Abu Dhabi was selected as a natural host for the event due to the centrality of its food sustainability agenda and its commitment to innovation and technology. The Semifinals took place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), 2-7 February 2023, and brought together 8 teams from around the world to compete in a closed event. During Semifinals testing, each team presented plant or cell-based protein samples that they had created, these samples were assessed by the judges on weight, size, safety for consumption, and preparation/cookability, and teams were only permitted to use oil, salt and pepper for seasoning.
ADNEC’s The Hive and White Rooms were used as briefing, preparation and judging areas and a purpose- built industrial kitchen was built outside on ADNEC’s adjoining grandstand space.
ADNEC Services, ADNEC Group’s award-winning event agency, were engaged by XPRIZE to support Semifinals testing. Due to the technical requirements of the event, with regards to industrial kitchen space, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre was the obvious choice for venue. Each individual closed cooking station was fully equipped, and lockable refrigeration was also provided due to the proprietary nature of the protein products.
ADNEC Services involved Capital Catering + Services, a fellow ADNEC Group company who supported the event with the provision of chefs as well as procurement and kit-out of the kitchens. Capital Catering + Services supported the event free-of-charge due to their own commitment to innovation, sustainability and food development. They also procured hotel blocks for them through ADNEC group stablemate, Capital Experience and consulted with logistics companies to facilitate customs clearances.
The client was extremely happy with the event and Caroline Kolta, Program Director, XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion said “XPRIZE had a great experience working with all the teams at ADNEC. From early planning with ADNEC Services to on-site support, the ADNEC teams continuously demonstrated their willingness and capability to ensure the success of XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion Semifinals.
Everyone enjoyed the space and was impressed by the level of support that was provided throughout the event. Operations ran smoothly and we received great feedback on catering. I would recommend ADNEC as a venue that is versatile for any event.”