The island packs a punch with bold new developments
Evolving yet well preserved, Penang is reshaping the landscape for business events with large scale developments. Its diverse architecture, multicultural cuisines, rich Peranakan culture and Unesco World Heritage status have long drawn business groups to the island, and new venues are being planned to cater to growing numbers.
One the city’s much anticipated developments is the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) scheduled for completion in the second half of 2015. A first of its in Malaysia, the 6,503 sq. m centre will be built partially beneath the ground and will feature a ballroom and a function hall with capacity for 600 banquet tables. sPICE is part of a larger development called Penang People’s Park, which will include a refurbished Penang International Sports Arena – including an Aquatic Centre – and a four – star hotel, along with retail outlets and a spacious parking lot.
Another highlight in Penang’s future offerings is the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre, to be completed in the second half of 2016. The centrepiece of the convention centre is 10,000 sqm column-free multi-purpose hall that can be sub-divided or used as a single space for exhibitions, conventions, corporate events and private functions. It can be entirely converted into a 9000-seat arena for concerts. The venues will complement existing ones, including the Straits Quay Convention Centre. The exhibition hall has approx. 2300 sqm of event space and can accommodate upto 1800 banquet style or 2500 theatre style.
Penang’s hospitality industry has upbeat projections for this year and next, driven by increased tourism campaigns in the key Asian markets such as China, India and Southeast Asia.
Beyond the boardroom
Penang is the second smallest state in Malaysia, yet what it lacks in size it makes up for in attractions like:
Discover George Town: a Unesco World Heritage site with more than two centuries of unique history. The area is laced with rich collection of historic buildings that bear witness to the evolution of Port city. Walking & cycling tours, trishaw rides and treasure hunt activities.
Explore the great outdoors: Nature and hiking tours to Penang National Park and Penang Hill are popular for group activities. For a quicker group adventure, head to the Wet World Wild Adventure park which opened this September. The theme park will include facilities and activities such as rock climbing, a running track, swings and human catapult.
Take a cooking class: Unleash your inner master chef and learn how to cook popular Malaysian dishes and Nyonya cuisine from a local.
Riding the wave of developments in the heritage city, Thailand based Onyx Hospitality Group will soon open a new project under its OZO brand. Set to welcome its first guests in 2016, the 132-room OZO Penang in George Town will provide planner additional options for their business events.
Courtesy: CEI October issue