Also known as the Ivory Coast, Cote d'Ivoire (its official name) is a West African nation on the Gulf of Guinea that's approximately the size of New Mexico. Its main city and business hub is former capital Abidjan (population: 4.5 million), but its capital, since 1983 is Yamoussoukro (population: 250,000), which is in the interior approximately 274 kilometers northwest of Abidjan. Cote d'Ivoire MICE venues will be found in both.
The country's only truly international airport is Port Bouet Airport (ABJ), also known as Felix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport. Approximately 16 kilometers southeast of Abidjan, it has service to many parts of Africa, as well as to Beirut, Brussels, Dubai, Paris, and Istanbul.
Chief among MICE venues in Cote d'Ivoire is Abidjan's Palace of Culture, or Le Palais de la Culture d'Abidjan, in the Treichville district. Events can be held in the 743-square-meter Galerie Christian Lattier; three auditoriums, the 300-seat Niangoran Porquet Theater, 700-seat Kodjo Eboucle Theater, and 1,500-seat Salle Francois Lougah/Ernest Djedje Theater; and the Espace Bernard Dadie, which can host up to 5,000 persons.
MICE hotels in Cote d'Ivoire's Abidjan include the 209-room Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, which contains the Abidjan Conference Center (it rivals the Palais de Culture) with a 1,450-seat auditorium and the 1,650-seat Palais de Congres, among other facilities; 209-room Pullman Abidjan, which has eight meeting and function rooms, the largest able to host 300 persons; and 201-room Novotel Abidjan, which has seven meeting rooms. East of the bustling city center along Boulevard du France is the 301-room Hotel du Golf, which has golf, tennis, and pools, five function rooms for up to 650 persons, and extensive lawns and grounds for 2,000, while in Yamoussoukro is the 285-room Hotel President, which is huge, with an 18-hole golf course and nine function rooms, the largest able to host 1,000 persons or, as it often does, the government of the country.
Unique function spots in Abidjan include the Musee Municipal d'Art Contemporain de Cocody; Fondation Friedrich Naumann pour la Liberte, a German institute in the same neighbourhood, Cocody; and, in nearby Grand-Bassam, where there is an old Colonial district, the colourful Musee National du Costume. In Yamoussoukro—which by the way contains the world's largest Christian church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, is the International Foundation Felix Houphouet-Boigny and President Golf Club, which has a club house and 18 holes.
Restaurants for groups in Abidjan include the restaurant at the lagoon-side Hotel Le Marly, which also has 33 guest rooms; tidy, wooden, spacious Restaurant Chez Georges; Norima, which is in a district called The Valleys and has a modern, trendy vibe mixed with Colonial traits; Restaurant des Combattants, in a huge, old, Colonial building and with a French-African menu, and Kaiten, a very good Japanese restaurant with 130 seats and a private room for 40.