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Old Is New In Scintilating Shanghai

November 25, 2013 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

In boosting its appeal as a key destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions Shanghai has delved into its fascinating past for answers.

Not only does the China city of 23 million boast a contemporary image with all the mod cons that go with an innovative centre of the 21st Century.

It has looked to some of the city’s restored historic sites to host major events.Overall View

And among them is 1933 Shanghai, a converted abattoir in the city’s Hongkou District, designed by British architects with a strangely Roman basilica style.

The giant building with its bright atrium, umbellate columns, covered bridges, lattice windows, spiral staircases and sloping walkways once used by cattle today hosts colourful parties, fashion shows, Ferrari FI events and elite award ceremonies as well as weddings and grand banquets.

Drama performances and art exhibitions are also held in a complex which until 2008 was considered derelict, in disrepair and in need of much restoration. Adjacent to the historic complex, near a historic neighbourhood and a meandering canal is a more modern building which carries the 1933 name and has conference facilities with supporting services.

Across in another corner of Shanghai, on the site of World Expo 2010 which attracted more than 73 million visitors, is a disused power station which is today powered by solar panels.

InteriorThe role of the Nanshi Power Plant, built in 1897, during expo was the Pavilion of the Future. Today it is a museum of contemporary art and host for many events.

While interest has focused on restoration programs, in particular along the historic Bund waterfront and its growing number of ritzy bars and restaurants, there’s no stopping Shanghai in reaching for the stars through contemporary measures.

In fact, more than 30,000 buildings today soar 20 storeys or more, and much of the change has taken place on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River, land that was once merely reserved for farm and marshes.

Major projects planned for completion by 2015 include new hotels on the World Expo site, mainland China’s first Disney Resort and the country’s tallest tower and the world’s highest hotel.

Also planned for completion within the next three years is the Shanghai Hongqiao Convention and Exhibition Centre, which will be built at a cost of $US3.65 billion – about three times the size of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

“With such high level projects under way, the future looks bright for Shanghai as a truly global centre for meetings, incentives and exhibitions,” said Patrick Chen, deputy director of the International Tourism Promotion Department of Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration.

“Massive investments have been made to back these projects which will take Shanghai to great heights on the world’s stage,” he said.

  • Expo Hotels

Designed by John Portman & Associates, the Expo hotels project, between the Expo Center and the Expo Convention and Exhibition Center (formerly theIMG World Expo Theme Pavilion), will comprise four properties – two in the five-star category of hotel, the remaining two boutique hotels. One of the five star hotels, to be managed by Hyatt, will boast between 600 – 650 rooms and suites. The other five-star hotel, to be managed by Conrad Hilton, will offer 300 rooms and suites. The project is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2015. After its completion, events’ organisers will find it more convenient to stage events in the Big Four Expo Venues (the Expo Center, the Expo Convention and Exhibition Center, China Art Museum and Mercedes-Benz Arena)

  • Shanghai Disney Resort

The first Disney resort in Mainland China, this attraction will include a park designed in the rich tradition of Disneyland theme parks around the world, two themed hotels, a large retail, dining and entertainment venue and an array of recreation facilities. The resort will be located in Pudong, and is expected to open at the end of 2015.

  • Shanghai Tower

This “super tall” skyscraper is under construction in the Pudong district of Shanghai. Designed by Gensler, it will be the tallest of a group of three “super tall” buildings in Pudong, the other two being the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center. Upon its completion in 2015, the building will stand approximately 632 metres high and will have 121 storeys, with a total floor area of 380,000 square metres. Its Jin Jiang Hotel, located between the 84th and 110th floors, will become the highest hotel in the world. The Shanghai Tower will be the tallest building in China, and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

  • Shanghai Hongqiao National Convention and Exhibition Center

To be completed by 2015 with a total investment of about $US3.65 billion, the centre will occupy an indoor exhibition space of 400,000 square metres and outdoor space of 100,000 square metres – about three times the size of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Jointly developed by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Shanghai Municipal Government, the complex is one of Shanghai’s key projects envisioned in the “12th Five-Year Plan”. It will host the East China Fair and The China International Industry Fair which are held twice every year, as well as other exhibitions of, say, automobile, electronics and furniture. It will host major international events and play a role in the economic restructuring of Shanghai.

For further information, contact: Helen Wong – Marketing Representative, Australia – Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, Tel: (02) 8267 7212 or email:

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