No business like the shows business

The lucrative exhibitions industry is another important target sector for Abu Dhabi, and the Emirates Palace is the emirate's star attraction.
No business like the shows business
By Administrator
Sun 29 Apr 2007 12:00 AM

Abu Dhabi's International Exhibitions Centre (ADIEC) greatly facilitated the staging of major events in the nation's capital, providing an enormous 500,000 sq m of adaptable space.

ADIEC was regulated by the government-owned General Exhibitions Corporation (GEC), a body created in 1998 which was replaced in August 2005 by a newly formed company - the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company which capitalised at US$27.25m. The new company promotes exhibitions locally, regionally and internationally and was behind the construction of the new Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the first phase of which was unveiled in February 2007.

The creation of ADNEC is in line with government plans to diversify the economy of Abu Dhabi and is part of a strategy to attract three million visitors a year to the emirate by 2015. Current estimates suggest that this figure will hit one million in 2008.

"Cities around the world have experienced the commercial and cultural benefits which are generated by successful exhibition and conference events venues," observed HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of ADNEC.

Indeed, ADNEC is expected to host over 30 events this year, growing to over 50 in 2008. These events will have a ripple effect throughout the capital, creating more employment, developing business opportunities, stimulating infrastructure development, and acting as a catalyst for growth and an economic engine for the capital.

This is forecast to deliver US$5.2bn in economic opportunity over the next ten years.

Less obviously corporate but also a key destination for major corporate and commercial gatherings is the capital's seven-star hotel Emirates Palace. Built in the style of a majestic Arabian castle rising from the desert sands, Emirates Palace houses a 1200-capacity auditorium, a main ballroom accommodating up to 2800 people, 48 meeting rooms, six large function terraces, a media and business centre, all built within the heart of the hotel that stands on 100 hectares of landscaped gardens.

The third edition of the annual Abu Dhabi Real Estate and Investment Show, (the biggest to date with 6,500 sq m's of exhibition space) was also staged here recently from March 21-24.

In addition, since its inception in May 2005, Emirates Palace has quickly established an enviable reputation. It capped its inaugural year with three prestigious awards - Best New Hotel of the Year, Best Tourism Project, and Best in Convention/ Conference Hotel - at the MENA Travel Awards 2006.

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