Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) announced that the value of its direct and indirect impact on the Abu Dhabi economy in 2018 registered AED3.41 billion, taking the total value of its contribution to the local economy since its inception in 2005 to AED32 billion (£6.6bn).
ADNEC’s strong 2018 results followed a 14 per cent growth in the number of events hosted by Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Ain Convention Centre (AACC), which collectively notched up a record 502 events in 2018, compared to 442 events in 2017. This brings the total number of events hosted by ADNEC’s venues since its inception 14 years ago to 3,390.
ADNEC welcomed more than two million visitors from across the globe in 2018, taking the total visitor count at its venues to more than 17.5 million since 2005.
The company also revealed that it supported the creation of over 20,000 job opportunities in related sectors and helped generate 473,454 guest nights for the hospitality sector in the emirate.
In 2018, ADNEC venues collectively hosted 57 local and international exhibitions, including nine new additions, representing a 7.4 per cent increase over 2017, when they welcomed 54 exhibitions. Furthermore, the number of rotational conferences of specialised international associations presented by ADNEC venues, some of them marking their Middle East debut, increased from 14 in 2017 to 19 in 2018, posting a 35 per cent growth.
ADNEC also won the rights to hold five major international conferences in 2018 and submitted bids for 22 conferences in collaboration with several local and federal associations and other entities, in comparison to 19 bids submitted in 2017, registering a 16 per cent growth
In addition, the company achieved the highest customer satisfaction rating in the global events and exhibitions industry at 94.7 per cent, up from 92.6 per cent in 2017.
Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Chairwoman of ADNEC, said: “ADNEC pursues Abu Dhabi’s vision to develop its business tourism sector, one of the key sectors identified by Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. For the past 14 years, the company has marked multiple achievements at the local and international levels, owing to the unwavering support of the wise leaders of the emirate and their continued commitment to the development of this vital sector.
She added: “The long-term prospects for the business tourism sector in Abu Dhabi are promising, with ADNEC’s state-of-the-art event infrastructure and highly qualified Emirati workforce playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of this industry. The company has also reaped dividends from the favourable business environment for non-oil sectors in Abu Dhabi as well as the government’s progressive development agenda.”
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri said: “Capping its past achievements, ADNEC has notched up excellent results in 2018, buoyed by the record growth in the number of events hosted by its venues as well as the solid performance of its key business segments, especially exhibitions and conferences. Over the years, ADNEC has significantly increased its market share within the region’s fast-growing event industry, which reflected positively on the performance of diverse economic and knowledge-based sectors and provided a fresh impetus for trade and investment in the emirate.”
He added: “The outstanding results are the outcome of the dedication of our passionate teams, who spare no efforts in fulfilling the strategic plans of our Chairwoman and Board of Directors to enhance the company’s competitiveness at the local and international levels. In 2018, ADNEC continued to expand and diversify its event portfolio through attracting the most prominent players in the international exhibitions and conferences arena. Meanwhile, the company offered organisers, exhibitors and delegations a whole gamut of best-in-class facilities and services to ensure the continued success of their events hosted at its venues.”
Al Dhaheri also noted that ADNEC attended several highly targeted international MICE events in 2018 to promote Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a preferred destination for business tourism. At these events, the company participated in a series of meetings and showcased Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art MICE infrastructure and cutting-edge facilities to top decision makers from the global meetings industry and related businesses. Furthermore, it explored partnership opportunities with leading associations and international event organisers to bring their events to Abu Dhabi.
In June 2018, ADNEC unveiled plans to develop Hall 4 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre that offers dedicated spaces for conferences and similar events. Aimed at addressing the growing demand for the award-winning venue, the planned development involves dividing Hall 4, strategically located adjacent to the multi-purpose Atrium, into three fully equipped event spaces, each capable of accommodating 1,000 delegates.
In December 2018, ADNEC announced that it won the rights to host four leading international conferences in Abu Dhabi over the next few years – all set to mark their debut in the Middle East region. These include the International Society of Nephrology World Congress of Nephrology (ISN WCN), the Annual Conference of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD), the International Baccalaureate Africa, Europe, Middle East (IB AEM) Regional Conference, and the World Association for Psychos