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ASM Global appoints inaugural General Manager for the Middle East’s largest exhibition and convention centre

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The appointment of Dr Debbie Kristiansen, who has lived and worked in the Middle East for 16 years, has been applauded across the industry.

ASM Global has appointed experienced Middle East venue management and entertainment professional Dr. Debbie Kristiansen as General Manager of the new Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre, due to open in 2022.

The new Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre is set to boost the Kingdom of Bahrain’s position as a leading meetings and events destination, attracting future tourism investment and events to the region. With 95,000 sqm of exhibition space over 10 Halls, a 4,000-seat tiered auditorium, 95 meeting rooms, Royal & VIP Majlis and a 250-seat restaurant, the Centre will be the largest venue of its kind in the Middle East.

The appointment of Dr Kristiansen, who has lived and worked in the Middle East for 16 years, has been applauded across the industry. Ranked in the Top 30 Most Inspirational Women in the Arab World 2019 and Middle East Female CEO of the Year 2018, with a long and distinguished career in the tourism, exhibition, events and entertainment industries, Dr Kristiansen’s knowledge and understanding of the culture and the character of the region will be an invaluable asset in her new role.

ASM Global APAC & Gulf Region Chairman and Chief Executive, Harvey Lister AM said "Dr. Kristiansen is the ideal candidate to take on the role of General Manager of this landmark development.

“Debbie has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry and her leadership skills will bring many unique qualities to the role.

“Her appointment will help consolidate ASM Global’s reputation in the region as the world’s leading producer of event experiences and enhance Bahrain’s standing as an international meetings destination.”

Commenting on her appointment, Dr. Kristiansen said she was ‘truly excited’ to join the ASM Global family with its unparalleled reputation for delivering the very best in venue and event management and creating memorable experiences.

“To have the opportunity of working both for ASM Global, and to return to the beautiful destination of Bahrain, is a dream come true. This will allow me the privilege to help mentor and build the talent and skill set of young Bahrainis for generations to come.

“I look forward to working closely with Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority to develop and grow the international MICE business, and to create a long-term legacy for Bahrain,” she said.

Iain Campbell, Executive Vice President, ASM Global – Gulf Region, welcomed Dr. Kristiansen’s appointment and said it highlighted ASM Global’s reputation and ability to attract the best talent from across the globe.

“It is a pleasure to have Debbie on the team with her considerable knowledge and experience across the broader industry, both regionally and internationally.”

Iain Campbell said he looked forward to welcoming other industry professionals to the team as the project progressed, offering a unique opportunity for those wanting to be part of the Middle East’s biggest and most advanced exhibition and convention facility. 

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