DUBAI for Meetings and Incentives – a review

Posted by: Kate Gunn on August 15th, 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 Dubai to find out what the city has to offer.


Dubai has been described as a unique travel destination, an enterprising and cosmopolitan city that has much to offer businesses and tourists alike.  As a location for a meeting or incentive trip, it has a host of glittering hotels and conference facilities teamed with an abundance of fun, exhilarating and memorable activities.

Before I first went to Dubai, I had heard much about what the city is like fast, loud, brash, modern, over the top and at the same time beautiful, jaw-dropping, exiting and indulgent.  Having spent some time there I have been able to discover just how much Dubai has to offer.

You cannot fail to be impressed by the infrastructure, the difference in culture and the simply outstanding service.  When you step past the usual complaints, which often centre around the lack of history and culture and the ‘fakeness’ of a manmade city in the middle of a desert (which is indeed noticeable), you find a city that is buzzing, alive, unburdened by traditions and able to pick and choose its design with unprecedented freedom and that is alluringly future-focused and fun.

Venues and Hotels

Fairmont The Palm


Fairmont The Palm is a world renowned hotel that prides itself on impeccable service.  For events and meetings the Palm Ballroom holds up to 600 people theatre style.  There are also numerous breakout rooms that can hold numbers up to 100 for a cocktail reception.  The hotel also boasts an outside event space, the Palm Courtyard, which can hold 200 for a seated dinner and up to 400 for a standing reception.



The Grand Hyatt


The Grand Hyatt is an expemplary venue, teamed with fantastic hospitality.  The place is set up for business, with 11 spacious meeting rooms suitable for any size delegation.  For events there are two large ballrooms, one that can hold up to 2,000 and another that can hold 800.  Both ballrooms can be used for smaller audiences – we had a cabaret for 200 with ample room for a stage and set.



Alongside more traditional meeting and event facilities there is a brand new concept for the hotel called Al Manzil.  Translated this means ‘the home’ and is a purpose built multi-event space that takes influence from the style of an Arabic home and hospitality.  The space is made up of 6 rooms which all interconnect and also includes a live kitchen.


While at the hotel we used Al Manzil for a networking dinner on the first evening. We used some of the rooms for the buffet stations and the others housed various types of seating/ poseur tables which allowed for a free flow evening and maximum networking opportunities.

Impressive evening venues

Al Falak Ballroom at Burj Al Arab


The Al Falak ballroom is housed in the now iconic Burj Al Arab hotel, which reaches to the sky like the sail of a ship.  The ballroom really has the wow factor, it is modelled on 18th century Viennese Opera House, and boasts stunning views across Dubai.


Armarni hotel


The Armani Hotel is a temple to the famous designer’s exacting standards and impeccable taste.  An evening here is about the highest quality food, smoothest service and a complete immersion into Armani style.

Pierchic – Madinat Jumeirah hotel


Situated on a pier, looking out across the water, the Pierchic restaurant at the Madinat Jumeriah Hotel has been described as a “contemporary fairy tale of a restaurant”.  The restaurant only has 14 tables and so would be suited to more intimate gatherings.


Lost Chambers

The Atlantis Palm Hotel’s aquarium, named the Lost Chambers, could be an extraordinary venue for a drinks reception.  The cavernous space, lit by watery blue light, allows guests to experience being underwater.  It is a surreal, beautiful, calming and memorable experience.

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Burj Khalifa


If the allure it being the World’s Tallest Building isn’t enough to pull you towards the Burj Khalifa then maybe the fact that is has the world’s highest lift, the world’s highest nightcub, or the world’s highest swimming pool or the world’s highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade (ok I’ve gone too far now).  But you get the idea, the Burj Khalifa is a record breaking and quite awe inspiring building.  The views from the top are staggering, looking out far into the desert or simply down at the sprawling city below.


The Burj Khalifa lake is the home of the Dubai Water Fountain Show.  The dancing sprays of water are hypnotically set to a variety of music from Arabic, to pop, to Disney to classical.  Jets of water are shot up as high as 500 ft in the air, equivalent to a 50-story building.  Shows are performed every 30 minutes through the afternoon and into the evening, so it is well worth including on an itinerary.


The Dubai Mall

Please don’t think that I’m just suggesting you take guests on any old shopping trip, the Dubai Mall is an experience in itself.  It is one of the largest shopping centres in the world, and in fact has the most brand names under one roof than anywhere else.  It is a mix of retail and extraordinary space, dotted with aquariums, sculptures, Arabic and world culture influenced.  This is no ordinary shopping trip, it is an exciting, bustling modern shopping experience.



The Palm Islands

The Palm islands are definitely worth a visit, the palm-shaped, man-made islands are easily one of Dubai’s greatest construction projects.


Dubai is an extraordinary place, with heaps to offer for incentive trips and meetings.  The standard of service is second to none; the ratio of staff to guests is phenomenal and you really feel like you are being looked after.  Being a 7 hour flight from the UK and well placed for delegates from across Europe makes it a viable option for meetings that draw delegates from a range of countries.

If you are interested in having a chat about what Dubai has to offer, then please get in touch.

Or maybe you are thinking about Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Marrakesh, Sorrento, Istanbul or Shanghai for meetings and incentives?

Oh, and here is a Bentley police car we spotted one night – possibly the one photo I took that perfectly encapsulates the fast, luxurious, fascinatingly over the top pace of life in Dubai.


Kate Gunn

Kate Gunn

As Line Up’s Head of Logistics, Kate is a multi-tasker extraordinaire and expert problem solver. Her knowledge of destinations and venues is second to none – the walking, talking Google of the event and incentive world. Her passion for food is right up there with her passion for travel and she claims there is nothing she won’t try!

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