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What’s New

Ever-changing, always welcoming

Iconic, man-made islands, the tallest building and some of world’s finest restaurants, hotels and conference facilities, the UAE always has something new up its sleeve.

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SITE Global 2

What is Authentic Anymore? 

The idea of authenticity is fast becoming one of the most important issues in the MICE sector - which is why it was particularly exciting that our very own head of Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events, Justine Thomas Butler, was invited to be on the panel on this hot topic at the SITE Global Conference in Bangkok.

Entitled, ‘Real Places, Real People – is Authenticity really Authenticity?’ this panel-style discussion featured some of the top names in incentive travel, who joined Justine on stage to share their ideas, as well as tips for managing the challenges found in the industry today.

Topics up for debate included, what authenticity really means right now and if it’s possible to capture it, how can companies change, evolve and remain flexible, whilst still providing customers with a genuine and honest experience, and if an authentic leadership style exists.

 

 

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Hyperloop Abu Dhabi Begins Testing 

In another pioneering achievement for the UAE, the world’s first commercial hyperloop capsule - a vacuum-tube transport system that will reach speeds of more than 1,000 kilometres per hour - has left its assembly plant in Spain ready for final testing in France.

Designed and built at a cost of $384 million, this supersonic, engineering marvel will carry an estimated 10,000 people per hour in its levitating cabins and is set to make its first journey in 2020.  Back in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, the first phase of installation is ready to get underway, with the construction of a ten-kilometre-long stretch of track – a project that will eventually connect the city safely and sustainably to Dubai - a journey of 150 kilometres that will take just nine minutes.


We’ll keep you posted as construction continues.

 

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USA PALM

Born in the USA 

This month Arabian Adventures MICE hosted eight special guests from some of the USA’s top Incentive houses in order to show them what the region really has to offer.

The group’s first stop was Dubai, where they headed to the 150-metre top of the Dubai Frame and the chance to soak up its amazing views over the city and the dizzying drop to the ground below through the part glass floor. Next they delved into some of the city’s most historic neighbourhoods, followed by a Seawing tour that launched from the picturesque Dubai Creek to give them a bird’s eye view over one of the world’s great skylines. After that, it was back to the recently refreshed Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah and some well-earned time on its two kilometre-long private beach.

From there, the group next travelled to the beautiful Sultanate of Oman where they enjoyed lunch in a secluded palm oasis, explored the ancient trading city of Nizwa, enjoyed dinner under the stars and stayed in two of the countries loveliest hotels - the Allia Hotel and Resort in the gorgeous Jebel Akhdar Mountains and the palace-like Ritz Carlton Al Bustan.

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Jumeirah Beach Hotel Refurbishment 

Following its 20th birthday earlier this year, the iconic, wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel has been undergoing a top-to-bottom refurbishment and the results have finally been revealed.

Inspired by sea, sand and nature, the famous lobby atrium has been made lighter and airier to make the most of the wonderful views of the Burj al Arab, and now features a wave-affect wall and hanging art installations designed to capture the feel of sunlight on the water.

 The venue’s famous restaurants, meanwhile, have also received a full refresh, including La Parilla, Uptown Bar and the award-winning gastropub, The Dhow and Anchor, whilst Kitchen Connection (formerly Latitude) has received a sleek marble finish throughout. Some things, however, are guaranteed to remain the same, including the sensational level of service and the lush green JBH Arena event space with its uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf

 

Click here to learn more

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Caesars Palace, Bluewaters Dubai

Located on a lavish, man-made island that cost an estimated $5 billion to create, one of the UAE’s most anticipated openings, Caesar’s Palace Bluewaters Dubai, has finally arrived.

Only the second Caesars Palace ever opened worldwide, this gorgeous resort hotel has a near-endless list of attractions, including 178 rooms and 80 luxury apartments, all with unbelievable views of the city skyline and the worlds tallest observation wheel, The Ain Dubai.

Also on the menu are three pools, a 630-square-metre signature spa, a kids club and six cutting-edge restaurants, including the latest offering from super chef Gordon Ramsey. Whilst it will not host a casino, Caesar’s Palace Dubai does boast a 450-metre stretch of private beach, an enormous events area and conference centre, and the return of the city’s hugely popular Cove Beach Club.

 

Click here to learn more

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Museum of Illusions

The latest addition to the UAE’s growing list of large-group-friendly attractions, the Museum of Illusions, has now opened in Dubai’s creek-side Al Seef heritage district.

Home to the largest collection of mind-warping visual and sensory trickery ever assembled, the Museum of Illusions features eighty unique, interactive exhibits set across three extraordinary categories - Master Illusions, Grand Illusions and Optical Illusions, in which nothing is ever what it seems.

To find out more we sent the MICE team to explore this unique new experience and report back.

“I’m still thinking about it days later. It’s like a workout for your mind and I still can’t figure out how they did it.”

Louisa Sumagui

 
“This has got to be one of the most unusual activities in Dubai - and that really is saying something. From the moment you walk in it continuously blows your mind and within a few minutes you just have to accept that the smile on your face is probably there for good.”

Nicole Dittrich

 
“So very strange and so very entertaining.”

Kimberly Davis 


Click here to learn more

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Mandarin Oriental, Jumeirah Dubai  

The grand opening of the Mandarin Oriental, Jumeirah Beach is fast approaching, with a host of big name celebrities rumoured to be attending the lavish launch party. Set to be the closest beachfront resort to downtown Dubai, this new luxury hotel has 178 spacious rooms, 78 suites, 8 over-the-water bungalows, a spa and a 700 square metre, glass-walled ballroom that opens right onto the sand. 

On the F&B side, there will be a Japanese warayaki-style steakhouse, a Mediterranean restaurant at the end of a picturesque pier and the first Middle Eastern eatery by two Michelin star winning chef, José Avillez.

Click here to learn more

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The Editon Hotel, Abu Dhabi 

Best described as ‘high octane glamour’, the exclusive Edition Hotel, Abu Dhabi, has now opened its doors in the city’s waterfront Al Bateen district.

The brainchild of legendary boutique hotelier Ian Schrager, The Edition offers 198 elegant guest rooms featuring lovely touches like rich oak floors and marble bathrooms, alongside 57 serviced residences connected to the sail-like main building by a sky bridge. There are also two pools, a spa, a restaurant that’s focused on healthy produce and organic coffee, a Mediterranean-style, terraced eatery overlooking the Abu Dhabi Marina and 900 square metres of state-of-the-art, multi-purpose event space, including a beautiful main ballroom.

 Click here to learn more

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CRYSTAL AWARD     

We are very proud and excited to announce that SITE - The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence has awarded Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events the prestigious Crystal Award for Excellence in Incentive Travel for the Middle East and Africa 2017.  

This is considered one of the highest honours in the incentive travel industry, the Crystal Award was created to recognise companies that set a whole new standard by providing a truly exceptional experience for their guests – and was presented to us for our work on the Forever Living Global Rally 2017.  As an award of this scale will no doubt raise the profile of the UAE considerably as a safe and exciting destination for Meetings, Incentives and Events, we wanted to give you the time and information to take advantage of the amazing opportunity it represents when presenting it to our clients.

 Click here to watch the case study video 

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Oman Team (1)

No substitute for first-hand experience ...  

What leaps to mind when you hear the word Oman? Is it cliff-lined harbours and marble mosques? Ancient fortresses emerging from a rolling desert?  Maybe it’s the mouth-watering food, its 1,700 kilometres of incredible coastline, or the history and romance of one of the oldest civilisations in the world?

Whatever it is, Oman has been captivating travellers for thousands of years, and with the Sultanate increasingly on the world radar, particularly when it comes to special events, we wanted to know why. So, as we would never recommend anything we hadn’t experienced ourselves – whether its a hotel, a restaurant, or an entire country - we sent some familiar faces from the MICE team out to explore this mysterious land, and asked them, what really makes Oman so special?

Here’s what they told us.

 

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Secret Beach

There were so many great moments, but the most special had to be the Via Ferrata – a protected climbing route that followed a series of ladders, steps and platforms along the cliffs and across plunging gorges, all with an endless view of the mountains and valleys below. Nicole Dittrich

One minute Oman feels remote and magical, the next you’re wandering a bustling souk, or the waterside cornice in Muscat, then you’re standing on a never-ending beach with not a soul in sight. Wherever you are, you always feel safe and at home, and I can’t wait to go back for more. Luca Ferraris

What will I always remember? Seeing a pod of dolphins play close to the shore, the peace of the mountains and the silence of the desert and those beautiful, magical wadis, but I always find myself coming back to the people. They’re just so friendly and passionate about their country, and always excited to share their stories and memories. Wilma Colaco

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Every time I think about Oman I get goose bumps. It’s just so beautiful and welcoming - but one memory does stick out. We were exploring a Bedouin village when the town’s matriarch appeared and invited all twenty of us into her home for sweet dates and Arabic coffee. It was an unforgettable experience and truly priceless. Simone Bourne

 

There’s just so much to see - desert, beaches, remote wadis filled with emerald green water, but the absolute highlight for me had to be sunset over the Jebel Akhdar Mountains – just breath-taking. Maialen Mace

 

It feels like a hidden gem and what you can experience in just a few days is incredible – from the dunes of the Wahiba desert, to the rugged coast around Muscat, all of it unspoilt, untouched and natural. It left me feeling so relaxed and peaceful, yet there’s still so much more to discover. Hernan Ortiz

 

Drinks on the yoga deck, the amazing scenery, the welcome you get from the locals, Oman is unlike anywhere else in the world, and I have so many wonderful memories, but in particular watching the sunrise over the Wahiba desert from the top of a dune and seeing the sand change through a hundred different shades and colours. Ioanna Stogiannou

 

What will I always remember? Seeing a pod of dolphins play close to the shore, the peace of the mountains and the silence of the desert and those beautiful, magical wadis, but I always find myself coming back to the people. They’re just so friendly and passionate about their country, and always excited to share their stories and memories. Wilma Colaco

 

Where to start? Taking a yoga class in the mountains, the fresh air on a walking trail through untouched countryside, the way the Omani’s find so much joy in life - it’s just so unspoilt and genuine, and that’s a hard thing to find these days. Innes Des Castro Viegas

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Warner Bros - Abu Dhabi 

That’s not all folks!

Not to be outdone by its neighbours, Abu Dhabi has now unveiled its latest $1 billion mega-attraction – Warner Bros World.

Set on lovely Yas island, this indoor, completely air conditioned park has six immersive lands – Gotham City, Metropolis, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Warner Bros Plaza and Dynamite Gulch and features 29 state of the art rides, plus unique live shows and entertainment.

As well as action, adventure and wackiness you can expect to meet everyone from Superman and Wonder Woman to Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo.