Huge freight conference is the latest coup for Adnec

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) has secured another lucrative conference to take place in the capital as the city ramps up its meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions offering.

WCA, the world’s largest network of independent freight companies, announced it had become the latest organisation to hold its annual conference at Adnec when it stages its WCA Global Conference next March.

With more than 5,700 member offices based in 191 countries around the world, WCA is a major scalp for Adnec, which expects the conference between March 10 and 16 next year to attract about 2,500 delegates.

The news is the latest in a series of high-profile events that Adnec has attracted to Abu Dhabi in recent years. These include the International Exhibition for Security and National Resilience and the International Airport Transport Association’s slot conference.

“The WCA event will prove a significant value addition to Adnec’s conference portfolio,” said Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, the Adnec acting chief executive.

“Adnec’s latest strategy places significant emphasis on the conference aspect of our business. To deliver this objective, we are proactively developing our industry network and bringing in a larger canvas of world-class conferences to the capital city of Abu Dhabi.”

The business travel sector is expected to contribute US$1.39 billion to the emirate by 2020, according to Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority. It generated $653 million in 2010.

Globally, the sector is worth $5.6bn a year, according to the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, which held its last council meting in Abu Dhabi in September.

Abu Dhabi is also pushing its leisure offering for corporate clients, encouraging companies to take out group bookings at Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World and at the capital’s golf clubs.

Last April the Chinese branch of the skincare sales company Nu Skin sent 14,500 top sellers from China to Abu Dhabi as part of the largest corporate holiday held in the UAE.

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