Abu Dhabi for Meetings and Incentives – a review

Posted by: Rebecca on April 30th, 2013 IN Conferences

We think it is vital that we have the latest insights and information at our fingertips when planning events, meetings and incentives. When in search of ideal destinations for incentive trips we like to have first-hand knowledge so that we can create bespoke experiences. Recently Rebecca White, logistics manager at Line Up, travelled to Abu Dhabi to find out what the city has to offer.


Abu Dhabi is one of the fastest developing capitals in the world. As a meeting destination it is exotic and full of surprises. It is also perfectly placed at a cross roads between Asia, Africa and Europe – meaning Abu Dhabi is a great location for a global event. The city oozes multinational energy and embraces the new, whilst also being steeped in rich Arabic culture.

My primary reason for visiting Abu Dhabi was to attend the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM) Exhibition in late March. It was a fantastic event and has since got us talking at length about the potential of UAE as a location for meetings and incentives.

While at GIBTM I was able to talk to local hoteliers, suppliers and businesses who facilitated venue visits and excursions so I could build a fantastic picture of the city. Neighbouring Dubai is a favourite for meetings and incentives, and it is fair to say the city has a lot to offer, but Abu Dhabi was dazzling and I would have no hesitation in suggesting this unique capital city as a destination for memorable events, meetings and incentives.

Venues and Hotels


The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr boasts a breathtaking lobby area and sumptuous rooms. The hotel is equipped with a great, modular event space featuring a beautiful ballroom that leads to 8 individual rooms that can be used separately or opened out to create a large event space. The dining room commands views across the Abu Dhabi creek, towards the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.


The most expensive and luxurious hotel in Abu Dhabi is the magnificent Emirates Palace.


Positioning itself as a “world class venue beyond compare” the hotel boasts 42 separate meeting and conference rooms. The largest space can accommodate 2,400 but there are rooms suited to every group size from 10 up. There is also outside event space and access to a private beach.


No other hotel in the world can claim to straddle a Formula 1 track, so straight away the Yas Viceroy has a very unique selling point. Add to that the spacious and well appointed indoor and outdoor meeting facilities and this is a great location for an incentive trip or conference. The hotel is also located on Yas Island, known as the entertainment capital of UAE.




Yas Island is a purpose built island complex featuring an array of fast-paced, thrill-seeker venues that will leave an impression with any visitor. It is the home of Ferrari World, the world’s largest indoor theme part, with the world’s fastest roller coaster. You can take boat tours, play golf at the Yas Links Golf Academy. We were even able to gain access to the F1 track, although we took racing corners in our coach, rather than speeding round in a sports car – but a once in a lifetime experience nonetheless.


Through its bold, ultra-modern, wealth-centric exterior you can catch glimpses of Abu Dhabi’s rich Arabic heritage throughout the city. Heritage Village, a reconstruction of a traditional oasis village, is a fascinating glimpse into the past. Workshops are held where you can watch craftsmen making pots, blowing glass and beating brass.


A trip to the impressive Sheikh Zayed Mosque is quite breathtaking. The majestic mosque features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns and stunning 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers. It welcomes 41,000 worshipers every year.


Abu Dhabi is an exotic, eye-opening city that has, over the past 10 years, really focused on becoming a world-class destination where business and leisure collide. I would highly recommend the city for automotive clients with the links to the F1 track. Yet, the city is bound to have a deep, positive impact on professionals from a wide range of industries.



Rebecca White is Logistics Manager at Line Up. She is a list maker at heart and ticks off to-dos at an astounding rate. Always ready to sort, fix, do, scurry about and solve any problem creatively. She also knows her Prada from her Primark and likes country pubs.

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