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Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City

An inspiring international conference in Dubai

Following a very successful conference in London, a first for the company and planned, organised and delivered by MGN events, we were delighted to be asked to work on the company’s next event. 

Our client, a leading investment and innovation company, has offices all over the world. The inaugural conference was held in London, home to head office. The next would be in Dubai and for 120 delegates – the only catch was that we were briefed just one month before the event was due to take place.

The Solution

Speed was of the essence and we set to work immediately. We were challenged to find a venue that would provide a similar feel to the first conference but on a larger scale. Our venue search led us to the Holiday Inn Festival City. With excellent conference facilities, luxury accommodation for delegates, proximity to Dubai airport and perfectly located in the heart of Dubai Festival City, the hotel was exactly what we needed.

A generously sized conference room meant there was plenty of space to seat all delegates theatre-style for plenary sessions, with round tables at the back for breakout sessions. Partitions gave the option to further section off areas as required throughout the event, and an additional room was available for more private discussions. We took full advantage of the excellent state-of-the-art technology available – the in-house screen and staging provided a simple setting for presentations and talks and we worked with a local AV company to provide a PA and microphones.

The key objective of the conference, which ran over two days, was to develop a greater sense of unity and cultural cohesion across global offices. Our client also wanted to reinforce the importance of different teams and departments and encourage a truly collaborative environment. Many people had only ever met online, others not at all and a last minute decision was made to provide name badges. Not only would the badges identify people when networking, they were also designed to identify the various breakout groups. We collated all information, liaising with multiple departments, and designed and printed the badges within a week.

Due to the nature of the conference and groups taking breaks at different times, refreshments and snacks were available throughout the day. Lunch was an extensive buffet offering an amazing array of global cuisine – from local Dubai dishes to Italian and Chinese. A casual and relaxed dinner was served in the venue’s fabulous restaurant, Joe’s Backyard. Located on the 19th floor, the restaurant offers amazing views of the Dubai skyline and would create an instant wow factor. Not only that, its design and atmosphere echoed that of Treehouse Hotel London, where the first conference was held. Delegates ate in a dedicated area of the restaurant and were able to network before heading out to explore the local area.

The benefit of having everything in one place made the whole event a stress-free experience for delegates, greatly reduced logistical issues and kept transport costs down. We organised airport transfers for all delegates, including a meet and greet service for both daytime and overnight arrivals, and most of the return journeys – some delegates stayed on to enjoy Dubai for a little longer. We also arranged visas for those delegates that required them.