Hosting a Conference at The United Nations Conference Center in Nairobi

August 11, 2023

by Daniella Gateretse & Conor Walsh

The United Nations complex in Nairobi is not just one of the organization’s biggest country and regional headquarters. 

It’s also home to state-of-the-art conferencing facilities open to the public to book for events, workshops, training, and much more. 

If hosting an event at a United Nations compound sounds like a nice idea, read on to learn: 

  • Quick tips for hosting an event or conference at the UN Office of Nairobi
  • The conference rooms and facilities available
  • How to book a conference space at the Nairobi UN office
  • Entry and security protocols for participants
  • The best hotels near the UN in Nairobi



Quick Tips About the UN Nairobi Conference Facilities

  • The official name for the UN headquarters in Nairobi is “United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).”
  • UNON is located in a Gigri, a residential suburb, 20-30 minutes drive north of Central Nairobi.
  • UNON has 14 conference rooms. The largest can accommodate 2,700+ pax. 
  • Participants at any event hosted at UNON must be registered in advance and bring a government-issued photo ID.
  • You can book a day tour of UNON as part of your event or as a separate excursion. 

 

Conference Rooms at UNON

UNON has 14 conference rooms within its complex. 

The largest, Conference Room 2, can accommodate up to 2,716 delegates or be subdivided into two or three smaller spaces. 

The larger conference rooms have fixed configurations in fishbone and u-shaped setups. However, you can reconfigure the smaller spaces to fit your needs (meetings, workshops, training, etc.)

Larger exhibition and outdoor event spaces are also available. 

13 of the conference rooms include live interpretation equipment for delegates. 

 

Room Name

Capacity

Language Interpretations

Conference Room 1

1,436 seats 

109 desks

8

Conference Room 2 

2,528 seats 

138 desks 

50 extra seats

8

Conference Room 2b

616 seats 

180 desks 

50 extra seats

8

Conference Room 2-3-4 

992 seats 

260 desks 

200 extra seats

8

Conference Room 3

146 seats 

47 desks 

4

Conference Room 4

146 seats 

47 desks

4

Conference Room 5 

24 seats 

3 desks 

0

Conference Room 6

28 seats 

14 desks 

2

Conference Room 7

28 seats 

14 desks 

2

Conference Room 8

24 seats 

12 desks

2

Conference Room 9

90-120 main seats 

45 extra seats

2

Conference Room 10

90-120 main seats 

45 extra seats

2

Conference Room 11 

60-80 main seats 

45 extra seats 

2

Conference Room 13

80-100 main seats 

40 extra seats 

2

Conference Room 14

80-100 main seats 

40 extra seats 

2

 

Event Services and On-site Facilities

Every conference room in UNON is equipped with the latest AV, presentation, and networking equipment. 

You can also avail of the following dedicated event services: 

  • Document services, including translation, editing, and registration
  • Interpretation services
  • Publishing services, including design and printing of PDFs, newsletters, flyers, and digital marketing material

The UNON complex is spread across 140 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland. Conference delegates can walk through most of the compound, enjoying a 10km nature trail, water features, 600 tree species, and plenty of local wildlife.  

You’ll also find four restaurants and eight coffee stations (indoor and outdoor) dotted throughout the grounds. 

 

Requesting Conference Rooms at UNON

Booking a conference room at UNON is very different from booking space at one of Nairobi’s dedicated conference centers. 

Spaces are booked on a “first come, first serve” basis via the Planning and Coordination Section (PCS) office. 

We suggest booking early. You’re more likely to get a space, and the UN charges more for last-minute reservations. 

If you plan to host an event or conference at UNON, we can help. Our Nairobi events team has organized many conferences at UNON and can guide you through the process. Send us an email to get started. 

 

Entry and Security Protocols

Participants at an event or conference hosted at UNON should prepare for strict security before entering the complex. 

The PCS office will provide guidelines for delegates to follow. However, here are the basic rules for entering UNON: 

  • A list of all participants must be emailed to the UN at least two days before your event
  • Participants should arrive at least 45 minutes before the event starts
  • Participants must register with a government-issued ID and have their photo taken 

More than 3,000 people enter UNON every day. So, don’t risk any delays to your event, and ensure your participants are fully informed about all the procedures. 

 

Accessibility

While UNON has invested heavily in providing equitable access, the size and age of the complex mean ease of movement may be a challenge in some areas. 

If you expect event participants with reduced mobility, inform the PCS office in advance, and consider the following: 

  • Electric mobility vehicles are available between some buildings, outdoor areas, and conference rooms
  • Conference Rooms 7 and 8 are wheelchair accessible from the main lobby
  • Conference rooms 1-4 and 9-14 (except 12) are wheelchair accessible via ramp
  • Some ramps are quite steep, and will require assistance or motorized wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms are available
  • Seating plans can be changed to accommodate participants with reduced mobility

 

Hotels Near the UN Nairobi Office

If your event or conference has international participants, there are plenty of fantastic hotels near the UN they can stay at. 

Take a look at:  

  • Tribe Hotel (1.8km): A luxury design hotel with modern amenities walking distance from UNON. Enjoy contemporary African art, modern amenities, diverse dining options, a scenic pool area, and a spa.
  • Trademark Hotel (1.5km): Unique dining, a beautiful rooftop terrace with an infinity pool, and views of Karura Forest and Nairobi. Caters to business and diplomatic travelers, with 215 suites and top-notch facilities.
  • Concord Hotel (7.1km): A 15-minute drive from the UN, boasting spacious rooms with elegant interiors and panoramic views of Nairobi, a spa, and a wellness center.

For a wider selection, read our complete list of the best hotels in the UN office in Nairobi. 

 

Day Tours of UNON

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, UNON sounds amazing. I wanna see this 10km nature trail and all these incredible facilities. And maybe learn about what people actually do here”

Well, you’re in luck. 

UNON runs 1 or 2-hour walking tours every weekday (excluding some international and Kenyan public holidays). 

On the tour, you’ll get the chance to learn about everything that happens at UNON, explore the gardens, view the most important facilities, and much more. 

If you’re running a small event or workshop at UNON, a guided tour might be the best way to finish the day – followed by lunch or dinner at one of the delightful outdoor restaurants. 

 

Conclusion

The United Nations Office at Nairobi’s conference rooms offer a unique event location a short drive from the city. 

Participants and delegates will thrill at the chance to wander its hallowed halls and expansive grounds, while the state-of-the-art facilities and experienced staff guarantee a smooth operation throughout. 

 

Questions?

Are you planning an event in Kenya? Let us help you! Hallpax has destination experts who are dedicated to making your event planning process enjoyable and stress-free. We are passionate about the cities we work with, and with our in-person presence in Africa, we help our clients navigate their cities of choice with ease.



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