24th World Energy Congress Case Study


The triennial World Energy Congress is the global flagship event of the World Energy Council, headquartered in London. Held across the globe with the support of local organising committees, the Congress brings together government ministers, CEOs and industry experts to discuss critical developments in the energy sector.

The World Energy Council and their local organising committee began working with the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in 2011 to bring the flagship event to the city, which marked its first time in the Middle East in the event’s 95-year history.

The four-day Congress attracted 18,062 attendees from 146 countries and more than 70 international ministers from 51 countries.


The World Energy Council, in conjunction with their local organisers, were determined to make the 24th edition of the Congress a must-attend event by providing a unique space for the global energy community to convene and help shape the future of energy. The objective was to gather energy leaders from all over the globe and to capitalise on Abu Dhabi’s position as gateway to the MENA region to achieve exceptional attendance, particularly from government ministers and global innovators. 


The four-day programme encompassed a range of session formats including opening and closing plenaries, keynote addresses, pitching platforms, interviews and panel discussions. There was also a private programme for the Council’s communities, including the Future Energy Leaders’ Congress and the World Energy Leaders’ Summit.  A total of 325 speakers participated in a packed programme of 70 sessions united under the theme ‘Energy for Prosperity’.

The welcome address was given by H.E. Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, Younghoon David Kim, Chair, World Energy Council and H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chief Executive Officer, ADNOC - Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

There were a number of new elements to this edition of the World Energy Congress. These comprised an art in energy design competition, 31 side events including report launches, start-up pitches, the participation of 85 global energy start-ups and the new Leadership Excellence in Women (LEWAS) programme.

Projection mapping, aerial and acrobatic performers generated an energetic, impressive and unforgettable opening ceremony with an ‘energy sources’ theme for participants inside ADNEC’s ICC.

The large-scale exhibition alone took over 35,000sqm and showcased 257 exhibitors, including 8 country pavilions. The rest of the event was spread over ADNEC’s 11 exhibition halls, three large conference spaces, several of the venue’s 21 breakout rooms as well as the atrium and link spaces.


ADNEC was perfectly equipped to accommodate the World Energy Congress due to its easily configurable spaces and 360 event solutions due to in-house award winning caterer, Capital Hospitality and production company, ADNEC Services. Only 15 minutes from the airport, the venue is at the heart of an interconnected event campus with six onsite hotels offering around 2,000 rooms ranging from 3-5 star including two connected to the venue via internal walkways as well as excellent dining options.

The event was a success and garnered excellent feedback. It brought together 788 CEOs and government ministers, 1230 global media representatives and delegations from 146 countries and had a remarkable PR reach of 37 billion people. 

Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO at the World Energy Council, said: “As our flagship event which convenes our whole community, a world-class host venue is crucial to the success of the World Energy Congress. We were delighted to work with the team at ADNEC to deliver a truly memorable 24th World Energy Congress and cement its role in promoting an inclusive global energy agenda and enabling forward-looking, action-orientated dialogue.”

Tania Baumann, Chief Operating Officer at the World Energy Council, said: “ADNEC was an ideal venue for the World Energy Congress, offering the space and flexibility for four days of content and networking for over 18,000 attendees. Light, spacious and modern, the facilities were able to accommodate a large and complex programme with a range of session sizes and formats. An additional benefit was the outstanding transport links and wide range of hotels in the vicinity. The ADNEC team provided excellent support throughout.”

Humaid Mater Al Dhaheri, ADNEC MD and Group CEO said “It was an honour for ADNEC to be the first Middle Eastern venue to host the World Energy Congress and we were proud to host such an important global event which will leave a lasting impact on the future of the energy sector. The 24th edition of the Congress was one of many firsts, including pitch tanks for global start-ups, a women’s leadership programme and a design competition, the themes of the event perfectly synchronised with many of ADNEC’s values as a forward thinking organisation.”