ADNEC Group has announced that the direct and indirect economic contributions of the group's seven business sectors to the economy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE will double to reach AED7.37 billion in 2023, an increase of 107 per cent compared to 2022, which amounted to AED3.56 billion, to be the largest in the group's history since its establishment in 2005.
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of ADNEC Group, said: "These record achievements came in line with the group's commitment to develop and innovate solutions and initiatives aimed at accelerating performance growth rates and seizing investment opportunities in its seven business sectors, and working closely to achieve added value for all its shareholders and partners in the government and private sectors, in order to emphasise the position of the emirate of Abu Dhabi as the capital of the business and leisure tourism sectors in the region.”
Al Dhaheri stated that these successes would not have been achieved without the great and unlimited support of the wise leadership, through continuing efforts to achieve the desired economic diversification while continuing to promote the concepts and standards of sustainability in all economic and knowledge fields, through its business units, which contributed to advancing the economic development of Abu Dhabi in the sectors of business tourism, which is one of the most prominent sectors on which the future development plans of the non-oil sectors in the country focus.
In 2023, ADNEC group sought to confirm its new corporate identity, aimed at enhancing the presence of the group's seven main business sectors, including exhibition and conference centres, event organisation, hospitality, food, event services, hotels, leisure, tourism and media, as it sought to expand both in terms of business scope and geographical presence.
Under the umbrella of the ADNEC Group, there are more than 30 brands that work in seven key sectors and business areas.
The year 2023 witnessed the group's business sectors winning 21 prestigious international awards in various programmes and activities that they are responsible for implementing.
ADNEC Group owns and operates three prominent international venues, including the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Al Ain Convention Centre, as well as the ExCeL London exhibition and Convention Centre in the UK.
The group's exhibition centres have achieved a significant increase in the number of visitors to the events hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition and Al Ain Convention Centres by 123 per cent compared to 2022, with the number of visitors reaching about 1.78 million visitors compared to about 802,000 visitors in 2022.
For the first time in the group's history, since its establishment in 2005, the number of events has doubled in one year to more than 476 events, and the number of events hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Ain Convention Centre increased last year by almost 100 per cent compared to 238 events in 2022.
For the first time, ADNEC also hosted meetings of nine international federations and organisations, won nine international tenders to host major international conferences, and nine new exhibitions are added to its annual events agenda, some of which are being held for the first time in Abu Dhabi and the Middle East.
ADNEC group revealed its support for the creation of many new job opportunities in the relevant sectors, reaching 51,400 jobs, an increase of 145 per cent over the year 2022, which amounted to 21,000 jobs in the supporting sectors.
The group's venues in the UAE have hosted a wide range of major international and local events, which witnessed the recording the largest in the history of these events, most notably the largest session of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition, in addition to the largest edition of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition and many other major events.
In 2023, ExCeL London Exhibition Centre hosted more than 300 events, including 15 events held for the first time, and the list of events at the venue included the Formula E electric car world championship and the Olympia London International Horse Show. Other international events and exhibitions, attracted more than 3.5 million visitors from different countries.
In 2023, the group's centres in the UAE and the UK attracted more than 5.3 million visitors from all over the world, hosting more than 776 specialised international exhibitions, conferences and events.
ADNEC group continued the development work of Excel London Exhibition Centre, a wholly owned subsidiary, where the expansion works include the addition of 25,000 square metres of exhibition space, the development of new meeting and conference halls in addition to service facilities distributed over three floors.
At the same time, the group continued the development and modernisation programmes of the facilities of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, rehabilitating and expanding the grandstand area opposite the centre, which increased the outdoor spaces while providing a wide range of logistics services for the infrastructure of the exhibition stands.
The group's second business segment includes ADNEC Events Management, which organises events at the local and international levels, by the Capital Events company of the group, which organises nine international exhibitions directly, namely the International Defence Exhibition and conference (IDEX), the Maritime Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX), the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX), simulation and training (SimTEX), the International Exhibition for National Security and Resilience (ISNR) the World Media Congress, the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show, the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition, as well as the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition.
ADNEC group, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence, organised the largest session in the history of IDEX and NAVDEX 2023 exhibitions and their accompanying conference from 20-24 February, 2023, and the number of visitors reached more than 132,000 visitors, an increase of 114 per cent compared to the 2021 session.
The exhibition area amounted to about 165,000 square metres, an increase of 24 per cent compared to the 2021 session, and the number of UAE companies reached 216 companies, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the previous session, while the number of participating countries reached 65, an increase of 10 per cent compared to the previous session, and the number of exhibitors registered 1,353 companies, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the previous session.
At the conference accompanying the exhibition (IDEX and NAVDEX 2023), the number of attendees reached 1,800 participants, an increase of 25 per cent compared to the 2021 session, and the value of the concluded deals reached AED23.34 billion, while the exhibitor satisfaction rate reached 98 per cent compared to 96 per cent in the previous session.
ADNEC also organised the second session of the World Media Congress in cooperation with the Emirates News Agency from 14-16 November 2023, and the number of visitors reached 23,924, an increase of 76.5 per cent over the first session. The congress was held on an area of 32,000 square metres, an increase of 78 per cent over the previous session.
The congress witnessed the participation of 257 specialised exhibitors, an increase of 33 per cent from the previous session, and about 200 participants and global influencers representing 172 countries, an increase of 33 per cent from last year's session. The congress witnessed more than 33 sessions and 23 workshops.
The company also organised the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show in its fifth edition on an area of more than 65,000 square metres, an increase of 54.7 per cent over the 2022 edition.
The exhibition witnessed an increase in the number of boats on display, reaching 100, with an increase of 50 per cent. The number of companies and brands reached more than 700, an increase of 27.5 per cent. The number of participating countries reached 26, an increase of 73.3 per cent, and the value of deals reached AED3.9 billion.
In 2023, ADNEC group also organised the second edition of the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition from 27-29 November 2023. The exhibition, which attracted more than 550 specialised companies from 50 countries around the world occupied an area of 28,465 metres and was attended by about 17,000 visitors. The exhibition received about 260 potential buyers and held about 6,500 meetings, with the number of participating brands reaching the 1,300 mark. As for the Abu Dhabi dates exhibition, the number of exhibitors reached 80 exhibitors from 20 countries with a total of 65 brands, while the number of national pavilions reached 12 pavilions.
The third business segment includes ADNEC hotels, which fully owns seven international hotels, offering its services to business and leisure travellers including Aloft London ExCeL, DoubleTree by Hilton, Aloft ExCeL London Hotel, Aloft Abu Dhabi Hotel, Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, managed by Anantara, in addition to the Reykjavik Hotel in Iceland.
This is in addition to acquiring a share in some hotels such as Shangri-La Bari Village, Fairmont Bab al Bahr, Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, as well as Traders Hotel, Bari Village.
The group is currently examining the hotel sector to meet the requirements of tourists and business travellers alike by providing exceptional experiences, in addition to its strategic locations and exclusive specialised services with a total of 2,000 hotel rooms. In 2023, the group's hotels received more than 681,000 visitors.
The fourth sector under its umbrella includes Capital Catering + Services, which provides hospitality and catering services throughout the UAE, as well as operating Etihad Catering Services.
During the past year, it provided more than 27 million meals for more than 1,600 events, and also provided services to 13 airlines operating through Abu Dhabi International Airport, in addition to the services provided to eight hospitals operating in Abu Dhabi.
It also provided specialised catering services to more than 60 private airlines chartered by VIPs. The capital council was re-launched during the last Ramadan to receive more than 20,000 visitors during the holy month, and a memorandum of cooperation was signed with National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, ne’ma to prevent food waste in line with the government initiative.
The fourth sector includes ADNEC Services, which provides a wide range of customised solutions, including design, audio-visual production, pavilion construction, master contracting, printing, graphics and photography for the event industry.
During 2023, the company oversaw the organisation of 488 events, in addition to the geographical expansion into the main markets in the region, and the start of projects in more than eight global locations, followed by an increase in market share by promoting the sustainable growth of the exhibition sector.
In addition to the revenue growth through the launch of the Global Association of Event Organisers platform, which contributes to the promotion and growth of new sectors, ADNEC Services has also provided its services to the sports sector by hosting many sports events and activities, which contributed to enhancing and diversifying the activities it provides, and pioneering initiatives have been launched to digitise key assets within the venue to enable sustainable financial growth in the future.
In 2023, a protocol for VIP services was launched in the country. This offered specialised services package through a strategic partnership with COP28 UAE, which successfully concluded its activities in the country at the end of 2023.
The tourism sector plays a leading role in promoting Abu Dhabi as a vibrant tourist destination, offering personalised travel experiences as well as organising special events, enriching the cultural offerings of the city.
In 2023, ADNEC Group announced of the acquisition of Karavel, the French tourism group. The acquisition was to enhance the group's presence in Europe’s target markets, most notably France, to provide quality service packages in the areas of travel, holiday trips and cruise ships in Europe and the Middle East and North Africa, through the Karavel’s online network and its offices located in France.
With this acquisition, the group has strengthened its presence in a wide range of target markets globally, through its offices in UK, France, Germany and Jordan.
In 2023, 365 Tours launched the first daily charter flights for the first time ever from three German cities to Abu Dhabi in the last quarter of 2023.
The percentage of hotel bookings also increased by more than 270 per cent to 170,000 hotel nights in 2023 compared to 46,000 hotel nights in 2022 nationwide.
It has also established a strategic partnership with COP28 UAE to provide a wide range of services and has also been awarded the best travel agency by Etihad Aviation Group.
In addition, the company organised more than 115 cruise trips during 2023 compared to 83 in 2022, an increase of 39 per cent, and was able to increase the average stay of tourists by three times to six nights compared to only two nights in 2022.
In 2023, ADNEC Group announced plans to open two new destinations designed to accommodate and serve the specialised creative communities in Abu Dhabi, which are scheduled to be launched over the next three years, providing the largest network of studio facilities in the UAE.
The new destination will feature two soundstages, each measuring 700 square metres and 14 metres high, with several indoor support facilities, including waiting rooms and dedicated areas for clothes and makeup.
Progress is also continuing on the development of the upcoming second phase of the Creative Zone - YAS, which will welcome additional numbers of media and entertainment organisations and content industry pioneers to Yas Island in 2026.
Twofour54 will provide an integrated facility that includes a ground floor, seven floors, underground parking, as well as office, retail and other food and beverage outlets, making up a total construction area of 92,500 square metres.
These initiatives are in addition to the company's plans to establish twofour54 Studios, an integrated film production destination in Abu Dhabi scheduled to open in 2025.
2023 marked the continuation of ADNEC Group's efforts in developing initiatives to advance the reality and future of all its operations and programmes and aligning them with the ambitious plans of Abu Dhabi and the state to lead this sector at regional and international levels.
The group announced its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, in addition to reaching 50 per cent by 2030, and ADNEC’s Pledge puts it among the first global entities to vow to achieve climate neutrality in the UAE, and through this pledge, ADNEC will be able to support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce global warming levels around the world by 1.5 degrees and reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.