A staggering AED3 billion business activity was generated by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, ADNEC, in 2016.
Its key venues include Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Ain Convention Centre, AACC, and together, the centres hosted more than 1.5 million visitors across 480 local and international events, an increase of 30 percent over 2015.
The company announced its achievements at a press conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The event was headed by Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO of ADNEC, and several senior officials were also present.
Commenting on the achievements, Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairwoman of ADNEC, said, "Abu Dhabi has embarked on an ambitious plan to develop diverse economic sectors that has yielded outstanding results over the past few years. Along with its sister national companies, ADNEC has played a crucial role in realising this vision through driving significant growth in the extremely important business tourism sector.
"We look forward to continuing our efforts to solidify Abu Dhabi’s leading status as the business tourism capital of the region. We thank our wise leadership for its unwavering support to our endeavours to promote business tourism through leveraging the emirate’s competitive advantages such as its state-of-the-art infrastructure, advanced facilities and strategic location at the heart of a thriving region with an immense economic potential," she added.
Expressing her pride in the capabilities of ADNEC’s Emirati workforce, Noura Al Kaabi said, "ADNEC has a wealth of Emirati talent among its personnel who lead various initiatives, designed to achieve long-term business tourism growth. Our efforts to promote Abu Dhabi as an ideal venue for specialised events have helped us bring some very important international events to the Middle East for the first time."
She also thanked the members of ADNEC’s Board of Directors for their support of the company’s efforts to increase the role of business tourism in generating significant non-oil-related economic impact for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
"We are pleased with the outstanding results we achieved in 2016 despite the diverse challenges that the MICE industry faced regionally and globally. Our numbers validate the effectiveness of our portfolio expansion into sectors prioritised in the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030," ADNEC Group CEO Al Dhaheri said.
"In 2016, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Ain Convention Centre hosted 43 exhibitions, including 15 new additions, marking a 10 percent surge. The numbers testify to the success of our strategy of attracting a wide spectrum of new events to Abu Dhabi while supporting our existing exhibitions," he added.
The total number of conferences hosted by the venues in 2016 increased by 5 percent to reach 22. In addition, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre won the hosting rights of 12 new international and local conferences.
"In 2016, the ADNEC Group contributed to the creation of more than 16,844 jobs in the UAE across business tourism sectors. We also supported the occupancy of hotels in the country by delivering a total of 528,639 guest nights - a 27 percent increase over 2015," Al Dhaheri said.
"ADNEC has a dedicated team of highly skilled Emiratis who are the key drivers behind the company’s phenomenal growth over the past few years. Towards the end of 2016, Emiratisation at ADNEC reached 60 percent, up from 55 percent in 2015. In addition, qualified Emiratis hold 82 percent of our senior management positions," he added.
Last year ADNEC also achieved significant savings in direct and fixed costs, reiterating the success of its sustainability programme dedicated to promoting energy efficiency and rational use of resources.
"Our sustainability programme demonstrates our priority to support the UAE’s efforts in sustainable development. Our waste management systems work round the clock to ensure safe waste collection, segregation and storage. In 2016, we reduced our CO2 emissions by 228,979 tonnes through recycling 676,382 tonnes of materials." Al Dhaheri said.
ADNEC Services, a subsidiary of ADNEC Group that offers specialised services for exhibitors and event organisers, also achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 93 percent, the highest in the global exhibitions and events industry.
The results of a society perception survey, conducted by an independent global information and measurement firm last year, showed that the awareness of ADNEC’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s economic development among the residents of the emirate increased from 86 percent in 2015 to 90 percent in 2016.