Bahrain’s stunning new MICE destination has enjoyed an exceptional inaugural year, successfully hosting over 200 remarkable events and earning international acclaim. As it strides confidently into 2024, EWB is poised for an even busier calendar hosting a world of global events and meetings
Exhibition World Bahrain: 1st year of embarking on an era of MICE excellence
Nestled at the heart of the dynamic Gulf, EWB has become a mainstay of southern Bahrain, with its iconic architecture embracing the rich Arabian art and culture with spectacular Mashrabiya skylight accents. The venue’s stunning landmark embraces remarkable ultramodern facilities that can cater to every type of event, from large conventions and exhibitions to meetings, conferences, product launches, entertainment, live concerts, gala events, large-scale weddings, celebrations, and much more.
EWB is strategically sited within Bahrain’s vibrant Sakhir area, the Kingdom’s up-and-coming hub for events, sports, and entertainment. The modern Arabesque structure is adjacent to Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), Al Dana Amphitheatre, and the soon-to-be developed Bahrain International Sports City, with easy access to the new Bahrain International Airport, over 18,000 hotel rooms, and a wide range of attractions and dining experiences.
Exhibition World Bahrain is owned by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) and is in a strategic partnership with ASM Global, one of the world’s leading Venue Management companies and producer of live entertainment experiences with over 350 world-class venues under its portfolio worldwide including Exhibition & Convention Centres, Sports Stadiums and Arenas. This partnership contributes to the design and development of global and advanced expertise to manage EWB and achieve the desired goals of its establishment, supported by a competent and highly qualified Bahraini workforce.
EWB occupies an overall area of 309,000 sqm and boasts an extensive indoor and outdoor leasable space, encompassing a total of 10 versatile exhibition halls of varying ceiling heights and with a total area of 95,000 sqm, all of which are equipped with the essential technical services, meeting rooms and storage spaces, together with their own independent exits and entrances.
The Convention Centre at EWB, it includes an extraordinary Grand Hall that offers world-class flexibility in design with multiple configurations to incorporate and customise every type of event, from conferences to large weddings, graduations, theatrical performances, gala celebrations, and so much more. It features retractable seating with rows of multiple tiers, with up to 4,000 guests’ capacity, 19 translation booths, cutting-edge audio-visual services, 3 dedicated bridal suites, 5 Artists Rooms and VIP Majlises.
The Grand Hall also features operable walls that allow the hall to be subdivided up to five separate areas or utilised as one large area, fully adaptable and flexible to cater to any type of event.
The venue also offers its own in-house bespoke catering and culinary services and a fully equipped kitchen that can accommodate any style of catering requirements. The Grand Hall is a venue for all occasions and will redefine the MICE industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the region.
In its first year of operation, EWB has secured over 200 bookings for various event types and sizes, both locally and internationally. Since its inception in November 2022, EWB has hosted a total of 170 events, attracting over half a million local and international visitors, and is targeting multiple sizeable local, regional, and international exhibitions and conventions for the rest of this year.
Apart from the economic impact generated by the expenditures of event exhibitors and guests, the influence of these conventions and exhibitions is more far-reaching. Whether it is delivering solutions to global issues; offering commodities and trade fairs, attracting investments, showcasing scientific research; or raising awareness about technical and academic themes, the conventions and exhibitions hosted have created legacies in local and global communities and industries.
The inauguration of EWB in November 2022 coincided with the launch of three major annual exhibitions at the exhibition centre. These include Jewellery Arabia 2022, the largest Jewellery exhibition in the Middle East; the Scent Arabia, which was held for the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain; and finally, Cityscape Bahrain, which is also one of the largest real estate events in the Middle East.
Jewellery Arabia is still observed as one of the most influential jewellery fairs in the Middle East, and it has been successful in solidifying Bahrain’s global foothold in the MICE industry over the past three decades. Due to the huge potential of EWB , Jewellery Arabia doubled its size last year, exceeding 54,000 sqm and successfully attracting over 55,000 local, regional, and international visitors. The expo’s 30th edition registered the highest sales records compared with its previous editions. The value of exhibited local products was BD888 million, compared with BD510 million in 2021, marking a 74% increase. The value of imported products was BD24 million, compared with BD20 million in 2021, marking an increase of 17.6%. The increase is 75% compared to 2019 and 98% compared to 2018.
In addition, the annual highly anticipated trade fair, the Autumn Fair, attracted more than 165,000 regional and international visitors last year, registering a new record over the past 33 years, offering a retail extravaganza ranging from textiles and furnishings to electrical goods and clothing, along with a variety of immersive activities happening throughout the event.
The first UFI Expert Day in the GCC, a special gathering for regional leaders of the exhibitions and business events industry, was successfully hosted by Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB) on 1st October 2023 for the first time in Bahrain, attracting a diverse group of senior industry leaders and decision-makers from convention and exhibition centres, professional associations, prominent event organisers, MICE planners, and other key organisations.
The centre will see the return of the annual Jewellery Arabia, Cityscape Bahrain, and Scent Arabia exhibitions, concluding with the Autumn Fair, Arab International Cyber Security Summit, and Manama Health Conference and Exhibition in December.
EWB has a busy timetable of well-recognised local, regional, and international events scheduled for 2024, containing large conventions and exhibitions as well as live concerts, galas, banquets, graduation celebrations, and other events.
In record time, Exhibition World Bahrain has bagged much-coveted awards and rankings. The EWB and the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority (BTEA) scooped the Eventseum Hall of Fame’s 2021 Global Innovation Award for Convention and Conference Centres in two separate categories: new construction and sole winner for the EMEA region during the IMEX 2022 Exhibition.
For the first time in five years, the Kingdom of Bahrain has re-entered the top 100 in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Global Rankings, claiming the 89th position for international events held in 2022 at EWB, which is considered the highest ranking for Bahrain in the last decade.
Bahrain’s re-entry into the global rankings is a major achievement for the Kingdom and a clear indicator of its impact and growing value as a strategic and appealing destination for business tourism. This is due to the tireless efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), with the launch of EWB in 2022 as a key factor in this recognition.
Furthermore, EWB has been nominated as the Middle East’s leading exhibition and convention centre for 2023 through the annual World Travel Awards. Recognised globally as the hallmark of industry excellence, the World Travel Awards are one of the most prestigious awards in the travel and tourism industry.Moving towards another successful year ahead, EWB teams are vigorously working around the clock to build a long-term leading MICE position for the Kingdom, attract the most sought-after global meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions that leave lasting legacies, and set new MICE industry standards and groundbreaking services.