In 2011, ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company) hosted a record number of events at its three event facilities, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ExCeL London, and the Al Ain Convention Centre. Together the three venues welcomed 733 events – an increase of 18 per cent over 2010.
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre saw a 56 per cent year-on-year increase as its total number of events shot up to 231 from 148 in 2010. Events hosted at ExCeL increased from 242 in 2010 to 284 in 2011, an increase of 17 per cent.
“The growing number and scale of the events we host is a clear signal of our ambitions and rising prominence in the events industry,” said H.E. Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, ADNEC’s Managing Director.
“In 2010, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre made great strides towards its goal of becoming the most successful exhibition, conference and events centre in the region. ADNEC is raising the profile of Abu Dhabi internationally and playing a key role in boosting the volume of business tourism to the Emirate. The ADNEC team is moving forward and developing the company in line with Abu Dhabi’s strategic 2030 vision”, added H.E. Al Dhaheri.
Key ADNEC milestones in 2011 included:
- A record-breaking IDEX and the launch of the co-located NAVDEX. IDEX 2011 attracted 1,060 exhibitors, and utilised 124,000sqm of event space at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre;
- The completion of the Capital Gate tower, Abu Dhabi’s iconic new leaning tower, which is owned and developed by ADNEC. The tower houses the 189-room, luxury 5-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel, which opened on 21 December 2011, and 15,000m² of office space;
- Strong growth of ADNEC’s weddings business. In 2011, the venue hosted close to 100 weddings– representing more than a 500 per cent increase compared to 2009;
- Achieving 44 per cent Emiratisation and offering challenging and rewarding careers to qualified young UAE
- The opening of the Al Khabisi wedding hall at the Al Ain Conference Centre and hosting 210 weddings at the venue. This figure equates to 4 weddings every week;
- The staging of World Skills, ExCeL’s largest event to-date. Taking over the entire venue, including all Hall and meeting spaces, the event brought together 150,000 people from around the world. This made it the most successful World Skills in the event’s 50-year history.
- Opening of the 252-room ADNEC-owned Aloft London Excel, boosting hotel room capacity at ExCeL to 1,400;
- Scooping more than 20 global industry awards including ‘International Venue of the Year’ (ADNEC) at the AEO Awards (Association of Events Organisers), as well as being named highly commended in the Venue Sustainable Initiative of the Year category; ‘Exhibition Venue of the Year,’ (ExCeL) at the Events Awards 2011, and World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Venue (ExCeL) at the World Travel Awards 2011.
- Purchase and relaunch of BoxOfficeME.com and a renewed focus on ADNEC’s live events business.
Looking to the year ahead, ADNEC will be hosting Abu Dhabi’s largest ever congress to date in February with the World Ophthalmology Congress 2012 expected to bring in more than 12,000 delegates. Also taking place in the first quarter is World Future Energy Summit 16-19 January, the world’s foremost annual meeting for the renewable energy and environment industry, International Security National and Resilience (ISNR) Abu Dhabi 19-21 March, bringing together the entire spectrum of homeland security issues, and Gulf Incentive Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) 26-28 March, the five-star event for the meetings and events industry in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi’s second largest congress, the 18th World Route Development Forum, will take place in the autumn, followed by the UFI Annual Congress - the first time the key exhibition industry event is held in the Arabian Gulf - and ADIPEC, the largest oil and gas show outside of North America, both in November. The 2012 edition of ADIPEC will mark the 15th successive edition, and encompasses quayside exhibition space at ADNEC’s purpose-built marina.
At ExCeL London, the highlight this year with be the seven Olympic events (240 medals) and six Paralympic events (222 medals) which will be staged at the venue as part of the London 2012 games this summer.