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Abu Dhabi’s ADNEC waives fees for 4,000-bed London hospital site

Abu Dhabi’s ADNEC waives fees for 4,000-bed London hospital site

ADNEC’s massive London conference centre is being converted into an emergency hospital to support Covid-19 cases

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned exhibitions company has waived maintenance fees and isn’t charging rent for Britain’s health service to use its giant London conference centre as an emergency hospital, following a similar move by Blackstone Group Co. at a location in central England.

Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions had initially been asking for as much as 3m pounds ($3.68m) in rent per month for the ExCeL centre near London’s Canary Wharf financial district, the Sunday Times reported earlier. The site is being turned into a 4,000-bed field hospital for coronavirus cases, making it one of the world’s largest.

“The initial agreement with the NHS included a contribution to some fixed costs,” ExCeL CEO Jeremy Rees said in a statement following the Sunday Times report. “We have since decided to cover the fixed costs ourselves.”

Private equity group Blackstone had already waived the rent at its centre in Birmingham, which is being turned into the second of the NHS’s Nightingale hospitals.

ADNEC acquired the ExCeL center in 2008 for more than $600m.

“We are doing all that we can to help the UK through these challenging times,” said managing director Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri. “To be clear, profit has always been the furthest thing from our minds.”

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