After a last-minute rule change to health regulations in the country, participants in the fair in Abu Dhabi were required to produce a negative PCR test result before the beginning of indoor events.
As part of a quick response, the educational event company set up an onsite testing facility for students in the UAE, whose usual two-to-four-day test results would have seen them barred from the event.
As well as participants’ results being returned in only 90 minutes, BMI also covered the costs for the tests.
The events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi allowed students to meet senior staff, directors and even former students from education institutions across the globe.
“This last-minute regulation change presented a barrier to access, so we sprang into action and worked with a local clinic to set up a testing centre practically overnight,” CEO and founder of BMI Samir Zaveri said.
The event series began with a schools and forum “workshop”, which saw almost 60 counsellors from across the country and region, which enabled visiting colleges to hold one-to-one meetings with high school counsellors.
“We didn’t fully anticipate the demand from students and parents”
Zaveri said such counsellors are “extremely important” in the Gulf, and BMI said it shows in-person student recruitment is “here to stay”.
“We knew from the numbers who had pre-registered for the event that we would have a great turnout,” Zaveri noted.
“We didn’t fully anticipate the demand from students and parents,” he added, citing that almost half who attended came with their families. Almost 4,000 students and parent attended.
One of the 50 exhibiting institutions from 15 countries, Savannah College of Art and Design, praised BMI’s success.
“Kudos to the entire team for ensuring we had a safe and prosperous series of events,” said director of International Initiatives Jeff Jones.
View a gallery from the event here.