The opening of Galaxy Macau’s new Galaxy International Convention Center (GICC) will likely be pushed to the final quarter of 2021, although it has yet to be determined which facilities will be brought online first.
A progress update on GICC – part of Galaxy Macau’s Phase 3 development – were provided by SVP of MICE Operations and Sales for Galaxy, Joey Pather, at a France Macau Chamber of Commerce breakfast event on Wednesday.
Originally scheduled to open in early 2021, then in the 2H21 due to COVID-19 impacts, Pather told Inside Asian Gaming that the final timeline “all depends on our building schedule, our licensing. We said opening in the second half [of 2021] but we’re looking to the latter part of the second half.”
When complete, GICC – described as Asia’s most technologically advanced event facility – will cover 40,000 square meters of MICE space including a 10,000-square meter exhibition and conference hall. It will also be home to the 16,000-seat Galaxy Arena for concerts and sporting events, and an Andaz Hotel with more than 700 rooms and suites.
According to Pather, the center will open in phases although Galaxy has yet to determine which sectors will open first.
“Our first thing to get through is our licensing, make sure the buildings are tested, ready,” he said. “Then we’ll see which events we start taking on. It could be very gradual in terms of how the market’s responding or recovering and how we [respond to] that.”
Asked if Andaz would open in conjunction with event space, Pather replied, “Not necessarily in sync because we have so many hotels at Galaxy. It’s whatever works for the business and for our client requirements.”
Galaxy Macau does, however, have high hopes for GICC which it believes can help stimulate Macau’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry.
With the goal of making Macau one of Asia’s most attractive MICE destinations, Pather said Galaxy had turned to Singapore for inspiration.
“When we looked at building this facility we spent a lot of time in Singapore, looked at their market, looked at their facilities, what makes them unique,” he said.
“Accessibility is one, as is visa. As a venue, we can do everything, but if accessibility doesn’t work or the convenience of doing business doesn’t work, it makes it harder. And I think those are the lessons we have to take from Singapore, because I think they’re in a really mature stage of how they do it. They can guarantee how quick applications are turned around and how quick bringing stuff into a show can be done in terms of imports and exports. They give you a timeline.
“They provide infographics that show it shouldn’t take more than 25 minutes to get off the plane, through customs and to your hotel. “And that’s the sort of benchmark we want to work towards to become a major player.”