Press Release – Sunday 18th October 2015 – Qatar
As the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) nears its much-awaited opening date, media were treated to an exclusive press preview of the world-class exhibition and conference facility.
Catching the first glimpse into the future of Qatar’s event and venue landscape, local and international media representatives attended a tour of the 47,700m² site including the state-of-the-art exhibition hall, modular wall system, high-tech meeting and conference rooms, an exquisite VIP hosting suite and a vast underground parking system. With the ongoing growth of the events industry in the region, DECC is the first purpose-built city-center venue of its kind in Qatar and is set to welcome new global events to the region.
Located in West Bay, the epicenter of Qatar’s commercial district, the venue boasts five exhibition halls ranging between 5368m² to 7160m² with the capability to use the space in its entirety as one exhibition hall totaling 29,000m², thanks to a unique wall partition system. The impressive 18-meter high ceiling is the highest in the Middle East and is supported by a revolutionary cantilever roof meaning the whole space is pillar-free making it more versatile than many other standard exhibition halls.
The venue is overseen by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and managed by a joint venture between Fira Barcelona International and ELAN Group – and is set to host a number of hugely popular events including the Qatar Motor Show and Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition.
According to Hamad Al Abdan, Director of Exhibitions at QTA, Qatar has witnessed a substantial increase in activity in the business meeting and exhibition sector, averaging 150 events a year, with exhibitions experiencing an average of 35 percent growth each year for the past three years. “The opening of DECC is sure to act as a catalyst to the development of the business events sector, which we estimate attracts 70% of Qatar’s visitors.
“Our strategy to increase visitors to Qatar by 20% in the next five years places a strong emphasis on business events as a key driver towards achieving this goal. The welcome addition of DECC to Qatar’s venue portfolio will significantly contribute to Qatar’s status as a globally competitive destination for business events.” Mr. Al Abdan Said.
The venue is now complete and will host its first event on 2nd November this year. As the region’s business tourism continues to grow significantly year-on-year, the addition of this valuable and unique venue is expected to solidify Qatar’s position in the GCC events market – estimated to be worth $1.3billion¹.
Doha Exhibition and Convention Center CEO, Jose Vicente, said at the preview; “The opening of DECC will precede a new era for event delivery and business tourism here in Qatar. The Middle East is the fastest growing international meeting market in the world and growing year on year. I believe DECC is set to become one of the most attractive MICE² venues in the Middle East, and we are looking forward to welcoming clients and guests to transform this massive potential into a reality for Qatar.”
Jaber Al-Ansari, Group Chief Executive Officer of ELAN noted; “We are very proud to be unveiling this outstanding venue today and are confident that it will play a crucial role in affirming Qatar’s reputation as a leader in the MICE industry. Working with Fira Barcelona International to nurture this project has been a great experience and with our combined expertise, I’m confident in our ability to manage this venue and host world class events”.
The Doha Exhibition and Convention Center has a unique natural lighting system with over 330 ‘sun wells’ flooding the exhibition hall during the day. By night, the wells are up-lit with environmentally friendly LED lighting available in a variety of colors. Interior walls are given interest and texture with a mix of stunning oak-paneling, ornamental steel gauze and polished natural stone.
Commenting on the unique features of the venue, Mr. Hamad Ali Abdulmalik, Executive Director – Building Projects in Lusail said; “DECC is a valuable addition to the urban landscape in Doha. Through its state of the art facilities, the venue will host international events, contributing to the growing status of Qatar as a destination”
DECC is situated just a few minutes away from the popular Corniche waterfront and many of Qatar’s finest hotels and tourist attractions. It contains a spacious glass-sided concourse, cafes, prayer rooms, a loading zone, storage, and a climate controlled car park in the basement able to accommodate up to 2815 cars and 200 spaces for taxis to collect visitors from inside the venue itself.
Mr. Ricard Zapatero, General Manager of Fira Barcelona International commented; “With such a versatile and unique offering – thanks to its considered design, central location and modern technology – DECC can cater for a wide range of clients and industries making it the perfect blank canvas for existing and new clients.”
As of 2015, Qatar’s calendar of events includes 50 annual exhibitions, bringing visitors the latest in everything from medicine and education to real estate and handicrafts. DECC is expected to host its first event in November 2015.
– ENDS –
¹ – http://www.alpencapital.com/downloads/GCC_Hospitality_Report_24092014.pdf
² – Meeting, Incentive, Conference, and Exhibition industry
Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Malik Shishtawi, DECC Marketing Manager
The Doha Exhibition and Convention Center is Qatar’s central multi-purpose venue located in the heart of “The West Bay”, the business district in Doha the capital of the country. Arranged over 47,700m², DECC offers a versatile venue for business and entertainment events. It is available as one huge open space of 29,000m² or can be divided into five vast, pillar-free halls; ranging between 5368m² to 7160m². In addition, DECC hosts 18 state of the art meeting rooms ideal for training, business meetings, seminars and workshops equipped with a variety of AV settings to suit your needs.
Surrounded by luxury shopping malls, 5 star hotels and just a few minutes’ drive from the cultural village of Katara we offer a venue that provides the ultimate experience for business travellers and visitors.
DECC is overseen by Qatar Tourism Authority and managed by a joint Venture of Fira Barcelona International and ELAN Group, bringing world class management team to serve our client’s needs. www.decc.qa
About ELAN Group
ELAN Group was established in 2004 with the ambitious task of bringing international and unique advertising concepts to Qatar. By introducing the latest media tools to the market, with the support of globally experienced partners, we laid the foundations and set global standards for the country’s advertising sector.
Since then, we have evolved over the years to become a diversified and fully integrated media and entertainment company offering media, urban city beautification, events, and entertainment services throughout region.
Between our people and the companies we strategically partner with, ELAN Group aims to become the media and entertainment service provider of choice in the region; helping companies build and promote their brands through stimulating communication landscapes and impactful entertainment. Find out more about ELAN Group: www.elan.qa
About Fira Barcelona International
Fira is one of the most important European trade fair organizations and its international prestige is closely linked to the Barcelona brand, a city with over a century of trade fair tradition. Its annual economic contribution to the city of Barcelona and its surroundings is estimated at over 2,600 million Euros and also brings added social and public value.
Fira is a consortium comprised by the Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Generalitat and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, which combines public ownership with autonomous company management. http://www.firabarcelona.com/
About Qatar Tourism Authority
As the Qatari government’s tourism planning and promotion arm, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) works in partnership with stakeholders to plan, regulate and promote the development of a sustainable and mature tourism sector that contributes to Qatar’s future and positions the country as a leading tourism destination.
Chaired by H.E. Mr. Issa Bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, QTA works on showcasing all that Qatar has to offer, reinforcing the country’s position on the world tourism map as a premium destination for authentic experiences, business facilitation, and family-focused recreation. www.qatartourism.gov.qa