32February 2011Conference+Meetings Worldwww.c-mw.netPHOTO RANGEWorks in progressMeet under the sidra tree in QatarScheduled to open in October 2011, the Qatar NationalConvention Centre (QNCC) boasts a 250m curved steel sidratree design. The venue will be the first congres venue built to the gold certification of US Green Building Council'sLeadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED). QNCC will be the largest such facility in the region andprovide meeting spaces over three levels, including40,000sqm of exhibition space and a main conference hallfor 4,000 delegates. There will be a 2,300-seat theatre,banqueting space for 10,000 and 57 smaller meeting rooms.QNCC is located alongside universities in Doha's EducationCity, 20 minutes from the central business district. Oman's convention castle in the sandThe Oman Government started the New Year with agroundbreaking ceremony for the Gulf state's new OmanConvention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat. The project by state-sponsored developer Omran willinclude 25,000sqm of exhibition space and 85,000sqm of office space, as well as four hotels, an auditorium for3,000 delegates and a shopping mall. Oman's Minister of National Economy, His Excellency Ahmedbin Abdulnabi Macki, said the facility would allow Oman tobecome a major new destination for business events. "Thefirst win is the direct economic impact, the second is thateach event attracts thousands of visitors to the venue.Cracking the ICE in KrakowICE is a multifunctional congress centre due to be built insouthern Poland's old capital, Krakow. It is scheduled to openin 2014 and will be constructed by the Vistula River, near to the historic city centre and Wawel Castle.The architects are Ingarden and Ewy from Krakow and ArataIsozaki and Associates from Tokyo. The elevation is distinctivedue to the mosaic created from materials used in thearchitecture on Wawel Hill: ceramic and lime tiles, granite andsandstone.The plans include a main auditorium to seat 2,000 delegates and a theatre for 600.There will be a 1,800sqm foyer for exhibitions andbanqueting and a two-storey underground car park.The SQUAIRE Frankfurt The SQUAIRE is an ultra-modern landmark, styled as a 'NewWork City', in the middle of the Airport City Frankfurt. The?960m (US$1.24bn) structure stands on 86 pillars, seeminglyfloating above the railway station. The SQUAIRE's mainstructure topped out last year and the Conference Center due to open in 2011 will cater for up to 500 delegates. There willbe options to lease meeting rooms and offices in the building,owned by IVG Immobilien AG (97%) and Fraport AG (3%). Despite claiming to be a state-of-the-art 21st century workingspace, The SQUAIRE's marketing boldly states that "in the ageof networked technologies and high-speed transport, 80 percent of all ideas are developed face-to-face". This month CMWlooks at eight convention centre projects under way around the world. From theGulf to North America, the cranes are flying for new major conference facilities.