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ICC Jerusalem is Expected to Undergo a Large-Scale Expansion

ICC Jerusalem is about to go through a serious makeover and add thousands of square meters to its area. A huge complex, with a congress hotel, trading center and local businesses will be built next to it, as part of Jerusalem Municipality's new Business Quarter plan.

A new plan for the extension and building of a new international convention center in Jerusalem is promoted these days; this center will fit into the market's needs, technology and demands, as expected in the coming decades. Mira Altman, the CEO of ICC Jerusalem, has been leading this project for the last five years, together with a team of leading experts.

ICC Jerusalem is Israel's largest convention center (member of ICCA and AIPC). It is located at the entrance of Jerusalem, and hosts about 400-500 local and international events every year, with more than 400.000 participants and guests. The center is currently built over an area of 31,000 square meters, and includes 27 conference halls and exhibition areas, of different sizes.

The new program includes the construction and extension of a brand new and modern convention center, which will spread over 56,000 square feet. There, you will find a congress hotel with 800 guest rooms, 6,000 square meters of exhibition areas, ballrooms, study halls, auditorium, VIP chambers, cabinet chambers and a communication center.

Constant effort to look into the future

"As the first congress center in Israel and the most experienced, with long years' tradition, we benefit from the professional reputation and the great experience that this place has gathered. Nevertheless, we make a constant effort to look into the future and adjust to the changing environment around us", said Mrs. Altman. "The new program is based on hard work, including researches, surveys and meetings with different figures from the global tourism market, which – combined together – helped in creating a clear picture of this market's current and future needs and demands. Naturally, we also considered the local aspects of Jerusalem and its unique characteristics."

The professional team that was involved in the center's planning included HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting, a company with an extensive experience in planning convention centers, and the international architect Moshe Safdie, who conducted the planning of the Marina Bay Sands Conference Center in Singapore, as well as many other projects. Together they succeeded in transforming their insights into a detailed planning program.

This program fits into the general program of the city entrance, which is planned by the architect firm "Farhi – Zafrir". In addition to the renovated convention center, it also includes office towers and a commercial avenue. Thanks to its central location, this complex will benefit from transport accessibility, as being in close proximity to an Israel Railways station, two of the Jerusalem Light Rail stations and the city's central station. "All over the world, convention centers are significant economic anchors of the city and the state's life", noted Mrs. Altman. "As a tourist attraction with global importance, Jerusalem has a great advantage; there is no doubt that the implementation of this program will lead to economic, occupational and promotional growth of the city."

Photo: Current eastern front of the Convention Center