Welcome to the third and final post of our Abu Dhabi blog series! Previously, we discussed Abu Dhabi’s popularity among world travelers and how it’s becoming one of the most sought-after MICE destinations in the region.
In recent years, the emirate has seen a surge in MICE activities — thanks to the government’s long-term planning and strategic thinking. In this post, we’ll talk about what Abu Dhabi’s MICE market will look like in the upcoming years. The city is geared up to position itself as a leading meetings and events destination not only in the Middle East but around the world.
The MICE sector in Abu Dhabi generates about USD 700 million annually, which is forecasted to inflate further at an annual rate of 7% to reach USD 1.4 billion by 2020.* The Government of Abu Dhabi is investing significantly to build robust MICE infrastructure in Abu Dhabi to expand the city’s capabilities to deliver exceptional events. The government announced a long-term plan — Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 — which aims at developing world-class infrastructure in the city that is not only capable of supporting and sustaining the anticipated levels of economic growth but acts as a catalyst for that growth.
New Hotel Developments
In the coming years, Abu Dhabi expects to welcome about 35,000 delegates for world-class events like the 2019 Special Olympics (expected to attract 10,000 participants), the 2020 family health WONCA World Conference and the 6th Congress of the World Union of Wound Healing Societies. As per a report** issued by Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the hotels in Abu Dhabi saw a 6% rise in the number of guests in the first eight months of 2018 as compared to previous year.
To accommodate the rise in the number of MICE visitors, Abu Dhabi plans to increase its hotel room supply. In October 2017, the city had 4,124 rooms in 12 hotel projects under ‘in construction’ phase#. 2018 witnessed the launch of some of the best hotels in the city, which include Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort, Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl and The Abu Dhabi Edition.
A New Terminal at the Abu Dhabi Airport
According to the Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2017, published by Airports Councils International (ACI)##, Abu Dhabi registered 1,479% rise in connectivity between 2007 and 2017. With the growth of the MICE sector, this number is expected to increase further in the coming years. In order to handle the increased traffic efficiently, Abu Dhabi will welcome a new terminal at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in the last quarter of 2019. The new terminal estimated over AED 10-Billion is expected to have a staggering capacity of 84 million passengers, 9,200 pieces of baggage per hour, and 35,000 square meters of duty-free shops, dining and entertainment space.
In the years to come, the MICE sector will continue to contribute towards growing GDP of Abu Dhabi. At the same time, more high-quality MICE venues and new hotels are set to open – enabling the emirate to offer locations and facilities to suit all budgets. This makes the emirate to stand in a good stead in the coming years.
If you’re planning to host your next business meeting or event in Abu Dhabi and looking for some exclusive information about the city’s MICE facilities, visit Cvent’s city guide to Abu Dhabi.
Sources: * http://www.hoteliermiddleeast.com/32505-developing-and-promoting-the-uae-as-a-lucrative-mice-destination/ ** https://tcaabudhabi.ae/DataFolder/reports/hotel-establishment/2018/Hotel%20Performance%20Monthly%20Report%20English_August%202018.pdf # http://www.hoteliermiddleeast.com/32863-2018hospitality-forecast-closing-in/ ## http://www.seo.nl/uploads/media/2017-36_ACI_EUROPE_Airport_Industry_Connectivity_Report_2017.pdf