United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan cut the ribbon on the first phase of the complex as more than 900 exhibitors from 50 countries showcased a collection of land, sea and ground-to-air defence systems from 18-22 February.
ADNEC took eight months to construct and includes 28,000sqm of exhibition space spread over seven halls, two conference rooms capable of staging events for up to 1,000 people and 16 meeting rooms on the centre’s mezzanine level. It also has a 2,000sqm food court consisting of eight outlets, retail space and offices for the venue’s five exhibition organiser foundation partners.
Since IDEX, construction has begun on a second phase. When completed in the summer of 2008, the venue will consist of 55,000sqm of interconnecting exhibition floor space spread across 12 halls and a 18,000sqm visitor concourse. ADNEC will also add 15 meeting rooms.
ADNEC chief executive Simon Horgan said: “The time is right for this new venue. The unprecedented scale of development in Abu Dhabi has stimulated the demand for exhibitions across a range of sectors and now there is a facility to meet this demand.
“We already have more than 50 major exhibitions and conferences booked from 2008 and this number is growing quickly. It is ADNEC’s aim to grow this industry by attracting new international events, helping smaller events to grow.
“The prediction is that ADNEC will expand the exhibition industry in the UAE by at least 25%.”