Last week our Business Development Manager, Helen Wheatley, flew out to Dubai as part of group of 160 MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) delegates. Hosted by The Meetings Space, this first forum of 2022 took place at the brand-new five-star 25 Hours hotel. Helen shares the highlights of her whirlwind four-day trip…

The in-person experience is back

The event intended to showcase Dubai in a new light, kicking off the year with an in-person event where we could all make new contacts, re-build previous relationships and begin to think mid to long-term once again. Two half days of meetings gave the opportunity for buyers and suppliers to come together. In particular, I discovered some fantastic new venue suppliers from across the globe, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and from Vienna, Germany, Italy and Ibiza to the UK.

 

A hotel worth talking about

The first talking point were the hotel bedrooms! Each one is slightly different, with quirky individual features. I had a swing in my room, so it was a natural icebreaker to compare notes and have a nosy in each other’s rooms. The 25 Hours hotel was impressive. Just half an hour from the airport, the ground floor was styled as a library and there were several beautiful restaurants, an in-house nightclub and a rooftop pool with bar overlooking the cityscape of Dubai.


 

Dancing in the desert

Friday evening was the White Party, for which delegates were invited to dress in ‘milk and honey’ colours. We were whisked into the desert in a convoy of white 4x4s for a champagne reception, camel riding, falconry display, delicious barbecue food and a disco into the night. Watching the sun set from the sand dunes was truly awesome.


 

An adrenaline rush at Atlantis

Saturday afternoon was the highlight of my trip. We ventured to Aquaventure, the biggest water park in the world. Located at the renowned Atlantis Hotel, Aquaventure has clearly set out to be the biggest and the best. The water park boasts 105 slides including the world’s tallest water slide, the longest river rapids, the largest tube water slide and the longest water coaster.


 

Best for big budgets

I had an absolutely fabulous time in Dubai. As a location, it’s perfect for organisations who feel they’ve ‘done’ Europe and want something with the wow factor that would really tempt people to travel.

After two years of virtual events, we’re going to have to work a lot harder to attract delegates back to the in-person experience and a big budget is required to do Dubai justice. I can see a Dubai event working really well as an inspiring incentive-led reward for a group of top sales professionals. Or as a hybrid event attended in-person by a limited number of delegates, with an engaging digital experience agenda to attract virtual delegates around the world.

Huge thanks to the team at The Meetings Space for being so attentive, friendly and all-round fantastic hosts and for putting on such a well-organised event.

If you’d like help planning your next big event, get in touch.

 

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