Adnec visitors quadruple during first quarter of 2015

More than 270,000 visitors flocked to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in the first three months of the year — four times the amount in the previous year, hosts said yesterday.

Adnec and its sister venue Al Ain Convention Centre hosted 14 exhibitions and five conferences during the first quarter, the owner Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company reported yesterday, with visitor numbers registering a 400 per cent increase compared to the same period of 2014.

Abu Dhabi government-owned Adnec, which also acquired the ExCeL Centre in London in 2008 and is currently developing the land around Adnec, added that the exhibitions and events boosted the capital’s economy by about Dh842 million between January and March 2015.

Last year Adnec and Al Ain Convention Centre together attracted 1.6 million visitors, who in total contributed Dh2.56 billion to the economy through spending on items such as hotel stays. That was up from 1.56 million visitors who contributed Dh2.3bn in 2013, the company said.

According to the independent hotel data company STR Global, despite a flurry of new hotel openings in the capital, the average cost of a night’s stay in Abu Dhabi hotels increased at the start of the year for the first time since 2010 to reach about US$169 — 12 per cent higher compared with the previous year. Occupancy rates increased 1 per cent compared with 2014 to reach 77 per cent.

Apart from hosting events, Adnec organises the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex), which takes place in February; the World Future Energy Summit in January; the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition in September and its flagship event — the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference — in November.

In 2019, Adnec will host the World Energy Congress, the premier global forum for leaders and thinkers to debate solutions to energy issues, and the World Road Congress.

“Adnec is pleased with the outstanding results we have achieved in the first quarter of 2015, which will serve as a strong motivation for us for the rest of the year,” said Ali bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, managing director for Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company.

In February, Adnec announced plans to bid for 17 international conferences this year.

It said that this year Adnec and Al Ain Convention Centre will host 339 exhibitions, conferences and other events — up from 327 last year, an increase of 3.6 per cent.

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