Published on : Thursday, January 16, 2014
The taking over of the ExCel London exhibition centre by Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) has been one of the most important investments made in recent years, said Adnec chairman’s Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon.
Sheikh Tahnoon said on Monday the acquisition of ExCel had made Adnec an internationally recognised company, and had boosted Abu Dhabi’s efforts to diversify its economy.
“With business tourism, and the entire events and exhibition industry highlighted as a key driver of economic development in the UAE, this investment is supporting our diversification strategy in line with the 2030 vision.”
“The acquisition of Excel London has supported Abu Dhabi’s growth as a business tourism
destination by developing our local expertise and further extending awareness of Abu Dhabi as a destination to a global audience, he said.
Adnec subsequently ploughed Dh900 million into the venue in the form of a new international convention centre, inaugurated in 2010.
Adnec’s investment in ExCel had helped to transform the venue into the premier exhibition centre in the United Kingdom by number of visitors and exhibitions, according to Dominic Jermey, the UK’s ambassador to the UAE.
“Their investment also put ExCeL right at the heart of the 2012 London Olympics, which was extremely prestigious for both Adnec and for ExCeL and also very good for the brand of the UAE,” he said.
“This is a strong example of an investment four or five years ago that has blossomed into an important part of the bilateral business relationship between the UK and the UAE.”
The opening of the International Conference Centre (ICC) has had a dramatic effect on ExCel’s business and London’s status as an international conference venue.
Subsequent to the ICC’s opening, London has risen to sixth place in the International Congress and Convention Association’s global rankings.
The number of exhibitions has doubled and the number of conferences and other events has increased 48 per cent since 2008.