Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company Celebrates Record Year

November 27, 2015

The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and they have quite a bit to celebrate. The number of events hosted in the Middle East by ADNEC grew from just 14 in 2005 to 327 at the end of 2014.

The number of visitors grew from 50,000 in 2005 to 1.6 million in 2014. That adds up to more than 10.7 million visitors over 10 years.

ADNEC’s impact on Abu Dhabi's economy is significant. Numbers at the end of Q3 2015 are at AED1.835billion (close to $500 million), up from the original projection of AED1.7billion ($460 million).

Major events hosted at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre include the World Future Energy Summit (ADSW 2015), which attracted 30,000 participants and visitors from 170 countries making it one of the biggest and most important global events in the renewable energy sector.

The International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2015 attracted 1,200 local and international defense manufacturers and contractors along with more than 101,000 visitors from all over the world. IDEX is the only international defense exhibition and conference in the MENA region.

The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) attracts more than 2000 exhibitors and more than 85,000 attendees from 117 countries during the four-day event.

However, ADNEC is not just looking to host trade shows and exhibitions in the energy and defense sectors.

The “Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030” identifies 12 economic sectors they anticipate will form the Emirate’s engines of growth and diversification. Those sectors are Energy – Oil & Gas; Petrochemicals; Metals; Aviation, Aerospace, & Defense; Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, & Life Sciences; Tourism; Healthcare Equipment & Services; Transportation, Trade, & Logistics; Education; Media; Financial Services; and Telecommunication Services.

Abu Dhabi is positioned well geographically for show organizers looking for an international location to host their event. Half the world is just four hours away by plane and the Abu Dhabi International Airport now serves over 93 destinations and over 40 airlines. Expansion of the airport currently is underway. The city also has over 26,000 hotel rooms that serve almost every budget.

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, acting group chief executive officer at ADNEC, said that ADNEC is not simply looking to attract exhibitions to their venue, but is committed to helping organizers grow successful events in the region.

    One U.S.-based association that has experienced that commitment is The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). SEMA held their four-day 2015 SEMA Middle East Program, a trade-only event, as part of the biggest custom cars and bikes show in the Middle East, the Custom Show Emirates.

Linda Spencer, director, international and government relations at SEMA, said, “(ADNEC is) very easy to work with. We do shows around the world, and it’s one of the easiest places to do business.”

The National Exhibition Center features 73,000 square meters of interconnected column-free space including an Atrium and Concourse. There is also outdoor space including a grandstand and marina (an additional 19,500sqm waterfront space), which connects directly to the exhibition center. The marine center was in use during ADIPEC this year allowing exhibitors to showcase some of their marine equipment.

Sustainability and protection of the environment are important to ADNEC, and they are a member of the UFI Sustainability Development Committee. As part of their sustainability effort, ADNEC is constantly developing new systems and procedures that allow them to minimize the impact exhibitions have on the environment.

In 2014, ADNEC recycled more than 107 tons of recyclable materials, reducing more than 183 tons of carbon emission. 39 tons of paper was recycled, reducing about 51 tons of carbon emissions.

ADNEC also creates bio-diesel fuel (550 gallons of Bio-Diesel in 2014) from food grease, which it then uses to power some of the vehicles used at the convention center.

ADNEC also has a compost machine that has produced 18.061 tons of compost since its installation in 2014. They will be introducing a liquid food compost machine at the end of November that will turn food waste into a compost tea to fertilize green spaces.

ADNEC is a strategic international venue development and management company. ADNEC’s venue portfolio includes Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, and the U.K. capital exhibition and conference venue, ExCeL London, and Al Ain Convention Centre in Al Ain.

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