success. It's the softer side of the organisation that we need to think about." Earlier in the day, Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore's Second Minister for Finance, congratulated Dubai authorities for a job well done as he signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Horst Kohler of the IMF and James Wolfensohn of the World Bank. (The Gulf News)

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