x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Capital signs up four major trade shows

The meetings and conference sector, a particularly lucrative segment of business tourism, is continuing to expand in Abu Dhabi.

The meetings and conference sector, a particularly lucrative segment of business tourism, is continuing to expand in Abu Dhabi after the emirate added four major trade shows to its portfolio. The Middle East Broadcast and Middle East Television shows will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in November, while Sports Arabia and Franchise Arabia will be launched at ADNEC next year, said Nexus Global Events, the organiser of the four events.

Nexus said it expected more than 20,000 visitors to attend the four shows. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has said it was looking to grow the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry - which currently accounts for just 10 per cent of the capital's total number of business travellers - as part of its wider plan to attract 2.3 million tourists by 2012. The tourism authority launched an initiative earlier this year called Advantage Abu Dhabi, which offers funding and other government support for people who want to bring business events such as conferences and exhibitions to the capital, part of a strategic plan by the Abu Dhabi Government to diversify into non-oil sectors.

Last week, Abu Dhabi was named as the second most expensive city in the world for business travellers to stay and has been tipped to take the number one spot, which is currently occupied by Moscow, a survey by the corporate travel firm Hogg Robinson Group found. This was largely because of the limited supply of hotel rooms in the capital and continued economic activity, Hogg Robinson said. Nexus said more than 8,000 international visitors were expected over the three days of the joint Middle East Broadcast Show and Middle East Television Show in November alone.

Neil Manwaring, the managing director of Nexus Global Events, said: "We expect that our four shows will bring a cross-section of attendees and investment opportunities from global markets to Abu Dhabi." rbundhun@thenational.ae