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Region profile| Exhibition World14| February 2011| More than 50 per cent of the exhibitions in theMiddle East are held in the UAE. To aninternational organiser looking to set up in theregion, it is the Emirates Abu Dhabi and Dubai that firstspring to mind. But with Sharjah opening its doors tointernational organisers for the first time this year, theregion is now home to a trio of centres able to give anyorganiser a strong home for their international events. Here, EWtakes a look at the three venues andorganisers, to see what their approach is for 2011. ADNEC, Abu DhabiWith 73,000sqm of indoor exhibition space, ADNEC is theGulf's largest exhibition centre. It's also one of very fewvenues around the world capable of simultaneouslystaging major indoor, outdoor and marine events. This yearit plans to become the world's first 'exhibitions lifestyle'destination, spreading into other event areas tocomplement its exhibitions and conventions business.With the Capital Gate Tower due to open next to ADNECin 2011 and the construction of the Al Ain venue on theother side of the Emirate, ADNEC is poised to unveil itsdevelopment plans for the surrounding area in the comingmonths.Sales and marketing director Christina Anthony says thebiggest challenge for the industry is the state of the globaleconomy and its impact on the events sector. "There weresome positive signs for the industry in 2010, but they werenot consistent," she says. "The global situation has beentough for many, but we are fortunate that it has actuallyproved to be an opportunity for ADNEC," she adds.ADNEC'S strategy for 2011 is arenewed focus on business fromcorporates, association eventsand public entertainmentshows, alongside its regularexhibitions and conferencesbusiness. It will host the 2012UFI Congress, which last yeardrew more than 750 delegatesfrom 50 countries to MarinaBay Sands in Singapore. It helps that ADNEC has strongsupport from the government. Ultimately that supportcomes courtesy of ADNEC's guiding objective to contributeto the Abu Dhabi government's goal of increasing theeconomic growth and cultural standing of the emiratethrough the creation of world-class venues anddestinations.Anthony hopes ADNEC's diverse portfolio of events willkeep the business on a stable foundation."The global events industry may be facing a hard time,but that's exactly why organisers and show participantsneed to look beyond their traditional markets," she says."Abu Dhabi stands as a gateway for the West to both keyemerging markets such as China, India and former CIScountries as well as countries as far afield as Australia,Japan and Singapore."Crucial to ADNEC's continued success is its access tofunds that give it strong growth potential. According toAnthony, the Emirate's firm focus on economicdiversification means a wide variety of industry sectors arebeing given an impetus to grow.Total exhibition space: 73,000sqmNumber of halls: 13, including atrium and Abu Dhabi HallOn-site hotels: Aloft Abu Dhabi (****)Hyatt Capital Gate (*****)Ceiling: 10mDWTC, DubaiThe Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) plans to grow itsbusiness starting with the completion of a new state-of-the-art extension to the venue, which will bring the totalcovered venue space of all DWTC-owned venues to morethan 120,000sqm. Working alongside public and privateorganisations, DWTC hopes lower prices left in the wake ofthe recession will boost the Emirate's exhibition business.THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETThe draw of the UAE EWtravels to the Middle East and finds out what three of the Emirates areplanning for the year ahead.Christina Anthony