The capital’s latest landmark opened its doors for business today some 20 years after the idea was first mooted.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen said The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) marked the beginning of a new era as he officially opened the facility on the banks of the River Liffey.
Business and tourist chiefs estimate the centre will boost the local economy by €120m.
Mr Cowen said: “I believe that we offer delegates the perfect combination of high quality professional facilities, in a friendly and sociable city.”
Recognised as the world’s first carbon neutral convention centre, the CCD was developed by Treasury Holdings.
Its unique glass atrium contains 475 panes of different-sized curved glass panels that fill the front of the centre, giving views across the city skyline, bay and mountains.
The centre can house eight to 8,000 delegates in 22 purpose-built meeting rooms and includes a 2,000-seat auditorium, 4,500 square metres of exhibition space and a banqueting hall for up to 5,000 guests.
Some 250 people will be employed on the site, with up to 500 part-time positions available.
Nick Waight, CCD chief executive, said the 40-month development and construction period was an incredible journey.
“The building is one of the best equipped and most flexible convention centres in existence and our magnificently talented and professional team will ensure we can compete with the top conference venues worldwide. We look forward to welcoming the world to Dublin’s doorstep,” he said.
Mr Cowen also paid tribute to the Irish architect of the iconic building, Pritzker Prize-winning Kevin Roche.
“We can all agree that Kevin has designed a remarkable and landmark building for the city of his birth and I congratulate him,” he added.
Gina Quin, of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, said over 70,000 out-of-state delegates and guests are expected to attend conferences which have already been booked.
“There is also the additional boost of family and friends travelling to Dublin with delegates,” she said.
“We estimate the total spending from these out-of-state visitors will be approximately €120m, with the average delegate spending €1,700 during the course of their stay.”