KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is set to take its place as a renowned meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) destination once the RM700 million Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) opens its doors in a year’s time.
Chief Minister Musa Aman said the SICC, located near the downtown area here at Tanjung Lipat, would enable organisers of international-level events to easily stage them with a scenic backdrop of the South China Sea and Mount Kinabalu.
“Until now, organisers of large-scale events had faced difficulty in getting venues that were large enough to cater to their needs. The SICC addresses this need,” he said after touring the facility located on a 6ha site.
Musa said in this regard, the state was thankful to the federal government for its RM250 million contribution for the development of SICC.
He said construction of SICC was expected to be completed by October and its first event, the Sabah International Exhibition (SIE), would be staged there in February 2019.
Among those present at the event were Deputy Chief Ministers Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Yahya Hussin, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun and Special Tasks Minister Teo Chee Kang.
Officials of Yayasan Sabah, which owns SICC, were also present.
Yayasan Sabah deputy director Rosmawati Lasuki later told the media the five-level SICC would have a total floor space of 75,000 square metres.
She said the facilities included a 5,400 square metre exhibition area that could be divided into three halls, a convention hall, 22 meeting rooms of between 70 and 110 square metres, and a 7,000 square metre outdoor plaza for exhibitions and various activities.
“We are particularly proud of the performing arts hall that can sit up to 1,200 people.
“It will be of international standard and have facilities comparable with the Sydney Opera House,” Rosmawati said, adding the performing arts hall would enable talented Sabahans to hone their performing skills.
She said SICC would also have two restaurants or cafes with a scenic sea view and a food court as well.
“We want SICC to be a place where people can come for a meal so that there will always be people there even when there are no events.”
She said the interior of the SICC, such as the ceilings, walls and floors of the centre, would reflect Sabah’s natural assets and feature motifs of the rainforest, the sea and Mount Kinabalu.
“The SICC will have a profound impact on the community, namely job opportunities and also business opportunities, in terms of catering services and so much more,” Rosmawati added.