Gerhard Riegger: Dresden gained top position in the congress and conference business

Dresden, the state capital of Saxony, with around 510,000 inhabitants: In­­numerable are the treasures in the museums, breathtaking the beauty of the architecture, astonishing the diversity and the standard of the musical life, which is rich in tradition, and surprising the romantic landscape, which alongside the Elbe river reaches right into the city centre.
However, Dresden not only enjoys an outstanding reputation as an arts and culture city. The Saxon state capital in addition belongs to the top ten German conference and congress cities. The continuous advancement as an event destination was, amongst other things, also recognized with the Conga Award 2007 of the Vereinigung Deutscher Veranstaltungs­organi­sa­to­ren eV (an association of German event organizers).


232 conferences with a minimum of 250 participants took place in Dresden in 2007 and confirm the high level of attractiveness of the city. 83 per cent of the congress participants came from Germany, 17 per cent from abroad. Mo­­d­­ern conference buildings and superb event facilities in the city centre or in Dresden’s beautiful surrounding area offer enough room for small meetings as well as large conferences.
Directly on the banks of the Elbe river, within walking distance of the historical city centre of Dresden, the MARITIM Hotel & International Congress Center Dresden has offered a unique setting for meetings, congresses, presentations and festivities since 2006, or 2004, respectively.
Since its opening, the International Congress Center Dresden (ICD) has been deemed to be one of the most modern and successful congress centres in Germany. Its 35 halls and rooms, which house up to 6,500 people, its multifunctional facilities, ultra modern conference technology and the comprehensive range of services make it perfectly suitable for all kinds of conference and congress events. Its unique location directly on the green banks of the Elbe river and amidst the historical city centre makes it particularly interesting. The unusual architecture of the congress centre also inspires one: The wavelike, transparent building facing the Elbe river allows for a wide view over Dresden’s skyline. For more than four years now, the ICD has been successfully established in the national and international congress market. During this period, more than 2,238 events with about 961,700 participants from 120 different countries have taken place. Con­gresses such as the 120th IATA Flight Plan Conference, the World Congress of Huntington’s Disease or the Inter­national Super­­com­­puting Con­ference vouch for the fact that the Dresden location can hold its own in worldwide comparison without problems, and that it does not have a shortage of diversity in speciality areas.

Since the opening of the ICD, international guest volumes in Dresden have steadily been increasing. This trend will also still con­­tinue further over the coming years. A significant foundation therefore is the city’s good flight connection to the most important international hubs – Frankfurt am Main and Munich. Cur­rently, Frankfurt totals 47 and Munich 46 take-offs per week. From there, nu­­merous international connections are possible that have not headed out of Dresden until now. In total, there are 44 national and international direct flights from Dresden Airport. Also the distance to Prague International Airport and the new Berlin Airport (BBI) is easily reached in 1.5 hours of travelling time, which is favourabe for Dresden’s international connection. Even the railway network of the Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) is being enlarged. These are factors which help Dresden to be at a top position in the congress sector. The short distances in the city also contribute to this. Thus, one can reach everything within the historical city centre by foot in a few minutes and without being dependant on transport services.


Furthermore, the city distinguishes itself with its great number of art treasures and places of interest, as well as with its lively cultural scene.
The Dresden region is the most significant growth region in Eastern Germany. It is on its way to develop into one of the most important economic and scientific locations in Germany. Thus, Dresden is always found in a leading position on different economic ranking lists (Prognos Zukunftsatlas, Bellevue Städtetest, Ca­­pital-Städterankings). The economy of the city relies on a wide spectrum of industries. The essential growth and de­­­­velopment momentum comes from the three future-oriented specialist areas: microelectronics/information and communication technology, nanotechnology/new materials and life sciences/biotechnology. Through the constant build-up and extension of this new sectors, a high density of research institutions has additionally originated (Max Planck Society, Leibniz Association, Fraunhofer Society et cetera), which results in a close interdependence between research and industry. This intensive collaboration between economics and science offers many contact points for conferences and congresses.
It is our vision, together with partners from the scientific, economic and political sectors, to develop Dresden into one of the leading conference and congress cities in Germany. Herewith, representatives from the scientific and research field, with their diversified international contacts, rate among the most important ambassadors for the Dresden location and the International Congress Center Dresden.

81R14_E7ET1114-KopieThe author was born in 1954 and completed an apprenticeship in hotel management in 1971. He subsequently completed a few years of appren­ticeships, which are common practice in the hotel industry – in London, France and Rome. In 1994 he opened the Al­­­brechts­­hof hotel in Berlin as director. He has been a director of the MARITIM Hotel Group since 1997, first in Berlin and Halle and since 2003, in Dresden.