ADNEC Group Sustains Growth as Strategic Abu Dhabi Asset, Contributes AED1.32 billion in Economic Impact to Abu Dhabi’s Economy in H1 2016

Monday 08 August 2016

Abu Dhabi - MENA Herald: Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi’s strategic business enabling asset, today announced H1 results that demonstrate strong operating performance and continued growth. The company registered AED1.32 billion in direct and indirect economic impact and drew more than 812,000 visitors to its conferences and exhibitions at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Ain Convention Centre in H1 2016.
With this achievement, ADNEC’s total direct and indirect economic impact has reached more than AED23 billion, while its exhibition venues have welcomed over 12.5 million visitors since establishment in 2005.
In H1 2016, ADNEC hosted some 34 exhibitions, as well as 124 conferences and events, creating more than 7,000 job opportunities in supporting sectors of business tourism. ADNEC has also succeeded in winning 8 major international conference bids in 1H 2016.
Commenting on these impressive results, Her Excellency Noura Mohammed Al Kaabi, Chairwoman of ADNEC and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, said: “ADNEC continues to help drive the ongoing diversification and growth of the Abu Dhabi economy, as a key catalyst for realising the Abu Dhabi Plan and Economic Vision 2030. Our impressive above-target results in terms of performance and footfall for the first six months of this year is a testament of our sustained commitment.
“Abu Dhabi is steadily and surely gaining a prominent position as a leading city for business tourism in the region. This is a result of the continuous and immeasurable support from our wise government, that focuses on innovation, leadership in social and economic sectors, and the empowerment of Emirati talent.”
She added: “We are extremely proud of the talented UAE national workforce at ADNEC that is managing the company’s events and programmes locally and internationally. Emiratisation at ADNEC has increased to 56% of total staff compared to 52% in the same period in 2015 - with Emiratis occupying 86% of senior management positions. Emirati women have also played an important role in driving the company’s success and represent 40% of the total national workforce. We are also delighted to be a preferred employer of choice for talented minds from across the globe with more than 18 diverse nationalities working together in harmony.
“It is vital for the future competiveness of Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE that we continue to provide an attractive environment for exhibitions, conferences and sectors to come to Abu Dhabi and experience what we have to offer in terms of business tourism. We will continue to work hard to deliver further growth. Our commitment is evident in the Group’s dynamic transition plans that serve as a blueprint for excellence and the fact that some of the world’s largest and most prestigious organisations are increasingly choosing to use our venues.”
Additionally, ExCeL London also continued to develop in cooperation with its strategic partners in H1 2016 - hosting 64 exhibitions, 125 conferences and events, and drawing 1.47 million visitors to date.
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Acting Group CEO of ADNEC, said: “We are pleased to have achieved such significant growth and success in H1 2016 that can be attributed to the performance of ADNEC’s network of conference and exhibition centres in the UAE and the UK. We are now in a position to leverage the strengths of both destinations and their position as two prominent business and technology focused hubs to drive the further growth of the Group as a whole.”
Al Dhaheri added: “Our current financial results clearly indicate that ADNEC continues to be a front-line enabler of the Abu Dhabi economy with the ability to influence the wider regional and global economy. We provide cutting-edge infrastructure and facilities for some of our country’s most dynamic growth sectors, even at a time of global economic uncertainty.”
He added: “Al Ain Convention Centre has successfully attracted a number of major events and conferences in H1 2016 and footfall exceeded the expected target by 6%. At the same time, ADNEC continued its major efficiency and rationalisation programme, which delivered savings on direct and fixed costs well below the estimated budget. Moreover, services provided to exhibitors and event organisers exceeded expectations and led to the Group’s hotels witnessing strong performance in the first half of 2016.
“We are confident about our prospects in the second half of 2016 with the overall economic outlook remaining highly positive. As our strategic priority for the next six months, we aim to invest further in the development of our facilities and services to remain competitive, while ensuring that our venues are capable of meeting the evolving requirements of the industry.”
Al Dhaheri also pointed out: “The conferences and exhibitions sector is growing but faces increasing competition around the world. This means we have to remain ahead of the competition in order to achieve our ultimate goals. I am confident that ADNEC is well-prepared for the future and will remain a venue of choice across our international network for the world’s leading organisations.”
The first half of 2016 witnessed a number of prominent events. In January 2016, ADNEC hosted the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), which welcomed an unprecedented number of international decision makers, officials, researchers and clean energy specialists, and drew visitors from more than 170 countries. Over 80 international leaders and ministers attended the event to discuss shared clean energy and climate change challenges facing nations. WFES is the world’s most influential event dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technology.
In February, ADNEC hosted the 10th edition of ‘Tawdheef’, in which leading UAE organisations from the private and government sector participated to offer more than 6,000 jobs over a period of three days. The event aimed at honing the skills of Emirati job-seekers and graduates and offered them opportunities in higher education and employment in order to build their professional careers with companies looking to employ national talent in different sectors.
February 2016 also witnessed the hosting of four major international specialised events that welcomed leading experts and specialists from across the globe. The events include: the first SEHA Neuroscience Conference, the 10th SEHA International Paediatric Conference, the first Abu Dhabi Pharmacy Conference, and the International Conference for Combating Non-traditional and Dangerous Materials.
In March 2016, ADNEC hosted the International Exhibition for National Security and Resilience (ISNR), which welcomed 530 exhibiting companies from 57 countries and hosted more than 200 official delegates and government buyers from over 20 countries.
The exhibition’s cycle witnessed 60 lectures headlined by international experts in safety and security at the second edition of Occupational Health and Safety Middle East and the 6th International Cyber Crime Conference.
ISNR 2016 held five exhibitions, more than 60 panel discussions and 10 live events including the 7th International Exhibition for National Security and Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi 2016) and the live show ‘Aftershock II’ for Emergency Response & Disaster Prevention 2016, in addition to the second cycle of Firefighting Middle East, and the 2nd Occupational Health and Safety Middle East, and the 6th edition of Infosecurity Middle East. ISNR served as a platform for discussing a wide range of security solutions.
XL International Workshop was hosted at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in March 2016 and targeted decision makers and specialists in the event management and conferences sector. The workshop welcomed a large number of executives from associations and international federations responsible for the management of major international events and convened representatives from 14 exhibition centres across the world. The event was a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange and to explore commercial opportunities through high profile discussions on related topics.
The same month also hosted the 2nd Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (UMEX) and 1st Simulation Exhibition and Conference that was held distinctly from the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) for the very first time. The event was six times larger than the inaugural cycle in 2015 and was held as part of the Abu Dhabi Aviation and Aerospace Week (ADAAW). ADAAW hosted six international specialised events and was a platform for securing deals worth over AED3.8 billion.
In April 2016, Abu Dhabi won the bid to host the International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) World Diabetes Congress - a medical event organised every two years to highlight and share best practices and latest research results relating to diabetes. The event will be held in December 2017 at ADNEC and is expected to welcome approximately 15,000 participants. The five-day event is anticipated to contribute almost AED150 million (around US$40.8 million) to the economy of the emirate.
Abu Dhabi was selected to host the event by the Brussels-based International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an umbrella organisation of over 230 national diabetes associations from more than 160 countries, following stiff competition from a number of leading venues worldwide.
ADNEC hosted the 26th edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which welcomed more than 1,261 exhibitors from 63 countries. The event showcased the best literature and intellectual collections and attracted over 272,000 visitors.
The book fair organised more than 507 cultural events with the participation of 612 leaders and novelists in literature, poetry, and culture. The event showcased some 500,000 books in 30 different languages and sales reached AED25 million. The book fair also witnessed book signing events for more than 100 new books and novels. In addition, it captured wide international attention with more than 200 media representatives covering it extensively.
In May, Abu Dhabi was ranked 73rd in the annual ranking of the world's top destinations for meetings and congresses released by the International Congress and Convention Association, ICCA – 35 places ahead of its 2014 ranking.
The ICCA report indicated that in 2015, the UAE capital hosted more than 35 international association meetings and conferences, up from 22 in 2014. Posting a year-on-year growth of 59%, Abu Dhabi was also the only city in the region to advance in the overall ICCA ranking.
Abu Dhabi Sports Festival was launched in June 2016 at ADNEC in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The two-month festival comprised several championships such as the Mansour Bin Zayed Championship for Football and the Abu Dhabi Government Ramadan Football Tournament, as well as the Armed Forces Officers Club Sports Tournament. The festival hosted a total of 17 tournaments in the two-month period with prizes valued at AED2 million in total.
ADNEC offered the Abu Dhabi Sports Festival - held over an area of 20,000 sq m - access to world-class infrastructure. The area was seamlessly divided and transformed into separate or connected sports facilities.

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