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Dubai Wins Bid To Host 2022 Global Mental Health Conference

  • IACAPAP congress takes place every two years and attracts thousands of mental health professionals from around the world
  • Dubai will be the first Arab city to host IACAPAP world congress since the first one in Paris in 1937

Dubai, January 30, 2018: Dubai has won the bid to host the International Association for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP) Congress in 2022, marking another milestone in the city’s efforts to lead awareness on mental health in the region and support its efforts to be a leading health tourism hub. The conference will be held under the patronage of the Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA) HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

IACAPAP is a non-governmental international association that advocates the promotion of mental health and development of children and adolescents through policy, practice, and research. The 2016 World Congress was held in Canada while the 2018 session will be held in the Czech Republic. IACAPAP holds a global congress every two years, the largest gathering of child and adolescent mental health professionals from all over the world to discuss relevant topics and promote global advancements in this field. Dubai will be the first Arab city to host an IACAPAP world congress since the first in Paris, in 1937.

Dr. Mohamad Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer of Al Jalila Children’s, said “The bid win is quite significant for Dubai and will enhance its endeavour in playing an important role in elevating healthcare standards across the region. Al Jalila Children’s is making huge strides in the advancement of child mental health, and hosting the IACAPAP 2022 will add a huge boost to our efforts in that direction. We are very grateful indeed for all the support that we received from various government and private entities in general and Dubai Tourism in particular to win this bid.”

“Winning the bid also reflects our determination to not only remain as a leading paediatric hospital but to also spearhead research and innovation regionally and globally. Our intent is set on achieving the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, which is to become one among the top 10 paediatric hospitals in the world,” Dr. Alawadhi said.         

Dubai Business Events, part of Dubai Tourism and the city’s official convention bureau, supported Emirates Child Mental Health Society – Emirates Medical Association and Al Jalila Children’s in bidding for the congress in 2022. The event joins a healthy pipeline of major international congresses taking place in the city over the coming years, each of which will not only bring in significant numbers of visitors, but also leave behind strong legacies.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said “Winning this bid has been a testament to the emirate’s ability to attract major business events that foster knowledge-sharing and collaboration between stakeholders. Business events such as this play a key role in enhancing the city’s status as a knowledge hub. The bid win is also another success story for the Al Safeer Congress Ambassador Programme, which brings together leaders and experts from key fields across the emirate to identify and bid for regional and international events. We look forward to welcoming International Association for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP) Congress delegates in 2022.”

The bid was presented during the IACAPAP Congress in Calgary, Canada, by the Emirates Child Mental Health Society, an entity working under the umbrella of the Emirates Medical Association, along with Al Jalila Children’s –  the only dedicated paediatric hospital in the UAE, and supported by Dubai Tourism.

Dr. Ammar Albanna, President of the Emirates Child Mental Health Society and Head of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre of Excellence at Al Jalila Children’s, said: “Mental disorders affect about one in five children and adolescents, and are among the top causes of disability according to the WHO. With the advent of modern technology, child mental health is on the verge of witnessing a revolution. Advancements in brain imaging, genomics and personalized medicine, psychiatric diagnosis will become more specific and treatments more personalized, shaping the way for better outcomes. The theme of the conference will focus on the role of modern technology in shaping the future of child mental health, and there is no better place to examine this theme than Dubai.”  

In 2017, Al Jalila Children’s spearheaded the first of its kind conference in the region for autism – “Systems of Care for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Global Perspective”, in which global experts discussed the creation of seamless systems of care for children with autism and their families across the community. The outcome of the conference resulted in the creation of the Dubai Declaration of Autism on World Autism Day. The conference was organised in partnership with the Harvard Medical School Centre for Global Health Delivery – Dubai, Eastern Mediterranean Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professionals (EMACAPAP), and (IACAPAP).

The Emirates Society for Child Mental Health is a professional society composed of child and adolescent psychiatrists and mental health professionals in the UAE, established in 2015 under the Emirates Medical Association. It aims to advance clinical services, research and education related to child and adolescent mental health in the UAE.  

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Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital

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