Malta: Large-scale events on the rocks


A guest post by Paul Selis

Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, the three main islands Malta, Gozo and Comino are small, beautiful and unique. With a fascinating 7,000 years of history and pre-historic temples older than the Pyramids, the Islands are bursting with culture, friendly locals, sunshine and ongoing events. With its thriving economy, continuous business development and considered to be a very safe destination, Malta has become an important hub for various trades, professions, services, vocations, research and education in the Mediterranean, making it an optimal choice to hold international meetings.

The tiny island of Comino. ©Ted Attard.

The tiny island of Comino. ©Ted Attard.

Malta is easily accessible with a 3-hour flight from all major European airports: 75 airports within Europe, Africa and the Middle East are serviced by 40 different airlines operating direct daily connections. With transfer times rarely exceeding 15 minutes, the Islands are extremely suited to be discovered in a stay of two to three nights. It is the perfect destination for meetings and incentives with a large selection of internationally branded four and five-star hotels, as well as boutique hotels. Complimented with magnificent historical monuments which can be used as venues, state-of-the art infrastructure and conference facilities.

Unexpected experiences on the Maltese Archipelago

On Site Malta is a Destination Management Company whose multi-lingual team of 15 event professionals arrange an average of 50 events hosting approximately 5,000 guests yearly. Two years of intricate planning, two weeks of set-up with over 200 crew members, and two days of intense rehearsals by international artists and their troupes led up to the largest event ever held in Malta which entertained some 7,000 guests in September 2014. The Valletta Waterfront, a busy, operational cruise port and business hub, was the chosen venue – beautifully transformed for this special event.

Ablaze with a million lights: the spectacular gathering of four AIDA Cruise Liners at the Valletta Waterfront.

Ablaze with a million lights: the spectacular gathering of four AIDA Cruise Liners at the Valletta Waterfront.

For the first time in history, all four AIDA cruise liners approached the Grand Harbour and majestically sailed in, one by one, to a full seven-round canon salute for each vessel. The ceremony was looked onto by the one hundred VIP guests who waved the ships in from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, triggering uproar of cheers from the passengers on each ship as they entered the harbour.

The guests disembarked onto specially constructed platforms and into their designated areas to enjoy the show which included past and present German and international singers, musicians and DJs, high-tech projections and fireworks. Several bars and seating areas were set up along the promenade and the quays and shuttle services operated to the hotels and to the ships. The vessels vacated the harbour a couple of hours after the event ended, and Valletta Cruise Port and its businesses were restored to resume normal operation the following day.


Rolex Middle Sea Race 2008 © ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo

The Rolex Middle Sea Race 2008. © ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo10 Facts & Figures on Malta

Part of the European Union since 2004 / EURO currency since 2008
32,000 available beds in 108 hotels on Malta and Gozo ranging between 2 and 5 star
Most hotels have in-house conference facilities which can seat up to 700 pax.
For larger events Malta has 4 major conference centers that can accommodate up to 10,000 delegates.
Over 300 days of sunshine with a mild Mediterranean climate all year around
Official languages: Maltese and English
Population: 400 000
Malta is up for EU Presidency in 2017
Valletta is to be European Capital of Culture in 2018
Malta offers good value with a high level of quality at a fair price
The local VAT is reimbursable on conferences

Photos in text courtesy of ©Onsite Malta

The header image shows the Valletta Waterfront by day. Courtesy of ©