Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the emirate's flagship energy industry event, will be held virtually this year following the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said.
The annual trade show attracts the world’s leading chief executives, government leaders and policy makers and is one of the largest energy events in the world.
The organisers said the strategic and technical conference will be held virtually this year from November 9 to 12, following a directive from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.
The department advised against events taking place to ensure social distancing measures can be observed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UAE has 57,734 confirmed cases of Covid-19 while 50,354 have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the virus. The country has gradually eased movement restrictions and opened up to international travellers, who are required to undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival.
The next "full in-person" annual exhibition and conferences will take place from November 8 to 11 2021, the organisers said.
“By staging a concentrated and abridged virtual conference programme this year, Adipec will utilise cutting-edge technology that has evolved exponentially over the past four to five months, to ensure the industry and its community has a voice to discuss and share the learnings of this year and into the future,” said Christopher Hudson, global energy president at dmg events, which organises Adipec.
Last year’s event was attended by the chief executives of BP, Total and Eni and was headlined by Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State in the George W Bush administration.
The 35th annual edition of the conference was attended by more than 155,000 participants.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far infected more than 15.2 million people globally, has led to the cancellation of several key events in the energy industry’s calendar.
CERAWeek, one of the world's largest energy forums held every year in Texas, was cancelled in March due to concerns over the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the US. Other industry events in the Middle East, notably in Bahrain, were also scrapped.
The Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference, organised by the London-based consultancy Facts Global Energy, was also cancelled. The organisers said the conference originally scheduled for March 30 and 31 will be held on November 16 and 17, 2020.
Another energy event, GEO 2020 that was scheduled to run from March 16 to 19, will now be held from September 14 to 17 this year.
The pandemic, which has disrupted global trade, supply chains and the travel industry, has also led to the cancellation or postponement of other large gatherings across various industries.
Many global events have shifted to a virtual format.The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held their annual spring meetings - typically conducted in mid-April - virtually this year. Opec has also conducted its ministerial meetings virtually so far this year.