Let’s meet in… Abu Dhabi


Neighbouring Dubai is the emirate that has gained the most attention with its biggest and best feats of modern architecture, civil engineering and as a financial powerhouse. But Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is now to the fore as the UAE’s centre of education, science and culture. It also isn’t shying from bold statements on the strides it has made. Some of the world’s leading universities and museums are opening facilities here, including Paris’ Louvre and a Guggenheim, which will be prime landmarks on Saadiyat Island, a new business, leisure and cultural hub for the emirate.

In line with its cultural and educational ambitions, Abu Dhabi has its sights set on being a centre for scientific conventions and a top 50 placing in the ICCA rankings. Events are made grander thanks to the choice of palatial hotels and desert dining is a unique off-site option. There is also Masdar City, which is taking shape next to the airport, and planned as a totally sustainable eco-city.  


Adnec -– Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre can be regarded as a pioneer of the emirate’s growing meetings and business events segments. It formerly hosted GIBTM, the forerunner to IBTM Arabia and is now the venue for trade and industrial events in the region.

Yas Marina Circuit – The island of Yas is not only home to the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but a host of hotels and theme parks suitable for groups. But for meetings, it’s the circuit on which the F1 extravaganza descends that is extra special with paddock suites, media room and team villas available for hire. Part of the track also runs under the Viceroy hotel.

St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort – Luxury hotels here are vying for the title of the meeting and events venue. The 3,000 sqm Regal Ballroom has lured IBTM Arabia, but others will tussle for the title, including the Mezzoon Ballroom in The Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, which can hold 1,400 people.


Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – If your groups yearn for the sight of grand opulence, give the luxury good stores a miss and take them to one of the most awe-inspiring buildings
in the world. The mosque’s
82 domes can be seen from various points across the city, but there are even finer sights to behold when given a tour inside, such as seven chandeliers made from Swarovski crystal.

Desert safari – Bashing the dunes in a Toyota Land Cruiser or even a Hummer are becoming a popular option for thrill seekers. Overnight trips with dining and traditional entertainment can also be arranged via hotels or DMCs. 

Ferrari World – If one is not regularly sat behind the wheel of a Ferrari, then a theme park on Yas Island dedicated to the Italian dream machines is the next best thing. Meeting and function space is also available at the complex with dining and a chance to motivate groups the Ferrari way. 


Cathay Pacific, Philippines Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Garuda Indonesia are among the carriers operating direct flights from Asia along with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad. 

Al Maryah island, the emirate’s new central business district, will be connected with 13 bridges, water taxis, light rail and metro systems. The number of DMCs and event planners is increasing with some also having a base in Dubai. Operators include BCD, Abu Dhabi Adventure Tours and 1001 Events. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>