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ExCeL London
ExCeL London in June 2021
LocationCustom House, Docklands, London, E16
United Kingdom
Coordinates51°30′29″N 0°01′44″E / 51.5081°N 0.0289°E / 51.5081; 0.0289
OwnerAbu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company
BuiltNovember 2000
ArchitectSir Robert McAlpine
Moxley Architects Ltd.
OpenedNovember 2000; 23 years ago (November 2000)
Expanded2010 (Phase 2)
2023–2024 (Phase 3)
Construction cost
£550 million
Former names
The ExCel
Enclosed space
 • Total space100,000 m2
Parking5,500 spaces[1]
Bicycle facilities
60 racks[2]
Public transit accessDocklands Light Railway Elizabeth line Custom House
Docklands Light Railway Prince Regent
Website Edit this at Wikidata

ExCeL London (an abbreviation for Exhibition Centre London)[3] is an international exhibition and convention centre in the Custom House area of Newham, East London.[4] The facility is situated on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) site on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock in London Docklands, located between Canary Wharf and London City Airport.


Aerial view of ExCeL in 2008, before its first extension

The Centre was designed by Moxley Architects and built by Sir Robert McAlpine. It opened in November 2000.[5][6] In May 2008 it was acquired by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company. Phase II of development, which included building London's first International Convention Centre (ICC) and creating an "eastern arrival experience", was completed on 1 May 2010.[7] Phase 3 is expected to be completed in October 2024.[8]

In 2015, CentrEd at ExCeL was opened,[9] which expanded the centre's facilities to incorporate training and meeting space near the western entrance of the venue overlooking Royal Victoria Dock.

The Royal Victoria Dock was closed to commercial traffic in 1981, but it is still accessible to shipping. The Centre's waterfront location allows visiting vessels to moor alongside the Centre. An example of this is HMS Sutherland visiting the 2005 London Boat Show.[10]

The design of the exhibition building consists of two column-free, rectangular, sub-divisible halls of approximately 479,493 sq. ft. (44,546 sq. m.), on either side of a central boulevard containing catering facilities and information points.[11][12] There are also three sets of function rooms, one overlooking the water, another above the western end of the central boulevard, and the third on the north side of the building which are used for smaller meetings, seminars, presentations and corporate hospitality. The property is surrounded by six hotels,[13] bars and restaurants, and 1,800 parking spaces situated underneath the property with 85 accessible spaces.[14]

ExCeL London has hosted numerous consumer and trade, private and public events, including exhibitions, conferences, concerts, weddings and religious events. Among these have been WorldSkills London 2011, the London Boat Show, the British International Motor Show, Grand Designs Live, the Carole Nash MCN Motorcycle Show, MCM London Comic Con, the London International Music Show, Star Wars Celebration Europe, London Marathon registration, the World Travel Market, The Clothes Show London, Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi), The Dive Show, the Global Peace and Unity Event, the 2009 G-20 London Summit, IP Expo Europe and Summer in the City.

In 2011 ExCeL London was awarded the Business Super brand,[15] and welcomed its 20 millionth visitor on 18 June 2014.[16] ExCeL has also been awarded 'Venue of the Year' on several occasions at various industry ceremonies.[17] In 2012, ExCeL hosted several events for the Olympics and Paralympics, and has since erected a "legacy wall" featuring the handprints of athletes who won Gold at the venue and the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

In 2014 ExCeL hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict,[18] chaired by American actress and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and attended by 79 ministers from 123 country delegations.

Aerial view of ExCeL in 2015, after its Phase 2 extension

From 1 to 8 July 2019, 150 events took place as part of London Climate Action Week 2019.[19]

It was announced on 24 March 2020 that the Centre was to be temporarily converted into the 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital as part of the response to the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Military engineers and contractors supported the erection of the facility, and army medics assisted the NHS nurses, doctors and other staff.[20] The Nightingale was opened on 3 April 2020 by Charles, Prince of Wales via video link.[21]


ExCeL London is served by two Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stations, which span the full 600-metre length of the venue. The western entrance is directly linked to Custom House for ExCeL station, which serves the Platinum Suite and the event halls and is located next to the glass pyramid. Since 24 May 2022, the western entrance of ExCeL has been served by the Elizabeth line (known as the Crossrail project during construction), connecting the venue to central London in 12 minutes.[22]

The eastern entrance is connected to Prince Regent station. The eastern entrance serves the International Convention Centre (ICC at ExCeL), which was opened in 2010 by then-Mayor Boris Johnson and is London's first and currently only ICC. During major shows with large visitor attendances, extra shuttle trains are run between the venue and Canning Town station, which connects with London Underground's Jubilee line. Since June 2012, the Emirates Air Line cable car now links ExCeL to The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula.

ExCeL London is also located near London City Airport station, which is linked by the DLR and a number of dual-carriageway roads which also provide onward access to the office and commercial district of Canary Wharf.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility

ExCeL London participates in the UN Global Compact Scheme,[23] the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative which invites companies to align with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. As part of this scheme, ExCeL hosts annual events to communicate on progress addressing the issues of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption. Since joining the scheme in August 2007,[24] ExCeL has undertaken a series of initiatives to reduce energy usage, increase recycling efforts and increase transparency across the business, such as the introduction of a whistleblowing hotline in May 2015.[25]

ExCeL publishes details of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts publicly in the UN Global Compact report and on their website. Currently ExCeL invests in the local community of Newham by supporting select charities, chiefly Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) and Community Food Enterprise (CFE).[26] ExCeL also provides space free of charge to local schools and sports teams, in addition to hosting an annual event called 'ExCeL in the Arts' for local children to attend. In 2016, ExCeL welcomed London celebrity chef, musician and entrepreneur Levi Roots, who in collaboration with a local food initiative organised a cooking class for local children[27]



ExCeL London hosting table tennis events at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

For the 2012 Summer Olympics,[28] ExCeL London was divided into five sports halls with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 that were used for boxing, fencing, judo, taekwondo, table tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling.


ExCeL hosted two boxing matches on 10 December 2005, the first between British heavyweights Danny Williams and Audley Harrison and the second between Amir Khan and Daniel Thorpe.

ExCeL also hosted the boxing match on 22 April 2008 between Amir Khan and Gairy St. Clair for the World Boxing Organization intercontinental lightweight title, and the boxing match on 29 November 2014 between Derek Chisora and Tyson Fury in a World Boxing Organization heavyweight championship eliminator.


The Virgin Active London Triathlon is held at ExCeL London on an annual basis, with the cycling and running legs taking place within and around the venue and the swim taking place in Royal Victoria Dock, adjacent to ExCeL.


ExCeL will host the inaugural Ultimate Tennis Showdown grand final in December 2023, a series of exhibition matches held during the professional tennis off-season.[29]


ExCeL London Circuit

Formula E Circuit (2023)

Formula E Circuit (2022)

Original Formula E Circuit (2021)
LocationCustom House, Docklands, London, E16
United Kingdom
Time zoneGMT (UTC+0)
BST (April–October, UTC+1)
FIA Grade3E
Opened24 July 2021; 2 years ago (2021-07-24)
Major eventsFormula E
London ePrix (2021–present)
Formula E Circuit (2023)
Length2.086 km (1.296 miles)
Race lap record1:12.342 (Germany André Lotterer, Porsche 99X Electric, 2023, Formula E)
Formula E Circuit (2022)
Length2.141 km (1.330 miles)
Race lap record1:14.349[30] (New Zealand Nick Cassidy, Audi e-tron FE07, 2022, Formula E)
Original Formula E Circuit (2021)
Length2.252 km (1.400 miles)
Race lap record1:21.635 (Netherlands Robin Frijns, Audi e-tron FE07, 2021, Formula E)

The Formula E London ePrix was held with two back to back races at ExCel, in July 2021 with part of the circuit running around the arena and part of the circuit in the exhibition hall itself.[31] It was also due to be held in 2020, however the event was cancelled after the ExCeL was repurposed as a temporary NHS hospital named NHS Nightingale, to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.[32] It held the final 2 rounds of the 2022-23 Formula E World Championship, after holding the penultimate round in 2022.

COVID-19 pandemic

Main article: NHS Nightingale Hospital London

On 24 March 2020, the ExCeL was announced as a temporary NHS hospital, containing 5000 beds and named NHS Nightingale, to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.[32] This alternate care site was planned to shut down in early May 2020,[33] but was also used as a mass vaccination centre as part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme from 11 January 2021.[34]

Other events

This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "ExCeL London" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this message) This section may contain unverified or indiscriminate information in embedded lists. Please help clean up the lists by removing items or incorporating them into the text of the article. (March 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
ExCeL waterfront south side.

ExCeL London has hosted the following events:


Demonstrators camped outside ExCel to protest against the DSEI fair in 2019, in an attempt to block access, which resulted in the police arresting 100 people for allegedly obstructing the highway.[45][46]


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  2. ^ "Cycling to ExCeL". Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  3. ^ Administrator, System (4 August 1995). "85m exhibition centre excels with new name".
  4. ^ "ExCeL London". Visit London. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  5. ^ "ExCeL". Moxley Architects. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  6. ^ "News from Worldwide". Worldwide Exhibition Specialists Ltd. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Excel London opens £165m event space with X Factor auditions: pictures". 7 May 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  8. ^ Colston, Paul (12 December 2023). "ExCeL adds final steelwork to 25,000sqm expansion". Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  9. ^ "CentrEd at ExCeL". ExCeL London. Archived from the original on 29 December 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  10. ^ Vincent, Bruno. "A general view of H.M.S. Sutherland is seen at the Schroders London Boat Show on January 6, 2005 in London". Getty Images. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
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  12. ^ "Vital statistics - Technical details, floor plans and capacity charts" (PDF). Excel London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  13. ^ "Hotels near ExCeL London | BCD M&E with HotelMap". ExCeL London. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  14. ^ "Driving and parking". ExCeL London. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  15. ^ "ExCeL London". Superbrands UK. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011.
  16. ^ "Prize package given to Excel's 20 millionth visitor". Access All Areas. 18 June 2014.
  17. ^ "ExCeL". ExCeL London. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  19. ^ Fullard, Martin (1 July 2019). "London Climate Action Week: the events industry gets involved". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  20. ^ Gold, Harry (28 March 2020). "Pictures show inside makeshift NHS 'Nightingale' hospital built by Army". cambridgenews. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Coronavirus: Nightingale Hospital opens at London's ExCel centre". BBC News. 3 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Crossrail". ExCeL London. Archived from the original on 26 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  23. ^ "ExCeL London". UN Global Compact. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  24. ^ "ExCeL London website – UN COP 2015" (PDF). ExCeL London. Retrieved 24 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
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  26. ^ "ExCeL". ExCeL London. Retrieved 24 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
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  29. ^ Dunn, Carrie (13 October 2023). "London confirmed as host for UTS Grand Final". Tennis Majors. Archived from the original on 23 November 2023. Retrieved 23 November 2023. ExCel London will stage the eight-man event from December 15-17
  30. ^ "2022 London ePrix Race 2 Statistics". Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  31. ^ "2021 Heineken® London E-Prix". FIA Formula E. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  32. ^ a b Schraer, Rachel (24 March 2020). "ExCeL Centre to be used as coronavirus hospital". BBC News.
  33. ^ Campbell, Denis; Mason, Rowena (4 May 2020). "London NHS Nightingale hospital will shut next week". The Guardian – via
  34. ^ "Covid: Mass vaccination centres to open in England". BBC News. BBC. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  35. ^ "Welcome". DSEI 2023. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  36. ^ Bowman, Lisa Marie (23 May 2017). "Music Video Of The Day: Clocks by Coldplay (2003, directed by Dominic Leung)". Through the Shattered Lens. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  37. ^ "MCM Comic Con". Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  38. ^ "Reuters | Breaking International News & Views". Reuters. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  39. ^ "EASL 2014 Annual Meeting". Eventegg.
  40. ^ "The X Factor 2017 finals will be held at the Excel centre for the first time". Metro. 19 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  41. ^ Farah Sheikh (12 November 2021). "UCL announce in-person graduation ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 graduates". The Tab.
  42. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions – Students". UCL Graduations. Where are the July 2023 ceremonies taking place?. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  43. ^ Whyte, Woodrow (16 May 2022). "RuPaul's DragCon UK to return in 2023: Here's how to buy tickets". PopBuzz. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  44. ^ Star Wars (29 May 2022). "Let's do it again next year. #StarWarsCelebration returns to Europe in 2023". Twitter. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  45. ^ Acton, Luke (3 September 2019). "Campaigners begin occupation of ExCeL entrance ahead of Canning Town arms fair". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  46. ^ "London: Week of protests against DSEI arms fair". Independent Catholic News. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.