The Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) surpassed previous attendance records by hosting around 1.5 million visitors in 2023. This milestone underscores the OCEC’s pivotal role as a leading events venue, showcasing its adaptability and commitment to excellence.

Key highlights for 2023
  • Hosted around 1.5 million visitors across a diverse range of events – a 25 per cent rise from 2022 attendance. 
  • Successfully hosted 230 events, including 19 regional and international, 149 local events supporting over 90 SMEs, live events & corporate meetings. 
  • Facilitated the graduation of over 17,000 students at the OCEC.
  • Earned the prestigious Best Venue award at the Middle East Events Awards 2023.

The OCEC’s exceptional rebound post Covid-19 has been instrumental in attracting increased interest in Oman as a business events hub. The significant rise from the 2022 season reflects the growing confidence in the award-winning venue and Oman as a preferred destination. As an international venue, the OCEC welcomed visitors from over 90 countries, increasing Oman’s global visibility compared to 2022 attendance figures.

Among the noteworthy events were the World Veteran Table Tennis Championships (January), Muscat International Book Fair (February), Oman Sustainability Week (April), Comex (May), Oman Perfume Show (June), Gulf Housing Week (October), Muscat Art (October) SMEs Omani Start Up forum (November) and the Oman Green Hydrogen Summit (December) which captivated audiences and contributed to the OCEC’s reputation as a premier destination for business events in the region.

Commenting on the OCEC’s 2023 success, Eng. Said Al Shanfari, CEO of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, stated: “We are thrilled to celebrate this significant milestone, marking a year of growth and regional acclaim for the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. The OCEC is more than a venue; it is an enabler for strategic discussions between local, regional, and international players on topics of importance to the country. The record-breaking attendance is a testament to our team’s dedication and the trust placed in us by our global and local partners. As we look forward to 2024, we remain committed to delivering exceptional experiences and contributing to Oman’s prominence on the world stage.”

At a strategic level, the OCEC has been focused on creating a positive economic impact for the Sultanate and driving innovation. According to independent research, the business events industry contributed to $1.9 billion in total spending in Oman in 2023, with exhibitions and corporate meetings as leading sectors. The OCEC has collaborated with key industry partners to drive economic investment and growth for Oman’s business events sector, benefiting leading airports, hotels, and tourism companies. The industry continues to be a viable source of employment as the sector generates thousands of jobs annually with many training programmes for Omani youth and young graduates.

“For 2024, the OCEC is focused on three core strategic drivers: sustainability, digitalisation and inclusivity. We aim to make our venue more sustainable in alignment with Oman’s net zero carbon target by 2050. To remain on top of industry trends, we will continue to innovate and digitalise our internal processes and marketing offerings to create a more seamless experience for our delegates, visitors, and exhibitors. For us, 2024 will be all about catering for all generations in Oman, ensuring that we have a diverse and inclusive range of events to activate our venue all year round,” explained Al Shanfari.

The OCEC expects to surpass its 2023 season with its 2024 programme of events, including many regional and international, starting as soon as Q1 2024. These include the Middle East Space Conference (January 2024), Oman International Pharmacy Conference and Exhibition (January 14–16), Oman Water Conference (January 22–26), Global Higher Education Exhibition – GHEDEX (February 4–6), Interior Design Furnishing Expo – IDF Oman (February 5–7), General Arab Insurance Federation Conference (February 18–21), International Book Fair and Moonlight Festival (February 22–March 2), Oman Sustainability Week and Oman Petroleum Energy Show (April 2024) and an exciting array of additional events planned throughout the year.

For more information on upcoming events, visit the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre website.