ICC's panoramic views will be best in city

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 January, 2010, 12:00am

Hongkongers will soon be able to enjoy the most spectacular view yet of Victoria Harbour - 383 metres up on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon.

The observation deck of the highest building in Hong Kong, which towers to a height of 483 metres, will be open to the public by the end of the year.

'I believe this building with 118 levels will be the new landmark of Hong Kong,' the chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, James Tien Pei-chun, said, adding that the board would promote the Kowloon station development again when the deck opened.

The observation deck will offer a 360-degree panoramic view of Kowloon and the harbour. It will be the first of its kind in the city and will open in the fourth quarter of the year.

Four express lifts will take visitors from the second floor of the ICC to the deck in one minute. The general manager of the observation deck, Elaine Tsui, said there would be multimedia exhibitions documenting the changes in the city's lifestyle and development. A tourist information centre will also be set up.

The public will be able to buy tickets to visit the deck. Prices have not yet been decided, but Tsui said that they would take into account prices at similar tourist spots in other Asian cities.

The only public space that offers a view of the harbour from a higher altitude is The Peak. But visitors still have to walk around the hill to get a 360-degree view. 'The view from The Peak is different ... both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island can be seen from the ICC observation deck located in the city centre,' Tsui said.

Only two towers in the world have observation decks higher than the ICC one. The viewing point on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is on the 124th floor at 442 metres above sea level. The three decks in the Shanghai World Financial Centre are on the 94th, 97th and 100th floors, at 423, 439 and 474 metres.

The ICC deck is higher than the one at Taipei 101, which is on the 89th floor at 390 metres. But Taipei 101 is a taller building at 508 metres.

Businesses have progressively moved into the office space in the ICC below the deck. The Ritz-Carlton, the highest hotel in the world, will open this year above the observation deck on the 102nd to 118th floors. Fine-dining restaurants will open on the 101st floor.

The observation deck has not yet been named. The ICC is inviting the public to submit proposed names for it to www.shkp-icc.com/odeck by March 5.