London: ExCeL London, an international exhibition and conference centre, owned by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (Adnec), has been hired by the London Organising Committee for Olympic Games (Locog) to host as many as seven sporting events during the 2012 games, a senior ExCeL London executive said yesterday.
"The world's eyes will be on ExCeL London. There will be more medals to be handed out here than at any other single venue," Kevin Murphy, ExCeL London's Chief Executive officer said.
ExCeL London, which has 100,000 square metres of exhibition hall space, will play host to Olympic sports judo, taekwondo, table tennis, weight-lifting, fencing, boxing and wrestling during the London Olympics.
"ExCeL London has been hired for a full three months by Locog, which is paying a negotiated rate," said James Mark, ExCeL London's Services and 2012 Games Director, declining to elaborate further on the deal.
ExCeL London was bought by Adnec for Dh2.3 billion in May 2008 from its Malaysian owner. Since its acquisition, the facility has been expanded. The opening of phase II of Excel London will be held on Thursday, the facility being inaugurated by Adnec Chairman Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
"Since the announcement of ExCeL II seven months ago, it's estimated that as much as £330 million (Dh1,790.47 million) of additional revenue was generated by London from business tourism," said Murphy.
As far as ExCeL London is concerned, it generated new businesses worth £60 million (Dh325.54 million), he added.
"We have signed contracts for events up to 2017. The utilisation rate of the centre, right up to 2015, is averaging more than 60 per cent, which is excellent for a facility of this size," said Murphy.
Over the last 22 months, some 32,500 square metres of display space have been added, making ExCeL London one of the largest exhibition facilities of its kind in Europe. There is also parking space for 4,000 cars.
In addition, a 252-bedroom Aloft hotel is currently being built at the venue, with a time-line of September 2011 completion.
The £48 million (Dh260.43 million) hotel will play host to exhibitors and event participants.