ICN’s member, the Emirates Nursing Association was chosen to host the ICN 2021 Congress for a number of reasons, including regional diversity, the opportunity to reach nurses in the Middle East and the promotion of the advancement of nursing in the region, balanced against other more challenging factors. ICN is aware that nurses in the UAE and the whole Middle East region are dedicated to developing nursing associations in culturally challenging circumstances. The nursing associations in the region understand that they cannot remain dependent on expatriate nurses and they value the support of ICN’s global family in developing the profession there.
ICN balances our commitment to the worldwide nursing family and developing nursing in circumstances that are far from ideal against our wider duties to all humanity, exemplified by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Like many international NGOs, including UN organisations such as WHO and ILO, ICN values inclusivity to drive change and improvements on key issues such as human rights. We have a duty to our entire membership and will publicly call out human rights violations, such as attacks on health care, whilst striving to use our influence to change attitudes, behaviours and systems. By adhering to these universal democratic values, ICN has been able to maintain its support for all its associations, over 120 years of continuous service by putting the focus on nursing and delivering healthcare, no matter the circumstances.
ICN has a tradition of showing leadership for nurses which goes beyond national borders; we are neither naive nor complacent but feel it is the correct stance to ensure no nurse is excluded from our organisation because of the policies of their government. We therefore see the Congress in Abu Dhabi as an opportunity to show leadership and call for human rights improvements in the region and beyond. Sadly, more than 80 countries in the world, including the UAE, have legislation against homosexuality; and gender discrimination exists in almost all countries to a higher or lesser degree. We do not wish to exclude nurses from these countries from benefiting from ICN’s meetings and leadership because of these laws and attitudes. The ICN Congress aims to bring together nurses without regard to political views, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and disability.
Meaning ‘Land of the Gazelle’ in Arabic, Abu Dhabi was founded when a young antelope led a wandering tribe to fresh water, on an island with no more than 300 palm (‘barasti’) huts, a few coral buildings and the Ruler’s fort. This simple island settlement has since been transformed into the modern, cosmopolitan city of Abu Dhabi and the high-rise capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Click here to discover more about Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi is not only a gateway to the Middle East but to the entire MENA region. More than 52 airlines fly to and from some 85 cities in over 49 countries, Abu Dhabi International Airport has won the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ accolade multiple times.
Visa requirements to enter the UAE is based on your nationality. Once you have registered and paid, the Congress can provide you with a letter of invitation for use as part of your visa application.
All delegates requiring visas for the United Arab Emirates should contact their nearest United Arab Emirates embassy or consulate in good time, allowing at least 10 weeks for their visa to be processed. All delegates, regardless of needing a visa or not, must hold a passport valid for at least six months after their time of departure from the United Arab Emirates. They must also ensure that they have transit visas in order should they be necessary.
For complete information please refer to the UAE embassy or consulate in your country or find further information here.
Getting around in Abu Dhabi is quite easy with a modern and well-managed network of roads, freeways, interchanges and efficient, reasonably priced transportation services. The city is planned on a grid system and the roads are newly paved and are wide, ensuring safe and flowing traffic.
Hotels often provide a courtesy bus service to the souks, major shopping malls, and other points of interest. Taxis are cheap and easily available and there are many local and international car hire firms. Inbound operators can arrange a dedicated transport system for larger groups. Taxis, public buses and car rentals are widely available.
The bus service runs daily from 5am to midnight during the week and until 2am on the weekend. Various fares make the public transport affordable and comfortable.
The Congress venue, ADNEC, is a 15 minute drive from the airport as is a wide selection of hotels. Some of the hotels run airport shuttles, and taxis are inexpensive.
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) is a multi-award winning venue offering organisers of exhibitions, conferences and events outstanding facilities spread over a total space of 142,226 square metres. Situated proudly in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, named the safest city in the world for the past three years, ADNEC is one of the most accessible venues in the world.
ADNEC is just 15 minutes away from the rapidly expanding Abu Dhabi International Airport which serves over 50 airlines and 100 destinations in 46 countries around the globe. It is only 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 90 minutes from Dubai International Airport.
Abu Dhabi has an arid desert climate, which is extremely hot and humid in summer and pleasantly warm in winter. June is considered to be the hot season in Abu Dhabi with an average daily temperature of 33°C (91°F). Daytime averages can climb to an average of 40°C (104°F) but the city is well prepared for hot weather and air conditioning is available everywhere.
First-time visitors to Abu Dhabi may be unsure of what to wear. Visitors are not expected to cover their heads (except in mosques) or wear traditional clothing. However, it is advisable to wear long, loose clothing made from natural materials (e.g. cotton or linen). It is also one of the best ways to cope with the heat. It is advisable to have a loose shirt/jacket or shawl with you at all times, even in hot weather, because malls, restaurants and cinemas can be very cold due to air conditioning.
Skirts or trousers should be knee-length or longer. Tight, form-fitting clothes or those which expose thighs, cleavage, midriff or upper arms should be avoided. Short sleeve tops are acceptable. Shorts are only considered suitable for the beach (for men and women). Western-style swimsuits
(one or two piece) are acceptable at all beaches.
Language: The UAE’s native language is Arabic while English is also widely spoken.
Country dialing code: +971
Time Difference: GMT + 4 hours
Business hours: The working week runs from Sunday to Thursday. Most banks are not open on the weekend although ATM machines are available. Many shops and malls are open until the late evening.
Electricity: Voltage is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Plug sockets are mainly British style 3 pin type ‘G’ but European style 2 pin type ‘C’ sockets are also in use.