Rwanda's convention centre to become iconic landmark

Posted on : Monday , 29th September 2014

Rwanda is putting up a landmark conference centre as part of its plans to reap from conference tourism. Kigali Conference Centre, a dome-like construction being built mainly using steel, will have a seating capacity of 2,600.

According to Frank Murangwa, the Meetings Incentive Conference and Events (MICE) Division Manager at Rwanda Development Board, the convention centre will have 10 meeting rooms of varying sizes and the main arena which makes a total of 11 meeting spaces. It will also host other facilities including four restaurants and bars: A lobby bar, lounge, all-day dining restaurant, plaza bar, buffet restaurant and an Italian Filini bar franchise. Target “We are mainly targeting meetings, conferences and forum planners within various global associations, NGOs, corporate, international bodies in an effort to maximise on the potential of regional and international conferences,” says Murangwa. Rwanda Development Board (RDB), through Rwanda Convention Bureau Division under the Tourism and Conservation Department, is working closely with Radisson Blu to manage the convention centre and the hotel. Radisson Blu, formerly Radisson SAS, is an upscale brand for Radisson Hotels primarily outside the United States, including those in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

These are operated by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. In addition to Radisson Blu, other leading global hotel chains like Golden Tulip, Kempinski and Sheraton already have a presence in Rwanda. It operates 265 hotels, with 42 projects in the pipeline, including Kigali Radisson Blu. RDB is already promoting Rwanda as a MICE destination and the convention centre is a key infrastructure in the MICE tourism.

The Kigali Convention Centre is a landmark project for the country in terms of branding. It is also a pull factor to attract large conventions and conferences to the country. “Our plan is that while people come to Rwanda on a conference or meeting, we’ll package it such that they extend the length of stay and see other Rwandan attractions. We will then be solving the issue of seasonality that comes with tourism,” says Murangwa. The iconic Kigali Conference Centre is set to open its doors by the end of 2015. It is estimated to cost a total of $360 million and is being built by Beijing Construction Engineering Group. The hotel section will have 292 rooms, as well as offices to let. It will be a total of 28,000 square metres in size.

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