In search for the next destination…

The primary responsibility of professional meeting planners is to choose the perfect destination for a meeting, event, or exhibit.  Typical meeting planning used to center on choosing an appropriate venue in one of the main convention cities across the world. New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami, London, Paris, and Rome were the A-list, and all the rest were secondary.

In the last twenty years, however, cities around the world have developed their own hunger for this lucrative convention and incentive trip business, and hotel rooms and convention centers are popping up in the most unlikely places. This explosion presents meeting planners with a wealth of quality, capacity, and budget options. It also presents them with the challenge of keeping their databases up-to-date.

Our planners at Premiere Meeting Services would like to share their research into a newly developed, highly diverse destination that we think Planners in multi-national corporations should put on their horizon.

Dubai – United Arab Emirates?  Really??

When we mentioned Dubai to a client the other day, he thought it was the capital of Saudi Arabia. This well-traveled executive wasn’t sure if he knew exactly what the United Arab Emirates was. The UAE is a county, we assured him, consisting of seven smaller ‘emirates’ which are similar to states. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are 2 of those 7 states.

Centrally located for some…

Dubai is centrally located on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula with Saudi Arabia to the west and Oman to the south. The government has publicly stated that they don’t want to be over reliant on oil for their revenue streams, so less than twenty years ago they set their sights on becoming one of the world’s favorite hotspots.

They started by building the Burj Al-Arab one of the world’s best hotels. With its gorgeous curves and Islamic-inspired architecture it is truly something to marvel at.

The Burj Al-Arab was followed by the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Dubai’s international airport has now surpassed London’s Heathrow as the world’s top international air hub. They processed 71 million passengers in 2014 compared to Heathrow’s 68.1 million. How this amazing statistic is possible when we have never met anyone who has actually been to Dubai was beyond our understanding. We were reminded, however, that Dubai is centrally located on the ancient Western European-Far Eastern trade route. Multi-national companies are finding Dubai a surprisingly convenient and exotic place to gather employees and customers.

Accommodations and venues galore!

There are 75,000 rooms currently available in Dubai. The exquisite Burj al Arab has been joined by the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the Atlantis, the Palazzo Versace, the Zabeel Saray, the Sofitel Palm, and the Anantara Royal Amwaj. An additional 14,385 rooms are currently under construction.


Dubai is quickly becoming the Las Vegas of the Middle East. They have built only 5 and 4 star hotels and vast convention venues that can accommodate a wide variety of events. They have installed a metro line that connects the city and built attractions like the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, Hollywood and Bollywood theme parks, and a sky pool connecting two buildings 100 meters above the city.

The exotic culture and the surrounding desert landscape are attractions in themselves.


Because Dubai developers wanted to establish a “world class” destination, the hotels and restaurants are very high end and quite pricey. Realizing this, they have begun to develop many more 3 star hotels and moderated pricing to attract a wider range of tourist and convention attendees.

The unrest in the Middle East is, of course, a deterrent. The UAE, however, has always been the safest place to visit in the entire region. Seasoned travelers know this and tend to overlook the regional political strife.

An alternative choice for next time!

Large multi-national corporations are always looking for alternatives to the New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas triumvirate. Dubai wants your incentive meeting and convention business and is going out of its way to accommodate your needs. Take a look at Dubai and give us a call to help you arrange more in depth research.