Hotel room rates around Abu Dhabi’s conference centre have shot up – in some cases, to nearly six times the normal rate – during one of the largest weapons shows in the world.
Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (Adnec), which is organising and hosting the five-day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex), has four hotels in its immediate vicinity accounting for some 1,250 hotel rooms.
The four hotels are the budget Premier Inn, the luxury Hyatt Capital Gate, the four-star Aloft and the Rotana chain’s Centro Capital Centre.
Rooms at Aloft and Hyatt Capital Gate were going for Dh2,000 a night on Idex weekdays, whereas next month these could be had for Dh390 to Dh600, respectively.
Even at the budget Premier Inn Capital Centre, rooms were going fast for Dh1,250. That rose to Dh1,750 at the Centro. Rooms at these hotels are usually in the range of Dh300 when there are no big conferences scheduled at Adnec.
The average daily room rate last year in Abu Dhabi was Dh442, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
Idex this year is expected to attract 80,000 visitors. The event also wraps in two-day Naval Defence and Unmanned Systems Conferences. Exhibitors from 40 countries participated in this year’s show.
Farther afield, the Hilton Capital Grand, which is three kilometres from Adnec, also benefits from the conference and events business at the centre, and was running near full capacity for Idex, according to Carlos Khneisser, the vice president for Middle East development at Hilton. Rooms at the property were going for Dh900 during Idex weekdays. Next month, weekday rates start at Dh480.
Mr Khneisser said that Hilton had been approached by developers about building more hotels in the Adnec area under its mid-range brands – including Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn.
Idex, which occurs every two years, began on Sunday and ends today.
Major annual events at Adnec include the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition in September and the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec) in November.
The number of visitors to Adnec has been increasing as the centre hosts more events and international conferences.
Last year, along with the Al Ain Convention Centre that it manages, Adnec said it drew 1.6 million people who contributed Dh2.56 billion to the economy. That was up from 1.56 million visitors n 2013.
Next month, TCA Abu Dhabi will lead a delegation of representatives from the emirate’s tourism sector to the travel trade fair ITB Berlin to promote the capital, Al Ain and Al Gharbia.
Europe is a focus market for Abu Dhabi’s conference and events business, said Mubarak Al Shamsi, director of the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau, earlier in the month.
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