Abu Dhabi / London: Trade fair centres expand towards the waterfront

Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) announced its expansion plans at the end of October. Its trade fair centres in Abu Dhabi and London are set to expand.

Trade fair scene at ADNEC: Business tourism will continue to grow in importance. (Photo: TFI)
Trade fair scene at ADNEC: Business tourism will continue to grow in importance. (Photo: TFI)

The idea is that this will further strengthen ADNEC’s competitiveness. The company seeks to be even better at attracting and holding large international events in a wide variety of industries. 10,000 square metres are to be added to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. This will give it the largest exhibition hall in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) – on the marina, just across from the existing venue. It will be the first venue in the region to boast such an outstanding waterfront location. The hall will have cutting-edge technology and be flexible and variable enough to host events of different types and sizes and focusing on different sectors. Work on the waterfront began at the end of October and is expected to take 12 months. The opening of the hall is scheduled for October 2022, and that will be followed by work on the outdoor areas.

This expansion and development work in Abu Dhabi is part of a series of stages development since the venue was first built in 2005. On completion of this work, there will be around 92,000 square metres of indoor space for trade fairs plus 59,000 square metres outside. Development work is also planned at ExCeL London, which is fully owned by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company. Around 25,000 square metres of space for exhibitions, meetings and conferences will be added by 2024. Construction work is due to start at the beginning of next year. “The expansion of our assets in Abu Dhabi and London confirms the increasing importance of both the business travel sector and tourism,” argues Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, ADNEC’s managing director and group CEO. “These industries are key to taking both countries’ economies to the next level, as they help diversify their sources of income and strengthen the main sustainable contributors to that.”

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri says that ADNEC’s strategy is based on “transforming challenges into opportunities” (Photo: ADNEC)
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri says that ADNEC’s strategy is based on “transforming challenges into opportunities” (Photo: ADNEC)

It may seem counter-intuitive that these investments are announced at a time when the event industry is going through a crisis throughout the world as a result of the pandemic, but Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri asserts that the group’s strategy is based on the principle of turning challenges into opportunities: “We have moved on from the exceptional circumstances that have affected the world to providing an advanced infrastructure at our centres to welcome people from across the globe once more in a safe and reliable business environment.” ADNEC is approaching the future with optimism and in line with the long-term vision of its prudent leadership, which takes the next fifty years as its context (www.adnec.ae).

Author: Peter Borstel

This article was published in TFI issue 4/2021

 
 

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