Metropolitan marvel

Jakarta is undergoing a transformative phase, where infrastructure advancements are redefining its business events landscape

Striving to become a global economic and business hub, Jakarta declares an ambitious vision encapsulated in its tourism tagline Jakarta Heart of MICE, signifying its commitment to excelling as a prime destination for business events.

This comes as Jakarta’s current 10.5 million population is projected to reach 100 million by 2045, part of the Golden Indonesia 2045 vision. The Golden Indonesia 2045 vision is a commitment to create a prosperous and vibrant nation, encompassing various facets of development, including economic growth, education, and social well-being.

Jakarta International Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the country

Jakarta’s journey towards achieving its goals has entered a transformative phase marked by significant developments in infrastructure and facilities.

For instance, toll roads in and around the city have undergone extensive expansion. The KRL (electric train) network has seen improvements, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is undergoing expansion, and a Light Rail Transit system was recently launched to enhance daily connectivity for the population.

Intercity access has also improved, with new classes of trains establishing connections between Jakarta and various cities across Java. The latest addition, Whoosh, Indonesia’s first bullet train, operates at a speed of 350kmh between Jakarta and Bandung. There are plans to extend its route to Surabaya.

Simultaneously, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport stands as one of the busiest airports globally, serving as the primary entry point to Indonesia.

In the last couple of years, hotels such as The Langham Jakarta, Park Hyatt Jakarta, and St Regis Jakarta have come online. According to Colliers Indonesia, seven more hotels will open this and next year, such as the Movenpick Jakarta Pecenongan, Fairfield by Marriott Slipi, and ParkRoyal Jakarta.

As for large event spaces, the Jakarta International Stadium opened in 2022 with a capacity for 82,000 spectators; while the Jakarta Convention Centre was renovated in 2023 and now boasts new shopping, dining, and entertainment facilities.

Development has also taken place at Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK), a scenic coastal location along Jakarta Bay. The upscale residential and shopping area is a 10-minute drive from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, and there are plans to build a convention centre and concert hall in the vicinity.

With so much happening and the 2045 goal in mind, Jakarta’s business events stakeholders are confident that the sector has a bright future ahead.

Wisnu Budi Sulaeman, head of permanent committee on MICE at the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, said: “Jakarta is a business city. Events – be it business or special events – offer the biggest growth potential for Jakarta moving forward.”

Carlos Monterde, chairman of The Jakarta Hotel Association, and general manager of Fairmont Hotel Jakarta, added: “The ongoing infrastructure and facility developments in Jakarta have significantly elevated its appeal as a business events destination. With a population of over 10 million people and counting, Jakarta holds a significant potential market for MICE business, as there is a considerable pool of potential attendees and customers.”

Samit Ganguly, general manager of The Westin Jakarta, opined: “The city is evolving into an even more enticing destination for hosting major MICE events. The enhanced nightlife further adds to Jakarta’s allure.”Industry players also stressed the importance of marketing and promoting the city as a business events destination early, especially with the movement of the capital city to Ibukota Nusantara in Kalimantan; the move is slated for August 2024.

To do so, Monterde called for the city to set up a destination marketing body, as well as a unified campaign across all sectors.

Ganguly opined: “The relocation of the National Capital Region presents an auspicious juncture, akin to the transformative dynamics observed in Istanbul and Ankara or Delhi and Gurugram. I firmly believe that Jakarta is poised to ascend as a formidable commercial nucleus among ASEAN nations, leveraging the void anticipated from the governmental shift as an enticing prospect for multinational corporations.

“This impending vacuum in administrative quarters becomes an unprecedented opportunity for global corporations to step in, filling the void and contributing to Jakarta’s economic vitality. As a consequence, the city is likely to attract a surge in MICE events, both on a national and international scale,” he added.

Wisnu said: “I think Jakarta will remain a business hub, and as the (biggest) entry point to Indonesia, large-scale national and international business events will remain here. I also think big government events like summits and conventions cannot be held (in the new capital), not in under a decade.

“Developing a new MICE city is not easy, and the required facility like an international airport is has not been constructed yet.”

Editor’s note: Wisnu Budi Sulaeman, head of permanent committee on MICE at the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, passed away on March 7, 2024.