Humaid Al Dhaheri, ADNEC's Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, commented: "Last year was very successful for ADNEC as we hosted 231 events. This year appears to be equally promising taking into consideration the numbers reported during this first quarter. The different types of events taking place at ADNEC are in line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision which aims to focus on sectors such as energy, defence, and tourism."
Major milestones in the first quarter of 2012 include:
• The award for World's Leading Meetings and Conference Centre 2011 at the World Travel Awards held in Doha in January. ADNEC was also short-listed for Best Contribution to Sustainability, Best Purpose-Built Events Venue in the Middle East Events Awards (to be held 2 May) Middle East's Leading Exhibition & Convention Centre, Middle East's Leading Tourism Development Project (Capital Gate), Middle East's Leading New Hotel (Hyatt Capital Gate) at World Travel Awards.
• World Future Energy Summit in January brought to ADNEC more than 26,000 visitors and speakers, providing a platform for the world's foremost specialists on sustainable energy to share knowledge and expertise;
• At the end of January, Tawdheef, the largest recruitment show in the Gulf, attracted more than 28,000 local and regional visitors;
• The World Ophthalmology Congress in February - the largest congress ever held in the capital with over 10,000 visitors from 136 countries;
• February also saw ADNEC unveil ICC Abu Dhabi, boosting the UAE capital's positioning as a destination for large-scale international conventions and association events;
• ISNR (International Security National Resilience Exhibition and Conference) in March focused on homeland security issues. The event, which also featured a fire fighting championship, attracted close to 9,000 visitors and included exhibitors from 26 countries.
• ADNEC also hosted 'Olympians', a photography exhibition that celebrates the success of 24 Emirati athletes who are gearing up to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London 2012 and beyond. The photos were taken by UK artist Gabriella Sancisi.
• The Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition held 26-28 March attracted thousands of visitors and potential buyers. Several hotels and resorts from the UAE, mainly from Abu Dhabi, participated to showcase their offerings and to attract more visitors and events organisers to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
• Visitors to the 22nd edition of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, a popular and well-attended literary event, enjoyed a fantastic experience carefully planned by Kitab. The fair was a meeting-point for authors and readers, featuring live cooking stations and kids workshops.
Humaid Al Dhaheri also noted that the Al Ain Convention Centre is playing a great role in activating the events calendar in Al Ain. The centre hosted the 13th Al Ain International Jewellery & Watches Exhibition as well as the second Agricultural Exhibition in Al Ain, which saw the participation of hundreds of companies operating in the field of agriculture and development of the urban environment, and showcased recent innovations in the field of agriculture and water conservation.
Looking ahead, April brings a diverse line-up of seven major events, starting with the second ever World Ports and Trade Summit 2-4 April, which is a hub for international business and government leaders from more than 500 companies and government entities to discuss alternative futures of the global shipping industries.
Cityscape Abu Dhabi, 22-25 April, is the capital's premier event for the real estate industry and acts as a platform for introducing projects, discussing issues, as well as a meeting point for peers, investors, and government agencies. During the last couple of years it has attracts hundreds of exhibitors and 25,000 visitors per annum.
The inaugural Piscine Middle East is co-located with Cityscape, 22-25 April. The swimming pool and spa trade show expects to attract 60 international exhibitors and more than 2,000 visitors during its first year.
Other events taking place in April include Emirates Skills National Competition 2012, 11-12 April, Abu Dhabi International Sports Exhibition, 12-14 April, Arabian Build and Construction, 22-25 April and Beauty Secrets Show 2012, 30 April - 3 May.