Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company has officially inaugurated the second phase expansion of ExCeL London, signalling a new chapter in ADNEC’s emergence as a rising star of the global events industry.
ExCeL London’s £165 million expansion was inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, ADNEC Chairman, and Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
The ceremony was attended by a VIP delegation including H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade; H.E. Mohamed Ahmed Al Bowardi, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; John Penrose, UK Minister for Tourism and the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport; ExCeL and ADNEC board members, and other leading figures from the UAE and UK public and private sectors.
ExCeL London’s latest expansion creates a world class ICC (International Convention Centre) for the UK capital, with facilities including a 5,000-seater auditorium, a breakout area for 2,500 delegates and London’s largest banqueting hall with a 3,000-seat capacity.
Additionally, exhibition space at ExCeL London, the venue for leading exhibitions including World Travel Market and DSEi, has grown by 50 percent, to 97,500sqm to become one of Europe’s largest exhibition centres.
“Our ongoing investments in ExCeL reiterate our commitment to the global events industry. They are also in line with Abu Dhabi’s strong and ongoing relationship with the UK – a relationship that is decades long and born out of mutual respect,” said Sheikh Sultan.
The UAE and UK governments aim to boost trade by more than 60 percent by 2015, said H.E. Sheikh Sultan, stating that successful partnerships such as ADNEC and ExCeL will have a significant role in realising this ambition.
“Additional areas of mutual growth for ADNEC and ExCeL are being identified,” said Sheikh Sultan, citing ADNEC’s building of a 252-room Aloft Hotel at ExCeL London, in time for the London 2012 Olympics. ExCeL is host venue for seven Olympic and six Paralympics disciplines for the London games.
His Excellency Ali Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, ADNEC’s Managing Director, said ExCeL’s phase two expansion had been completed in two years following ADNEC’s acquisition of the premier London venue in 2008.
“This expansion catapults ExCeL into one of the world’s leading venues,” he said. “ExCeL has proved a prestigious addition to ADNEC’s portfolio, staging a number of global events including last year’s G20 Summit; both ExCeL and ADNEC have won significant new business and various awards and there has been an ongoing exchange of best practices. We will build on these achievements in coming years.”
The ADNEC Group says the expansion of ExCeL sends a signal to the global events industry of its dedication and ability to be true partners in every sense of the term.
“The experience we have gained with our ExCeL investment will be pivotal to how we move forward in creating an international network of world class venues to enable our clients to benefit from global best practices,” commented Simon Horgan, the Group’s CEO.
The expansion has also demonstrated ADNEC’s ability to respond quickly to market demand.
“With ADNEC, we listened to what the market wanted and delivered what our clients have asked. At ExCeL London, we have now created, on time and within budget, a world-class exhibition and convention centre capable of winning business from competing cities anywhere.
“I am grateful for Abu Dhabi and ADNEC’s unstinting support to a shared vision that has led us through what has been a challenging time for the events industry. ExCeL is now poised to maximise gains from an industry upturn,” said Kevin Murphy, CEO, ExCeL London.
Since last October’s announcement of the new ICC, ExCeL has contracted AED1.64 billion (GBP300 million) in economic benefits for London, 1,000 new jobs have been created with an additional 2,200 expected to be created by next year.
“More than half the contracted business is from events with an average delegate attendance of 5,000. With our key stakeholders, we will continue to invest in the site to create a world class business destination,” added Murphy.