AMSTERDAM RAI (Exhibition and Convention Centre)
There is a direct conection from The Prinsenboat to Amsterdam Rai. Tram nr. 4 runs from Amsterdam Central Station to Amsterdam Rai. The Prinsenboat is the 5th stop from Central Station. Perfect for guests who need to be at the Rai
For the aganda of the Rai, please have a look at the RAI homepage.
The Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre (Dutch: RAI Congrescentrum), or RAI for short, is a complex of conference and exhibition halls in the Zuidas business district of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The complex gives its name to the nearby Amsterdam RAI railway station. In 1970 the Eurovision Song Contest was held at the RAI.
Opened in 1961, the RAI welcomed its 75 millionth visitor in February 2001. Up to 2 million people visit the RAI every year. Some 50 international conferences and 70 trade shows are held at the RAI annually. The complex consists of 22 conference rooms and 11 halls and has a total floor space of 87,000 m². The largest hall can seat 12,900 people. The complex also includes a musical and concert theatre and underground parking space for over 3,000 cars.
The RAI is currently building an expansion, the 47 metres tall Elicium. Construction is expected to be completed in 2009.
The origins of the RAI complex can be traced back to 1893, when the trade association RI (Rijwiel-Industrie, Dutch for « Bicycle Industry ») was founded by a number of bicycle manufacturers. The first bicycle trade show of the RI was held in 1895 at the Paleis voor Volksvlijt (« Palace of Industry ») building in Amsterdam. In 1900 the RI changed its name to RAI because many of its members had started manufacturing automobiles in addition to bicycles.
In 1922 the RAI occupied an exhibition hall of its own on the Ferdinand Bolstraat in Amsterdam. This building, the « old RAI », was replaced by the current building complex on Europaplein square, which was opened by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands on February 2, 1961. The RAI trade association still owns 75% of the complex, with the remainder in the hands of the municipality of Amsterdam.