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Complete information you need to know

Accommodation/Hotel Reservation

Whether you are looking for a hotel in downtown Abu Dhabi or a serviced apartment in the Abu Dhabi suburbs, Abu Dhabi has two-star, three-star, four-star and five-star hotels as well as serviced hotel-apartments at your finger-tips. Abu Dhabi welcomes millions of visitors every year and Abu Dhabi hotels ensure that every guest receives the warmest of welcomes. From the five-star luxuries of Abu Dhabi’s beachfront hotels to the tranquil peace of Abu Dhabi’s desert retreat hotels.

Abu Dhabi is a world class ultramodern and cosmopolitan destination located at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, with the most up-to-date infrastructure and accommodation to please visitors from anywhere in the world.

Please be sure to book early to take advantage of the rates and proximity of the meetings and other functions. It should be noted that this is a very popular business and tourist location and is expected to sell out very early.

As a result we ask attendees to reserve earlier than usual to guarantee reservations of your choice. Group rates will be secured for Wonca EMR 2017 delegates and will be available for booking online for all attendees of the Congress. Hotel reservations can be made via the congress accommodation page.

Air Travel

Abu Dhabi International Airport is the second largest airport in the UAE. In 2008, its passenger traffic achieved a record 9.02 million passenger. Located 32km from the heart of Abu Dhabi city, the airport is built over an area of 350,000 square meter. Three highways lead from the city center to the airport: Khaleej Al Arabi (Highway 30), Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Street (Highway 2), and Salam Street (Highway 8). All three highways merge into E10 on approach to the airport. The airport operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its second runway, which was completed in 2008, is 4.1 kilometres long and 60 meters wide.

Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new terminal three (T3) serves as base to Etihad Airways, the fast-growing national flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. T3 was opened in early 2009, raising the airport capacity to 12 million passengers per annum.


Alcohol is freely available in hotels, clubs, restaurants and bars. However, many restaurants outside hotels are not permitted to serve alcoholic beverages.


Many international banks are represented by branches in Abu Dhabi. Bank hours vary but in general are 0800 to 1400, Sunday to Thursday and 0800 – 1200, Saturday.


Bargaining is expected in the souq and is quite usual elsewhere. Vendors will usually drop the price and often quite substantially, particularly for a cash sale.

Business Hours

Business: 08:00-13:00 and 16:00-19:30, Sunday to Thursday.
Most of the multinational companies work from 09:00-18:00 with a one hour lunch break.
Government offices: 07:30-14:30, Sunday to Thursday.
Exchange houses: 10:00-22:00.
Shopping malls: 10:00-22:00, Sunday to Wednesday and 10:00-00:00, Thursday and Friday.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations of registration will only be accepted in writing sent to the PCO by email or fax. The notification must include all relevant information regarding the bank account to which a possible refund may be remitted. In case of cancellation before 31 January 2017 registration fees will be refunded minus a handling fee of US$ 75. After this date there will be no refund.

Car Park

 Parking is available in Dusit Thani during the congress free of charge for the delegates.


The UAE has a sub-tropical, arid climate. May to September is summer, when temperatures range between 40C and 48C. However, during the winter months, between November and March, temperatures range from 10C to 30C. Rainfall is predominantly in winter and amounts to some 13cm annually.


Summer clothing may be worn for most of the year but the temperature can drop during the winter. At the pool or on the private beaches, swimwear is quite acceptable, but when in the city and public areas, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing that may be considered revealing.


To ensure you have an easy and fast registration, please note your registration ID number provided below and proceed to the registration counters located on ground floor near exhibition area. The registration desks will be operational as per the following timings:

Congress Day 1 Thursday, 2 March, 08:00 – 17:30
Congress Day 2 Friday, 3 March, 08:00 – 18:00
Congress Day 3 Saturday, 4 March, 08:30 – 11:00

Registered attendees must wear their badge at all times while in the Congress. We regret that attendees not wearing their badges will not be allowed entry. Lost badges can be re-issued at the registration desk at the cost of USD 50 per badge.

Kindly note that pre-registration is required to attend the workshops.

Program Updates

The updated Wonca EMR 2017 programme can be found online here:

Opening Ceremony

The Wonca EMR 2017 Opening Ceremony will start at 10:30am on Thursday, 2 March. We recommend that you arrive at the venue at least by 08:00am to ensure you can complete the registration formalities before the start of the Ceremony.

Network with experts session

Wonca EMR 2017 invites you all to participate in a unique session where you can ask experts your queries. This session will be held from 17:30-18:00 on 2nd March 2017, Thursday. Please place your questions on registration desk by 13:30 on day 1, 2 March 2017

Participating Faculty:

Prof. Amanda Howe, UK

Prof. Chris van Weel, Netherlands

Prof. Michael Kidd, Australia

Prof. Richard Roberts, USA

CME Credits/Certification

Attendance to the sessions is mandatory in order to receive full credit hours. Badged will be scanned at the entrance of the Onyx Ballroom to monitor attendance.

All CME Certificates will be sent via email after the congress to the email provided at the time of registration. After the Congress, delegates will receive an online questionnaire form via email, that they must fill-out. Once the form has been completed, the CME Certificate will be sent automatically by email. For any assistance, please email

Please ensure that the email provided at the time of registration is accurate. Otherwise, Certificate of Attendance may not be received. Delegates will be able to check that their email is accurate at the registration desks during operational hours.

Credit Cards

American Express, Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard, etc. are generally accepted in the main hotels and shops

Congress Organizer

Professional Congress Organizer (PCO)

Please do not hesitate to contact the PCO if you require any additional information or assistance.

Meeting Minds – Experts
Dubai Media City
Shatha Tower – Office 3113
P.O.Box 502464
T: +9714 4270492
F: +9714 4270493

Congress Venue

The venue for Wonca EMR 2017 is Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi. You can find more about venue here : Venue Page


 The monetary unit is the Dirham (AED), which is divided into 100 fils.
It is fixed to the US dollar at a current rate of US$1 = Dhs3.675

Dress Code

Compared to other Arab cities, this city has a calm and relaxed dress code. In summer, lightweight clothing is always advisable. Even though this city is famous as a summer destination, it is necessary to carry warm clothes in winter as temperatures are quite low in the evenings. Improper dressing should be avoided in public areas but swimsuits or short clothes are allowed on the beaches


Cars are driven on the right hand side of the road. Seat belts must be worn in the front and it is recommended that passengers buckle up in the back as well. Speed limits vary from around 70 kmph in built up areas to 120 kmph on the highways. There are plenty of speed cameras and zero tolerance for drinking and driving.

Driving License

A.G.C.C. nationals may drive on their respective licenses within the UAE. Visitors can rent a self drive car provided they hold either a valid international driving license issued by their home country or a temporary license issued by the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic & Licensing Department.

Visitors on a visit visa can obtain a temporary driving license provided they have a valid license from a recognized country: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA.


The electricity supply in Abu Dhabi is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles. Standard, British square three-pin plugs are the norm in most hotels. US-made appliances may need a transformer.

Visitors on a visit visa can obtain a temporary driving license provided they have a valid license from a recognized country: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA.


The exhibition for Wonca EMR 2017 will be in foyer area of Dusit Thani. Timings for exhibition will be updated closer to the event.

How to get to The Congress Venue

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi is centrally located in the Abu Dhabi city’s new business and government district, close to the Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi’s lush natural habitat, the Corniche, the city’s iconic seaside promenade, and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

  • Al Wahda Shopping Mall – 5 km
  • Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre – 10 km
  • Corniche Beach – 11 km
  • Eastern Mangroves Promenade – 11 km
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport – 32 km
Address: Sultan Bin Zayed The First Street, P.O. Box 52799, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 (2) 698 8888



The official language of the Congress is English. No simultaneous interpretation will be offered. The official language in Abu Dhabi is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood throughout the country.

Letter of Invitation

Delegates requiring a formal letter of invitation to enable them to make their arrangements to participate in the congress may request a letter via the PCO. Please note that this letter cannot be regarded as a commitment regarding scheduling or financial support from the organizers. All expenses incurred in relation to the congress are the sole responsibility of the delegates.


The PCO Meeting Minds – Experts acts solely as an agent and is not liable for any losses, accidents, injuries to persons or damage to property of any kind. This does not affect the liability of persons or companies charged with providing the relevant service. Oral arrangements require a written confirmation. The sole court of jurisdiction is UAE.

Local time

Gulf Standard Time: + 4 hours GMT


Medical services in Abu Dhabi are of international standards.

Parking and Accessibility

Valet Parking is available for delegates who wish arrive with their own transportation.


Normal tourist photography is acceptable but like anywhere in the world, it is courteous to ask permission before photographing people, especially local women.

Public Holidays

Islamic holidays are based on the Hijri calendar which is controlled by the sighting of the moon. As a result the dates of holidays are often confirmed less than 24 hours in advance. Some of these are Eid Al Fitr (three days), Eid Al Adha (four days), Al Hejra (one day), Mawlid Al Nabi (one day) and Al Isra Wal Miraj (one day).

Fixed dates on the calendar are New Year’s Day (Jan 1) and UAE National Day (Dec 2).


Abu Dhabi is considered a very safe city and crime rate is very low. Even though crime rate is near to zero, city police still maintain tight control over security and safety issues. Therefore, it has become one of the lowest crime rate cities in the world.

Registration fee includes entrance to all Gastro 2016 Scientific Sessions, the Exhibition and Receptions, unless otherwise specified. It also includes the Congress Proceedings. 

Conference delegates are entitled to the following:
– Official conference documentation, including advance program and proceedings
– Opening ceremony and Welcome reception
– Transfers to and from the venue and official conference hotels
– Coffee breaks during/within official conference program/venue
– Delegate bag

Accompanying Persons are entitled to the following:
– Opening ceremony and Welcome reception
– Transfers to and from the venue and official conference hotels

Please note conference registration fees do not include accommodation, visa and optional tours

Additional Information

1) Registration requests will be processed on “first-come, first-served” basis.
2) Registration Forms received without payment will not be processed.
3) Cash payments will not be accepted.
4) Each delegate should complete a separate registration form.
5) Group registrations are available through the conference web site.
6) Please carry along a print out of your registration confirmation for badge collection.
7) Conference proceedings are subject to change without prior notice.
8) Enquiries, changes and cancellations should be made in writing to the PCO at

Registration Fees
Residents/Students: A valid certificate (official certificate of the head of department including the date of birth/ student ID valid for November 2016) will have been submitted at the time of badge collection.

Registration of Groups
Registrations of groups can be made via the congress website registration page by using the official registration system. Please add new participants via one main account. For any assistance, please contact the PCO via

Travel Safety

We look forward to welcoming you to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Please do not hesitate to contact us on if you have any questions. Kindly note our offices are closed on Fridays and Saturdays, but we will respond to enquiries during the week.

With warm greetings,

Wonca EMR 2017 | Family Medicine Congress Secretariat
Meeting Minds Experts
Tel: +971 4 427 0492

Sponsorship Opportunities & Exhibition

Please contact the PCO at for assistance.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is banned in public areas but many places provide smoking rooms. The Health Minister of the city is planning to introduce stricter laws regarding smoking in public areas due to the increasing number of smokers especially aged between 12 and 16. Few cities like Dubai are in the phase to ban smoking completely and it is extended to hotels along with other public areas. Tobacco consumption, advertisement and promotion are banned by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi


Tipping practices are similar to most other parts of the world. Most restaurants include a 10% service charge, but tipping in general is at the customer’s discretion.


All taxis are metered. Taxis can be ordered or flagged down outside the hotels and in town. It is good to know a landmark close to your destination in order to direct the driver.


To travel around the city, there are four major means of transportation available; taxi, bus, tour, and rental cars or private cars. There is a good network of roads in the city and hardly any major traffic jams issues even in peak time. Modern bus transportation is available at all major places 24 hours. Another more economical option is to explore the city will be by taxi or car rental, which are conveniently located all around the city.

Tourist Information

Abu Dhabi is one of the most modern cities in the world with broad boulevards, high rises, apartment buildings and busy shops. This wealthy city has fascinating culture and provides fantastic opportunities to the tourists. Furthermore, several major islands surround Abu Dhabi and some of them are in the process of developing multi-billion dollar resorts, which are set to enrich the emirates’ profile even further.

Visa Requirements

Visa requirements for entering Abu Dhabi vary greatly between different nationalities and it is always advised to check regulations before travelling. Currently, every nationality entering the UAE needs a visa except citizens of GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) expatriate residents of the GCC (certain nationalities and professions) and British citizens with the right of abode in the UK.

Nationals of the following countries do not require Visas to enter the UAE: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican.

GCC nationals can stay more or less as long they like. British citizens can stay for a month and then apply for a visa for a further two months. European, American, South African and Australian citizens may obtain a visit visa from the UAE embassy in their respective countries before departure.

Other Nationalities 

For all other nationalities, a visa must be applied for before the visitor enters the country either through their respective embassy, a local UAE sponsor or a local hotel.

Visas through Hotels 
Tourists can get a visa from a tourist company or a hotel by first making a reservation for at least one night. They must fax/courier the hotel a copy of their passport along with the reason for the visit (tourism is an acceptable reason) and their arrival date. You must also make sure that the hotel faxes you a copy of the visa when it is ready.

Airlines may require confirmation (preferably a fax copy of the document) that a visa is held before check-in at the airport. The original is held at Abu Dhabi Airport for collection before passport control.

Tourist Visa 

This visa is issued through tourist companies and it is valid for 30 days. You cannot renew it or extend it. If the Visa holder (tourist) stays more than the 30 days, then that person has to pay a fine per day plus some charges for an out pass.

Visit Visa 

This visa is issued through Department of Neutralization and Residence. It is stamped for 30 days validity but it is valid for 60 days and can be extended for 30 more days by paying some amount. The extension needs to be done before the 60th day. If the visitor stays more than 60 days or more than 90 days (after the extension) they will have to pay a fine per day plus some charges for an out pass.


Onyx Ballroom at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi on Thursday, 2 March – Saturday, 4 March 2017. The congress program starts at 09:00 on 2 March 2017

Location Map
To get directions to the venue, please visit

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