Barcelona International Community Day to celebrate tenth anniversary

Fair will take place on October 28 in Maritime Museum and is free of charge

Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed
Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed / BARCELONA LOCAL COUNCIL


October 2, 2023 10:38 AM

The Barcelona Maritime Museum, located in the former Royal Shipyards, will host the tenth edition of Barcelona International Community Day on Saturday, October 28.

The event is the main welcome space for international professionals who have just arrived in the city and the benchmark event for all members of the international community who live and work in Barcelona.

It is also open to anyone who wants to connect with this network, which brings diversity and wealth to the city. The initiative is promoted by Barcelona City Council via the Directorate of International Economic Promotion.

The event consists of a fair for businesses and organisations that offer products, services and initiatives aimed at international talent, as well as a programme of activities, workshops and lectures on topics of interest to the community.

The premises are open from 10 am to 7 pm. Access is free of charge and tickets can be obtained by registering on the website barcelona.cat/internationalcommunityday.

The fair welcomes almost 80 exhibitors, including companies and public and private organisations; associations, social clubs and non-profits; and international schools, all distributed around the different stands and information points.

Participants will also find specialised resources and services that meet the needs of foreign nationals who have recently arrived in Barcelona.

Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed
Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed / BARCELONA LOCAL COUNCIL

The sectors represented include real estate, relocation, talent management, legal and financial advice, insurance and medical services. The participants will also find cultural and social organisations, both public and private, which will offer them products, services and initiatives to help them to enjoy and integrate into the city.

The educational sector will also be represented with stands from different schools offering international curricula or qualifications. Plus, the exhibitors include business schools and other educational centres.

The more than 60 activities that are scheduled in this year's edition revolve around three main themes: arriving in the city, with practical information on paperwork, looking for a flat, tax issues and how the education and healthcare systems work; companies and work, with tips on finding a job, developing a career or becoming an entrepreneur; and enjoying and socialising in the city, with information on culture, entertainment and guided networking events to help create networks of contacts, both personal and professional.

Featured in this year’s activity programme are topics like Barcelona’s scientific potential, entrepreneurial talent, searching for a flat in the city, access to healthcare services, practising Catalan and promoting entrepreneurship among women.

The event will share the resources offered by Barcelona Activa to find work and support the creation of companies with mentoring services. There will be a detailed explanation of the permanent municipal service for supporting and welcoming recently arrived international talent, Barcelona International Welcome Desk, which provides personalised information and advice.

Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed
Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed / BARCELONA LOCAL COUNCIL

Therefore, Barcelona International Community Day will be not only be a space where citizens from other countries are welcomed and can meet each other, but also the largest concentration of talent, entrepreneurship, ideas and projects coming to the city from abroad.

The day will also have a festive and family side. This year, new and exciting activities are being offered for all audiences, like a performance by castellers (human tower builders) and a virtual reality experience about Barcelona. As usual, the garden of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona will host live concerts and performances, and inside the venue there will be a play centre for our littlest visitors with children’s activities.

After the success of the previous edition, the large closing party will be held again from 6 to 7 pm. This time it will feature a ten-year anniversary cake, a toast and a Catalan rumba concert for the attendees and participants.

To commemorate the event's tenth edition, an exclusive anniversary t-shirt has been created. It was designed by the artist Philip Stanton, a renowned US painter, illustrator and designer living in Barcelona. The city has been the leitmotif of much of his work, and he has several murals in public spaces. Two hundred t-shirts will be handed out to the first 200 people to enter the fair.


Just like every year, host ambassadors will participate in the programme of activities. They are professionals from different countries who have moved to Barcelona and developed their careers in the city. In addition to participating in the event on 28 October, through Barcelona International Welcome’s social media, each one will tell in a video interview why they chose Barcelona and how the city has helped them to bring their professional projects to fruition.

Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed
Attendees of the Barcelona International Community checking information from one of the stands installed / BARCELONA LOCAL COUNCIL

The host ambassadors in this edition are the Ukrainian Svetlana Velikanova, the founder of Harbour Space University; the Chinese entrepreneur and businesswoman Liling Qi, president of Puente China Holding; the German biologist Reimund Fickert, the head of communication and development at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB); Mirjam Maarleveld, the Dutch founder of the Barcelona Expat Life platform; Lázaro Campoalegre, a Cuban computer engineer specialising in the ICT industry; and Marion Sánchez, from France, who is currently involved in the impact investing foundation Ship2b.

This year, to celebrate the event’s tenth anniversary, the host ambassadors from previous editions have also been invited.

Organisers and support

Barcelona City Council organises Barcelona International Community Day with major participation by Barcelona Activa, the city's economic development agency, and with the involvement of numerous organisations, entities and professionals that make it possible to hold and publicise it. The project is an example of a public-private partnership, given that it has significant support from Banco Sabadell as a premium sponsor, as well as the sponsorship of ERES Relocation Services (managing workers’ international mobility), MAPFRE (insurance and medical and health services) and Entre Trámites (tax and legal consulting for SMEs, freelancers and foreign companies that want to move to Barcelona).

This year, the Barcelona International Schools Association (BISA), Maremagnum shopping center, the Old Irish Pub and the childcare services company The Nanny Line are also supporting the event.

La Vanguardia will be the event's media partner, along with the support of several partner media specialising in content for the city's international community.

2022 Edition

Registrations for the 2022 edition totalled 5,416 people, a record figure in the event’s nine years. Of those, 76.8% were attending for the first time, with the remainder being repeat visitors. This large international gathering also brought together students, entrepreneurs, members of research teams, businesspeople, artists and families.

The diverse origins of the participants meant that 71.21% were from abroad, while 28.79% were from Spain. Visitors from 130 countries gathered; the five countries with the most visitors were France, Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Colombia. Around 67% of the attendees had been living in Barcelona for less than five years.

Barcelona International Community Day celebrates its tenth anniversary
Barcelona International Community Day celebrates its tenth anniversary / BARCELONA LOCAL COUNCIL

Sixty-one activities were held, with 81 speakers and experts and 71 exhibitors. The participants rated their satisfaction with the day at 7.8 out of 10. The report on the 2022 edition can be found at this link.

A 360-degree plan to attract, welcome, energise and gain the loyalty of international talent

Barcelona’s diverse, intercultural spirit is evidenced by the fact that currently 31.3% of the people living in the city, that is 519,066, were born abroad. People from 177 different nationalities live together in Barcelona; the largest groups are Italians, Colombians, Pakistanis and Chinese.

Regarding educational level, 43.2% of expats living in Barcelona have university degrees or a higher-level vocational training degree. Barcelona offers all foreign nationals who come to live and carve out their lives in the city countless opportunities to facilitate their personal and professional growth.

This large, dynamic, international community has the potential to enrich our society and economy. From the economic promotion perspective, the community is invaluable because: 

  • They generate wealth with their talent, work, investments, companies, professional projects and economic or commercial activity. 
  • They push improvements in competitiveness and productivity, given that they bring new ideas, techniques and innovations. 
  • They are the first to welcome new investors, entrepreneurs or professionals from their country: they help them take the decision to invest and help new talent to land in our city. 
  • They serve as economic ‘ambassadors’ of Barcelona in their home countries. 

Bearing in mind this incredibly positive contribution, it is important to care for this international community, both recent arrivals and more veteran residents. That is why, for some years, the International Economic Promotion area of Barcelona City Council has had a plan to attract, welcome, energise and earn the loyalty of international talent, which is reflected in the Barcelona International Welcome.

This municipal website is aimed at foreign nationals who want to come and live and work in Barcelona, and it provides practical information on arriving to the city, along with a detailed explanation of the important compulsory administrative formalities they must complete. It also offers a calendar of activities throughout the year to help those people develop their full potential, learn about the city and connect with other members of the same community.

The Barcelona International Welcome Desk has been operating since November 2021. It is a pioneering service to welcome international talent to Spain, which facilitates the arrival of talent through personalised information, advice and procedural services in different languages, both in person and by video call.


(Catalan News is not liable to third parties for any information in this statement)