Dubai has rapidly become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, famous for its booming nightlife, luxury shopping, diverse culture, rich food and futuristic architecture. It is the cosmopolitan emirate of the UAE and is always abuzz with spectacular entertainment, making it a perfect MICE destination. What are the best event venues and incentives in Dubai? Panoptic’s MICE guide is here to help!
Tourism has massively boosted the growth of Dubai over the years but It wasn’t always the glamorous place you know it to be now. It may be hard to believe but not that long ago Dubai was a small fishing & pearling town on the edge of a barren desert until they started to export oil in 1969. Since then it has taken only 53 years to become the progressive metropolis it is today!
Despite the country’s rapid development, the rich history and culture holds a special place in the Emiratis’ hearts and is deeply rooted into their current modernised lifestyle – so if you are looking for an authentic Emirati experience there are some tucked-away gems that will take you back to 19th century Arabia!
Areas, Venues & Experiences!
Dubai is famous for its never ending stream of extravagant events and is packed full of state of the art venues for every occasion. Our CEO Craig recently went on an educational visit to scout out some of the sights, here are a few favourites…
Best Event Venues & Incentives Downtown Dubai
Downtown Dubai is known as the heart of the city, where the iconic skyscraper skyline merges with beautiful Arabic architecture. If you are seeking those up-scale, world renowned parties this is the place to be. The emirate hosts some of the most popular club nights in the world and downtown Dubai is the hub of the whole scene.
Downtown Dubai is also home to ‘Business Bay’ which is the contemporary financial hub of Dubai if you are attending a corporate event it the perfect area to network and meet people in your profession from all over the globe.
Best Event Venues – Downtown Dubai
The Armani Pavillion is positioned next to the famous Dubai Fountain at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. Covering more than 40,000 square metres the hotel features a business centre made up of enchanting event spaces, eight restaurants and a luxury spa.
Dubai World Trade Centre
Located in Business Bay is the ‘Dubai World Trade Centre’ which is a 38-storey skyscraper in Dubai, purpose-built for the hosting of events. It has 106044 m2 of event space and can accommodate about 33934 people. These spaces are flexible and can be combined and divided to perfectly suit the occasion, They are complete with innovative cutting edge Audio-Visual Production and mesmerising lighting and rigging design.
Their world renowned events have played a huge role in developing the region’s MICE industry. Combining their own buildings with the city’s range of attractions,
Dubai Exhibition Centre
The largest Event and Exhibition Centre in the country that dedicates 45000 sqm of flexible space to the MICE industry. It has 14 multi-purpose halls including a theatre, an auditorium, several multi-purpose halls, four suites and 24 meeting rooms, and is completely customisable to large events, including indoor concerts! With on-site catering access to chefs from around the world.
This state of the art facility is complete with world-class audio & visual resources which have been famously showcased during the Expo 2020, this event space is nothing short of extraordinary.
Best Incentives – Downtown Dubai
The world’s tallest free-standing structure,The Burj Khalifa is located at the heart of Downtown Dubai, You can purchase a ticket for entry to the observation deck at the top and experience panoramic views of the city. in front of it is the famous ‘Dubai fountain’ which is located on the 24 acre ‘Burj Lake’. The fountain comes to life in a choreographed display of water jets that reach heights of 140 metres, and illuminating projections of light that are visible from space! The display is free to watch everyday from 6pm-11pm, shown every 30 minutes.
Downtown Dubai also holds a range of exciting activities such as , Dubai Opera, Dubai Aquarium, Dubai Mall, KidZania, Sconic Art Gallery & Beyond the Dunes to take you on an exhilarating and unforgettable desert Safari.
Best Event Venues & Incentives The Palm Jumeirah
This self-proclaimed 8th Wonder of the World, a tree-shaped archipelago of artificial islands first hit the news when international celebrities, including David & Victoria Bekham, bought houses ‘off-plan’! Palm Jumeirah, which covers the same area as approximately 600 football pitches, is known for extravagant hotels, sophisticated apartment towers and upmarket fine dining.
Best Event Venues – The Palm Jumeirah
Atlantis, The Palm
1,548 Spectacular ocean themed rooms and suites, vibrant entertainment settings, captivating backdrops and extraordinary activities and 32 world class restaurants and bars, Atlantis has it all!
Leave your guests with the unforgettable memories of thrilling rides at the biggest water park in the world, experience the myth of Atlantis through a maze of underwater tunnels, walking you through 65,000 incredible marine animals at The Lost Chambers Aquarium, you can even do an underwater yoga class while you’re there!
A magical encounter with Dolphins & Sea Lions at its Dolphin Bay is an experience you’ll never forget!
Whether you are looking for outdoor or Indoor venues, meeting rooms or to wow your guests with something different in stunning unique spaces – Atlantis offer a spectacular location for any event!
Mandarin Oriental, Jumeira
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is a stylish contemporary resort in a pristine oceanfront setting, overlooking the clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. Its 700 sqm Mandarin Ballroom offers a unique seafront setting for an unforgettable experience. Available in its entirety or divided into three smaller spaces, its high ceiling and huge windows allow the room to be flooded with natural light. The ballroom opens onto a 515 sqm outdoor terrace and garden just steps from beach. Equipped with the latest in modern technology and designed in a chic, contemporary style. This beautiful space can be tailored to make the perfect setting for any event.
This iconic beach destination is complete with breakout rooms, outdoor spaces, designer decor and the latest and greatest technology, the ‘Great Room’ spans 1,215 square meters and boasts the second largest dimensions on The Palm. Every conference room offers mood music and signature scents, allowing you to inspire, engage and leave an impression.
Let your guests enjoy the taste of Michelin-starred masterchefs dishes at its signature dining venues, a 5* spa experience and chic bars like SoBe – a rooftop bar with 360 degree views over Dubai’s skyscrapers and the Arabian Sea. The tasteful fun continues at W The Palm Dubai’s WET Deck, where you’ll find a pristine sandy shoreline, DJ booth, and futuristic cabana pods sitting on pool-top platforms.
Best Incentives – The Palm Jumeirah
The palm hosts a range of activities – from thrill-seeking to total relaxation, you can find an activity to match your mood on Palm Jumeirah. For a chill day, visit a luxurious spa or a fabulous boozy brunch. For photo opportunities, take a speedboat trip around the Palm or for a birds-eye view you can do a helicopter ride over & around it. For real daredevils, skydiving to an exclusive Palm Jumeirah drop point might be top of your to-do list!
However, to enjoy the area without breaking the bank, visit one of the beach clubs with stunning views of the Dubai coastline that dot the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk and fill up at one of the numerous food trucks offering local shawarma (a MUST to try!) and other tasty offerings. Stay well into the evening when the beach clubs transform into nightclubs with live DJs to finish off your day on a high note!
Best Event Venues & Incentives Bur Dubai (Old town)
On the west side of the Creek, Bur Dubai is the original settlement from which the metropolis of Dubai grew; known for its narrow alleyways, bustling souks, and traditional architecture, is the place to be if you are more interested in the city’s diverse culture and history than luxury. If you are looking to experience traditional Arabic culture, this is the place to be.
Bur Dubai is perfect if you’re watching the pennies as it offers the cheapest rates when it comes to accommodation. One of the advantages of being further from some of the main pricey attractions and wallet-busting fine dining, is that there are some of the most authentic and cheap restaurants in town.
Best Event Venues – Bur Dubai
Raffles Dubai is an iconic art-deco hotel that stylishly combines the concept of the ancient Egyptian pyramid with the culture of the UAE.
Complete with 595 rooms, suites and serviced residences, five fine dining concepts, an outdoor pool, a serviced spa and a 24 hour fitness centre for your guests to take advantage of.
They offer over 2,300 square meters of meetings and events space including 10 flexible venues and one state-of-the-art ballroom ideal for the most sought-after weddings and gatherings. The ballroom is a romantic and elegant venue making it the perfect spot for a wedding in the heart of Dubai, at WAFI City.
Best Incentives – Bur Dubai
The beating heart of Bur Dubai is found in the myriad of shopping streets and souks such as Meena Bazaar where you’ll find a hustle of independent clothing and jewellery shops – don’t forget to barter, its expected!
Bur Dubai is home to historical sites including Dubai Museum,Al Fahidi Historical District and Al Shindagha Historical District. This peaceful Al Fahidi District (also called the Bastakiya Quarter), is one of the main cultural attractions of Dubai with something to enjoy at every twist and turn of its narrow lanes – from museums, craft shops, courtyard cafes, traditional calligraphers & artists to the incredible engineering & aesthetic of the ancient wind-towers (barajeel). If open, don’t miss a visit to the Arabic tent & enjoy some ghawa (local cardamom coffee) while chatting to some local residents!
The area also boasts the city’s tallest minaret on the Grand Mosque, the beautiful blue tiled Iranian Mosque and one of Dubai’s oldest Hindu temples – you can even arrange a free Mosque Experience tour of the Grand Mosque by booking online (remember to wear modest clothing; women will also be provided with abayas to wear).
Fancy finding out more about Dubai for your next event?
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