Construction work has commenced on Phase 2 of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre which will see the venue double in size to become one of the Middle East’s largest purpose-built exhibition centres. The AED 580 million (US$ 158 million) project has inter-connected exhibition floor space totalling more than 55,000 square metres.
The Exhibition Centre’s distinctive U-shape design will be achieved by constructing five additional exhibition halls, a multi-purpose hall with seating for more than 5,000 people, 15 meeting rooms and two multi-storey car parks with space for more than 8,000 vehicles. Also incorporated in the design is an expansion of the Visitor Concourse, which will grow to 18,000 square metres to become the largest air-conditioned exhibition concourse in the world.
More than 5,000 skilled workmen have been employed in a concentrated construction program for the expansion, which has been scheduled for completion in Autumn 2008.
Simon Horgan, CEO, ADNEC said, “The commencement of Phase 2 of the build is an important milestone in the short history of ADNEC. Phase 1 provided Abu Dhabi with the most modern and flexible exhibition and conference venue in the world, the completion of Phase 2 next year will provide the city with one of the largest.”
Phase 1 of ADNEC was opened in February by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. The venue has already hosted 10 major international exhibitions, welcoming more than 250,000 visitors from more than 100 countries.
The influx of exhibitions new exhibitions being held at ADNEC is encouraging the growth of the exhibition industry in the UAE and is developing Abu Dhabi into a Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions hub of the region. It is predicted that by 2008, ADNEC will welcome more than one million visitors a year and will grow the exhibition industry in the UAE by more than 25%.
“We are not only seeing brand new events such as MECOM and the Interiors Show coming to Abu Dhabi because of the new exhibition facilities, we are seeing the general expansion of well established shows such as IDEX and ADIPEC because they have now been given a platform to grow and develop,” Horgan added.
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