As one of the signature buildings in the design of the @bahrain destination, [email protected] acts as the symbolic “front door” to the development. The Exhibition & Convention facilities of [email protected] will provide 145,000 square meters of highly efficient, flexible space with world-class amenities, able to accommodate a wide range of user groups within the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions) industry.


Commenting on the appointment, Nicola Pero, Group [email protected] said “We are very proud to have such an experienced MICE professional head up such an important element of @bahrain. During her 22 years of experience gained around the world, she has consistently delivered strength in numbers as a results-driven MICE professional, so Debbie is well-suited to being the driving force behind our exhibition and convention business”.


“I am honoured by this exciting opportunity to take the helm of the new Exhibition & Convention centre,” said Stanford-Kristiansen. “What @bahrain as a whole has to offer the MICE community is very compelling – exhibition, meeting and hospitality facilities, some of the world’s finest retail brands and restaurants and varying entertainment elements – all of which will make for a more vibrant destination for exhibitions and conventions.”


Stanford-Kristiansen spent six years on the Board of SITE (Society of Incentive & Travel Executives) Great Britain and Ireland Chapter including two years as Chapter President. She worked extensively with the Caribbean Hotel Association developing their Caribbean Incentive Travel and meetings product for UK MICE Planners. 


As an active member of MPI (Meetings Professionals International) which has over 18,000 members worldwide, she served on the Board of the UK Chapter for two years between 2001 and 2003. In addition, she spent two years as Deputy Chair of the Middle East Chapter of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) between 2006 and 2008.


She was appointed to her most recent role at BECA in early 2008, and has driven significant business to the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre which is booked for the next three years due to high demand, and will transfer all existing events to [email protected] when the new facilities open in 2013.


[email protected] has the capacity to hold approximately 5,000 plus delegates and up to 30,000 visitors daily, with the design allowing for potential future expansion to meet growing demand. The facilities will boost employment opportunities and inject millions of dollars into the local Bahraini economy.  The MICE industry is worth US$56 billion globally, and will be a consistent source of revenue for @bahrain and the Kingdom of Bahrain as a whole.


Stanford-Kristiansen added, “Since my family and I relocated to Bahrain when I joined BECA in 2005, I have never met so many warm, welcoming people. I am excited to become a member of the @bahrain team.  [email protected] is guided by an exciting vision that will leave a wonderful legacy for Nationals and residents of Bahrain.”