Scheduled for a makeover to add thousands of square meters is International Convention Center (ICC) Jerusalem, which will have a congress hotel, trading center and local businesses built next to it as part of Jerusalem Municipality’s new Business Quarter plan.
The center will fit into Israeli market needs, technology and demands as expected in the coming decades. Mira Altman, the CEO of ICC Jerusalem, has led this project for the last five years, with an expert team.
“We make a constant effort to adjust to the changing environment around us,” said Altman. “The new program is based on hard work, including research, surveys and meetings with different figures from the global tourism market, which 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.”
ICC Jerusalem is Israel’s largest convention center. Located at the entrance of Jerusalem, it 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.
Construction and extension of a brand new and modern ICC, which will spread over 56,000 square feet, is part of the new program. This includes a congress hotel with 800 guest rooms, 6,000 square meters of exhibition space, ballrooms, study halls, an auditorium, VIP chambers, cabinet chambers and a communication center.
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 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,” said 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.”
Two companies are involved in the convention center’s makeover: HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting, which has extensive experience planning convention centers; and the international architect Moshe Safdie, who conducted the planning of the Marina Bay Sands Conference Center in Singapore. They transformed their insights into a detailed planning program.
ICC Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish Agency for Israel and to Jerusalem’s municipality, which promote the program with the company’s directorate. Another partner to the program’s development and promotion is the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA), which makes constant efforts to strengthen Jerusalem’s status as an attractive destination for international conventions, fairs and exhibitions.