In addition to organizing meetings, incentive trips, conferences, events and trade missions, it was once again time for us to meet our international UNIGLOBE colleagues during one of our annual meetings somewhere in the world. This time the destination was Dubai! I have many favourite destinations, but Dubai is definitely in the top 10!
An international meeting in Dubai
We know Dubai quite well – after all, we’ve organised many group trips to the city. However, this time we were on our way for a completely different reason: namely to find inspiration along with our colleagues during the meeting in Dubai. In addition to this, I was meeting suppliers from, among others, Emirates and Etihad.
Emirates Business Class on the way to the meeting in Dubai
I had the luck to be able to get to know the airline Emirates a little better, because they had made a Business Class seat in an A380-800 available, and that kind of opportunity is not to be sniffed at, dear readers! In addition to the kind of things you’d usually expect in Business Class, Emirates distinguish themselves on a number of points. For one, you’re greeted with real smiles. A personal assistant introduces him/herself to you at the beginning of the flight. You immediately feel very welcome, and are completely pampered.
Your personal assistant is happy to explain how all the technology around you works, and a drink of your choice is poured for you. The food on offer is outstanding, you can choose from heavenly a la carte meals, but the cherry on top is, without a doubt, the bar onboard of the A380-800. This is located above, behind the Business Class compartment. It’s a meeting place for passengers, who are then able to chat or network while enjoying a lovely drink or cocktail.
It’s certainly the case that Emirates’ Economy Class is also excellent, the service is the same, and in an Emirates A380 you’ll also be sufficiently looked after. But the Business Class ensures for a special experience, and you arrive at your destination happy and healthy. Read our blog about the Airbus A380-800!
Marhaba service in Dubai
On arrival, I was welcomed by Marhaba service. This means, among other things, that you won’t have to wait in long queues. In Dubai, this can take an hour, even in the fast lane. With Marhaba service, you’re at the luggage belt and then outside the airport within minutes.
You can also book this service via goMICE, including a combination with limousine service to the hotel. As a business class passenger, your luggage is first on the belt, so we were able to get underway quickly..
Meeting in Dubai
On arrival at the hotel, it was time to go to bed so we’d be fresh for the meetings the next day. As well as taking part in the UNIGLOBE meetings and conversing with colleagues from all across the world, these meetings are also about visiting various sites and taking part in an array of activities.
Activities in Dubai
One of the activities in Dubai involved getting to know the city in a yacht, which was a unique way of seeing Dubai from the water! During the time I spent there, it was still really hot in Dubai, so it was lovely to cool off a little on the water.
Hotel Atlantis (at the head of the Palm) and the Burj Al Arab hotel (Burj means tower) were really nice.
However, my favourite hotel is still the Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf! This is a real jewel in the crown in the the Jumeirah chain. It’s a beautiful complex with villas on the coast or along the rivers which run through the complex. You have a personal butler, and a range of fantastic restaurants, including Shimmers, Villa Beach and Alhambra.
Dinner after the meeting in Dubai
We dined in a Lebanese restaurant with a fantastic front view of the Burj Kalifa (the tallest structure in the world!) and the spectacular fountains.
Visit to Etihad Airlines
We visited Etihad Airlines. Did you know that Etihad means ‘United’? We incorporate these kinds of visits in order to inform our partners about the innovations which are already on the market or are about to be launched.
We left on the coach to Abu Dhabi early in the day, and it was certainly worth it. Before we arrived at the head office (for the participants who hadn’t been there before) we visited the largest mosque in the world. Ladies, I’m afraid that if you aren’t completely clothed in black from head to toe, you won’t be allowed in!
The Etihad Airlines innovation centre
In the innovation centre, we got to know the newest aeroplanes and classes, including The Residence, which is actually a small apartment in a plane (A380-800 from Abu Dhabi to London). It includes a living room, spacious bedroom and a shower/toilet. A return ticket in The Residence just costs €40,000. Two of you can come along for the fight and it’s the same price. In any case, you’ll arrive at your destination well-slept.
Naturally, there are a lot of new things and extras for those with a little less in their wallet. All classes have had quite a facelift, and all planes are now flying with the new interiors.
We concluded the 5-day trip in Dubai by dining out at one of my favourite restaurants, which luckily also has franchises outside of Dubai: the Buddha Bar. I can actually keep things concise here. The staff and the view are nice, but that’s nothing compared with the heavenly meals.
Because I almost know the menu by heart, I was able to advise the group on their choices. We had the dishes served up as sharing plates on the rotating turntable in the middle. I’ve never seen so many dishes eaten in such a short time! Everyone agreed: “More than excellent food!”
And so, our inspirational meeting in Dubai came to an end. With another Business Class trip with Emirates, we all set off home with a load of new information and heads full of ideas.
See you in Dubai!