Only in Dubai: Elevating events with endless options and effortless charm

Only in Dubai: Elevating events with endless options and effortless charm

Full-service event agency Lemon Lane was tasked by a major petcare brand to deliver an ambitious event that would run concurrently in Dubai, London and Washington. The Dubai event hosted 130 people across four days, with a three-day conference including a daily live link-up of all three locations. 

Here, Lemon Lane’s project director, Tia Wood, explains why Dubai is uniquely placed to transform grey corporate events into memorable technicolour experiences.  

What key objectives did the client want from the overall experience, and why did you choose Dubai as one of the three cities to best meet their needs?

Our client wanted to bring everyone together to share, update and collaborate on the company’s strategy. As a global brand, flying this many people into just one location was neither practical nor sustainable, so three regional locations were chosen. Dubai is one of the best-connected cities in the world, so this was an obvious choice. 

There are very few places in the world like Dubai; it feels like it can cater for any request. You are rarely met with a ‘no’ – the service levels are impeccable. The range of choice here is like nowhere else, so once you know what your brief is and what your requirements are, it’s a case of choosing the right partner on the ground and off you go!

What were the highlights of the group experiences?

The overall programme included some incredible experiences for the group. As part of the extended programme, we took one of the groups out on a yacht one evening, setting sail from the gorgeous marina and taking in all the beautiful lights and buildings on its journey around Atlantis. Being out on the water in a destination like this was a definite highlight. 

Of course, you can’t come all the way to Dubai and not go to the desert, and the group who went there did not stop talking about it. The attendees had their own Land Cruiser vehicles and guides who took them on an unforgettable journey over the sand dunes, a thrilling adventure! They spotted wildlife and had photos taken with the most incredible backdrop. They spent the evening in a private camp being entertained with belly dancers and light acrobatics, and feasting on delicious Arabic cuisine. They really did have an unforgettable experience, and it was exactly what the client wanted to bring the team together.

Tell us about the dining experience in Dubai.

We organised an evening of dine-arounds, where we had 12 groups dining in different areas; there is so much choice for all budgets. To minimise transfers we localised the restaurants to four areas – Old Dubai, Dubai Marina, Downtown and Atlantis, The Palm. Groups set off in the same vehicle, dropped to a central location and then walked to their own venues. Every attendee got to see a unique area of Dubai and dine at an incredible restaurant. Some even had views over the Burj Khalifa and saw the fountain show as they ate.

We also had an amazing farewell dinner at Ula, a few steps away from the Fairmont The Palm. The food was exceptional again, giving us all the Dubai beach club vibes we love.

Why did you choose Fairmont The Palm as the host for the three-day conference?

The service at this hotel and the willingness of the staff to collaborate with you is second to none. From the very start, everyone was on our side and open to every request. The location, right at the top of the Palm, was ideal: beachfront, easy access from the airport, close to amenities, and with stunning views out over the water. We could not have asked for more.

Were there any quirks that made the experience even more special?

Our partners Arabian Adventures really added the wow factor. They supported us in creating bespoke touches, such as branded fans to make those balmy evenings comfortable. They were so supportive in making the small touches matter to our guests.

How much support did you get when overcoming challenges such as obtaining permits and licences? 

At every stage, we were kept informed about where and when we might need a permit or a licence. These were discussed at the initial site inspection and were applied for in a timely way, and all costs were transparent. There were a few surprise requests, such as needing a licence if your attendees are wearing name badges, and we had some last-minute issues with a visa for our guest speaker. But our hotel contact worked tirelessly with the authorities to ensure that this was granted in time and, for that, we are incredibly thankful! Absolutely everyone was there to help in any way they could, and they did it with friendliness and a smile.

Finally, why would you recommend Dubai to corporate planners? 

Think of all the problems we get onsite as event planners. Well, Dubai is the place where they are all overcome. Not enough bedrooms contracted? There are hotels right next door. Ad-hoc client dinner? Hundreds of restaurants are right on your doorstep. Dubai is constantly reinventing itself too, so even if clients have been before, there are still opportunities to showcase another side. It really is the place where nothing is too much trouble, and the service, sun, and convenient flight connections make it a fantastic destination to host an event.  


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