Opening in 2011, the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) is one of the largest and best centers in the world, a senior official at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development said. After four years of construction, the cost of QNCC amounted to about 4 billion and 200 million Qatari Riyals. The center can accommodate 27 thousand people at a time, Vice President of Capital Projects and Facilities Management at Qatar Foundation Eng. Saad al-Muhannadi told Qatar News Agency (QNA). The QNCC includes 40, 000 m2 of exhibition space, conference hall for 4,000 delegates, 2,300-seat lyric style theatre, three additional tiered auditoriums, theatre-style seating, banquet space for up to 10,000 in exhibition halls, total of 57 meeting rooms, spacious pre-function, exhibition foyers, luxurious lounges, hospitality suites, dedicated registration desks, business center and media rooms. The QNCC will be officially inaugurated before December 2011 to host the 20th World Petroleum Congress on December 4. Before that, the center will host 20 varied events, but the World Petroleum Congress will be the largest event hosted by the QNCC, Eng. al-Muhannadi noted. The center is an unparalleled convention facility, boasting iconic design and cutting edge facilities in a world-first green-technology venue. The QNCC is the first of its kind being built to the gold certification of US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED). Eng. Saad al-Muhannadi noted that the center, located alongside elite universities, research and technology institutions in the Education City, provides a venue of choice for regional and international conventions, exhibitions, gala events, concerts and banquets. Designed by leading Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) features a spectacular facade resembling two intertwined Sidra trees supporting the building\'\'s exterior canopy. The 250 meter (820 foot) long, curved steel tree structure forms the signature entrance to the QNCC. the Sidra tree, is a beloved and multifaceted icon in Qatari culture. It is a beacon of learning and comfort in the desert. It is treasured by the Bedouins, who used it for shelter and meetings. The Sidra was a shady haven for poets and scholars, who gathered beneath its branches to discuss and impart knowledge. Vice President of Capital Projects and Facilities Management Eng. Saad al-Muhannadi said that Qatar currently depends totally on hotels to host conferences and meetings. The opening of Qatar National Convention Center will provide proper area and halls that are equipped modern technology to host a large number of events and conference at a time. The QNCC uses more than 3500 square meters of solar panels, walls and ceilings that are controlled electronically. The center can be controlled by a central computer system that can change the appearance of the halls according to the event it hosts. The solar panels in the center contribute to about 5.12 percent of the total electric energy of the building. They are accompanied by modern systems of water conservation and promote energy efficiency. Eng. al-Muhannadi underlined that the QNCC will be one of the best centers in terms of the use of modern technology, design and quality. It is comparable to the best centers in the world. Being located alongside elite universities, research and technology institutions in Education City, the QNCC will be a new global hub of ideas and innovation. It is only 20 minutes away from the central business district, he noted.