Elisa Cristofori of Banks Sadler explains why Dubai is one of her top locations for events
Can you explain your role
I work as a Project Director, coordinating logistics for events on a range of Banks Sadler’s clients. I work on a complete variety, from small training groups to incentives of 3,000.
Can you explain what events Dubai works particularly well for? Dubai is one of our top locations to hold events. Whether it’s a meeting, conference, product launch, investigator meeting or an incentive, the city offers a diverse range of hotels, activities and meeting spaces to handle any event.
Can you explain why you’ve chosen Dubai as a destination for an event?
There are so many reasons why we continue to choose Dubai as a destination for our events. Whilst being an undoubtedly safe city, it has fantastic access on a global scale and some of the best hotels in the world that each offer great facilities and top-notch service. Delegates can experience the desert, city and sea in one trip, whilst enjoying the warm weather in a luxury location. If you need to offer entertainment to your delegates you have a vast range of activities available, which can cater to any tastes with a wide variety of restaurant options provided throughout the city.
What venues do you particularly like?
To see one of the newest openings then Al Habtoor City is the place to go. It’s in the heart of Dubai right on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal and houses the W, Westin and St. Regis. If you’re looking to host a drinks reception then the W Lounge is a great option; up on the 30th floor, you can watch the sunset against the city skyline accompanied by an innovative cocktail list. For private dining that offers stunning views and equally beautiful cuisine, we love Marina Social, the Jason Atherton restaurant. Set on the marina front, it has the perfect backdrop to impress guests. For conferences, The Ritz Carlton, Park Hyatt, Atlantis, and The Sofitel all have great facilities, with Le Meridien a great option if you’re looking for multiple dining options, housing a remarkable 18 restaurants inside. We recently held an event at the Dubai Polo Club, which is an elegant venue, with great food, providing a unique experience for your delegates. For a gala dinner like no other, the Bateaux Dubai offers views of the creek for up to 300 guests whilst the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort can host a dinner under the stars on the largest private beach in the city. For stunning sights of the dancing Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa, Thiptara at the Palace Downtown Dubai is a great setting for dining and entertaining. I find that with the continual openings of new hotels and venues, that contacting the Official Convention Bureau keeps me up to date.
What group activities would you recommend?
There are almost too many activities to mention! For the adrenaline junkies of the group then I’d recommend dune bashing, dune surfing, Skydive Dubai, Zip Line, Aquaventure at Atlantis, Wild Wadi at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, or the newly opened IMG Worlds theme park and Dubai Parks and Resorts. For those fancying something cultural then you only have to step outdoors to get a taste of Dubai. Souk tours and coffee tasting are the best sensory experiences whilst walking tours in the old town show a different side to the city. Falconry and camel riding are very popular with delegates as is Escape Quest for a unique team building activity. If you want to incorporate a wellness element to your agenda there’s beach yoga at Al Qasr (Talise Spa) or Stand Up Paddleboarding at The Palm or for the keen golfers of the group, the Emirates Golf Club is home to one of the top 100 courses in the world. I also recommended a seaplane ride to enjoy fantastic views of the city. Yet Dubai isn’t just enjoyed outdoors. There are many indoor activities that are perfect options for bad weather. On a recent incentive where we had an outdoor activity we managed to divert our coaches and go skiing indoors! Our delegates loved it! For larger groups going to brunch then Bubbalicious, Al Qasr and Saffron are three great options.