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ICC DURBAN DOUBLES FOR INDABA (article first published : 2005-05-6)

In keeping with international trends and demands for bigger conference facilities, ICC embarked on an expansion project at the beginning of 2004 which will include a new world-class indoor arena. Already, one-third of the additional space is complete in the area referred to as Hall 4 and the remainder, the ICC Arena, will be complete by 2006.

ICC and the city of Durban made a commitment to South African Tourism to develop Indaba and provide the service and facilities needed to ensure that the event becomes one of the premier attractions on the international tourism calendar.

Alec Gilbert, chief executive officer of ICC Durban, commented; “The city and the province of KwaZulu Natal have come to the party in terms of logistics and the organization of events around Indaba. This year, delegates will be treated to a party on the shores of North Beach and there’ll be a welcome event at ICC Durban.”

In future, Indaba will incorporate events in the newly-completed ICC Arena, which will be of international standard and provide the city with an international icon.

Open spaces around the building will contribute to its ionic appearance and provide the city with a “pubic square”. This will give the people of Durban an opportunity to interact and experience the ICC firsthand.

The ICC Arena will position ICC Durban in a league of its own, being the only venue in the country able to accommodate events for over 10,000 people; with a covered area of 32,000 sq metres at one level, and a further 12,000 sq metres of open area. Like the existing ICC, the new indoor ICC Arena will be very flexible, providing 6,000 raked seats for sporting events and allowance for 10,000 spectators at concerts, or uninterrupted exhibition and banquet space.

The provision of an international Arena gives the city the opportunity of participating in major international events like the World Cup Soccer for 2010 and the Olympic Games in 2020.

The ICC Arena will be a landmark design, capable of attracting national and international interest for its architectural innovation and excellence. It will have a strong landscape and environmental theme, incorporating the tropical outdoors, with the interior airy spaces.

“Durban’s warm climate brings huge advantages in that the open areas surrounding ICC lend themselves to outdoor use for exhibitions, beer gardens etc.,” adds Alec Gilbert. “Next year, we will have even more open plaza’s available for Indaba.”

Above all, the requirements of the end-user have been taken into account to provide a facility that is technologically advanced in terms of facilities, energy efficiency and flexibility of services provided.

The ICC Arena will integrate with the CBD and surrounding areas, including the adjacent Durban Exhibition Centre and the Hilton Hotel Durban. It will not compromise the Centre’s unique ability to be transformed into an island site for high security events.

The ICC has recently won two International Awards. ICC's track record for reliability and service excellence has been endorsed yet again by The World Travel Awards. ICC has been voted 'Africa's Leading Conference Centre' for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) has listed ICC Durban as one of the top ten convention centres in the world.




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