The Oman Cancer Association announces that Muscat has been selected to host the World Cancer Congress (WCC) in 2020. The World Cancer Congress is a major international cancer control forum which convenes up to 4,000 renowned cancer and health professionals to network and share the latest successful interventions in cancer implementation science including prevention, diagnosis and care, as well as supportive and palliative care. Held every two years, the Congress is hosted by a local member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and for the first time since the event’s inception in 1933, it will take place in the Arabian Gulf.
The Oman Cancer Association, the National Oncology Centre at the Royal Hospital Muscat, both members of UICC, as well as the Oman Convention Bureau and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) joined forces to submit a complete and high quality application which resulted in them winning over strong international competition.
Professor Sanchia Aranda, President of UICC, said: “After an extensive evaluation and review of the submitted bids, we are pleased to announce that the city of Muscat, Oman, has been selected to host the 2020 World Cancer Congress and the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit. We appreciate that such bids involve considerable work, and we thank our members and the other applicants for their enthusiasm and commitment to organising such important global cancer control events in the region, in collaboration with UICC.”
The bid was submitted by Dr. Wahid Al Kharusi, FRCS, President of Oman Cancer Association, Dr. Basem Al Bahrani, Director and Dr. Zahid Al Mandhari, FRCPC, Deputy Director, National Oncology Centre, with the support of HE Dr Ahmed Mohammed Obaid Al Saidi, Minister of Health of the Sultanate of Oman.
“The World Cancer Congress aims to strengthen the action and impact of the cancer and the wider health community on national, regional and international levels through a multidisciplinary educational programme and high-calibre attendees,” said Dr. Wahid Al Kharusi.
“Hence the theme of our bid: ‘Shed Some Light and Make a Difference’. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that incidence of cancer in the Middle East will double by 2030, so felt it was crucial to keep raising awareness of the disease, especially across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) and Africa. Welcoming the WCC in Oman will certainly foster our work to educate the local population, and help the global cancer community to further make a difference,” added Dr. Zahid Al Mandhari.
Khalid Al Zadjali, Director of Oman Convention Bureau, commented, “This is a great success story for Oman and the new Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre as it demonstrates that our country is a strong contender when it comes to securing international events. The WCC is a key global forum for knowledge exchange around cancer and hosting it in Muscat will benefit not only Oman but the entire region. Oman has so much to offer, ranging from a brand new world class convention & exhibition centre to attractive hotels, easy access to places of interest and a brand new airport. In addition, the government is very supportive of the initiative, and traditionally Omanis are very hospitable.”
Trevor McCartney, General Manager of OCEC, stated, “We are very excited to host such a renowned international event at the Oman Conference Convention & Exhibition Centre, winning against other international cities and venues. We now join the ranks of well-established Business Events destinations such as Kuala Lumpur and Paris in the list of host cities for the WCC.”
The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC), the pillar project of Oman officially opened for business in October last year when the exhibition centre, hospitality suites and concourse opened and this will be followed the convention centre and associated facilities in December 2017.
OCEC is located in its own fully integrated precinct only four kilometres from Muscat International Airport. Owned and developed by Omran, the centre forms part of phase 1 of Madinat Al Irfan, an exciting new urban centre.
The precinct includes a JW Marriot (five star hotel) linked to the Convention Centre and a Crowne Plaza (four star hotel) both opening in 2017. The area is surrounded by a nature reserve, which is a haven for Oman’s exotic birdlife, together with parklands and a wadi (valley) park, are also part of this picturesque precinct.
Features of the Centre include a tiered theatre seating 3,200 people, plus an additional 450-seat auditorium and 20 dedicated meeting rooms, two luxurious ballrooms, hospitality suites and 22,000 square metres of exhibition space – that is more than 55 different meeting space options.