Hong Kong's newest and most advanced exhibition and events centre opened its doors today to selected guests to witness the progress made to-date. Construction is on track for completion this December with the latest phase of work being the roof erection process, one of the many innovative construction techniques being introduced to Hong Kong in order to create a world class centre that is outstanding in every aspect.
Guests were also offered a trial ride to the new addition on the Airport Express Line - the AsiaWorld-Expo Station, which is only a minute's ride from the Airport Station, and provides door-to-door access from Central to the entrance of the new centre in only 25 minutes. The in-venue station will also enable convenient connectivity to all train and free shuttle services on the Airport Express and MTR network. This efficient link allows visitors uninterrupted access regardless of the weather and location. The new station is now under construction and will be in service at the end of this year to coincide with the opening of the centre.
On seeing the progress made on site, the guest of honour, John Tsang Chun-wah, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, commented: "The achievements made to-date mark an important step forward in the construction of a world class centre that will contribute significantly to Hong Kong's position as Asia-Pacific's convention and exhibition hub. AsiaWorld-Expo, at the very heart of Asia with direct and frequent links to the Mainland and the rest of the world, will ensure Hong Kong has a top quality facility to accommodate large events."
Upon completion, AsiaWorld-Expo will provide more than 70,000 square metres of flexible, totally column-free space, all located on the ground level with high ceiling clearance. The user-friendly facility incorporates design and functional requirements from experienced operators, exhibition organisers and visitors. It is also Hong Kong's most advanced facility in terms of information technology infrastructure, providing a state-of-the-art fiber optics network and wireless connections for seamless communications; environmentally-friendly E&M infrastructure which includes a thermal storage air-conditioning system; a fully computerised building management system; plus a digital CCTV network that features a sophisticated crowd and security management software.
In addition to the exceptional exhibition facility, the centre also boasts a world-class, purpose-built 13,500-seat entertainment arena - AsiaWorld-Arena, which will be the biggest and best specified in the city, with impressive acoustic architecture and excellent rigging capabilities. Nicolas Borit, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited said: 'The Arena will offer the ideal platform for all types of international events, from mega scale superstar concerts to magnificent sporting and entertainment extravaganzas.' He further indicated that initial responses to the Arena were very positive and the management team was in close discussions to bring a number of new shows to Hong Kong.
To-date, AsiaWorld-Expo has already achieved significant success in establishing an attractive future calendar of events. Over 20 exhibitions have been secured for 2006, including the ITU Telecom World 2006, the recognised 'Olympics of the International Telecommunications industry'. This event, together with the Global Sources China Sourcing Fairs and other confirmed exhibitions, will contribute an estimated $4 billion to the Hong Kong economy in AsiaWorld-Expo's first year of operation in 2006, which considerably exceeded the previous forecasts.