MANAMA: The Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority (BECA) is confident of achieving its targeted overall performance for 2012, it was revealed at a key meeting yesterday. Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro chaired the BECA's board meeting at the ministry. The minister and the board acknowledged the continued support of kingdom's leadership and government to the exhibition industry in Bahrain and in strengthening its role and contribution to the national economy.
They stated the positive economic impact of the exhibition sector and major international events as reflected by the high occupancy rates of hotels in Bahrain particularly during the Formula One event.
The board was briefed on the latest developments on the financial and operational performance of the authority during 2011 and the first half of 2012 as well as BECA's plans and programmes.
The board noted the development plans to achieve progress in the construction of Phase 1 of the Expo City Project in Sakhir Area adjacent to the Bahrain International Circuit.
The authority's financial performance as of end of December, 2011 was reviewed during the meeting and the board was pleased with the financial results notwithstanding the effects on the exhibition industry of the global economic crisis and recent events in Bahrain.
In 2011, BECA, through cost control strategies adopted by the management, attained a reduction in operating expenditures by 12.6 per cent compared with 2010.
With the increasing number of exhibitions and conferences booked for 2012 and 2013 and the continued strategic measures to further maximise revenues and minimise costs, the board is confident that the authority will achieve targeted overall performance for this year.
The authority also revealed noticeable growth in the forecasted results in operations for 2012 compared with last year's performance including the total number of exhibitions and conferences by 100pc, total exhibitors by 34pc, gross space of booked events by 19pc and total days of booked event by 12pc and various improvement and development projects undergoing implementation including renovation of VIP majlises and the centre's main entrance and upgrade of communications and IT systems and CCTV systems.
All major events held during the first half of 2012 were highly successful.
Other international and specialised business-to-business exhibitions and conferences lined up for the second quarter of 2012 up to end of 2012 include the second Expo Sciences Asia, Times Realty India, the authority-owned and organised Health and Wellness Expo and Food and Hospitality Expo, Awakening Your Inner Power and Potential, GulfBID and GulfINTERIORS, which begins today, Traditional Festival, Bahrain Education and Training Exhibition Before Employment, Middle East Refining and Petrochemicals Conference and Exhibition, CFA Examination, Summer Festival, National Examination Unit, EDUTEX Summer 2012, Al Abayas Exhibition, Al Ayam Book Fair, Jewellery Arabia, Career Expo and Indian Property Exhibition.
The authority's management has projected that more events will be booked for holding conventions, exhibitions and other events in the coming period.