. Dubai hosts first post-Covid famil | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Dubai hosts first post-Covid famil

Virtual well and good, but in-person meetings still unrivalled, says Dubai Business Events.

Dubai fam trip
On the back of this successful famil, Dubai Business Events is planning more inbound study missions, in-person roadshows, and trade shows. Photo Credit:Dubai Business Events

For the first time in 10 months since Covid-19 set in, Dubai Business Events (DBE) successfully hosted a familiarisation trip for meeting planners from the UK and Russia — both countries have travel corridor arrangements with the UAE, however a national lockdown has since been declared in England.

In December, the group of 13 delegates explored iconic locations, attractions and venues, including Atlantis, The Palm; Madinat Jumeirah; and JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, which all offer meeting facilities.

And with Expo 2020 Dubai commencing in October 2021 — postponed one year from the original 20 October 2020 launch — the study mission also included a tour at the event site, offering a sneak peek of things to come.

Dubai fam trip 2
The desert safari experience — a popular experience with business events groups.

On the incentives front, their city tour covered the historical enclaves of the Al Fahidi neighbourhood and Al Seef, capped off with views of the city from outdoor observatory At The Top at Burj Khalifa. The final day was packed with Dubai's signature desert safari experience, followed by an evening under the stars — a formula that has repeatedly proven popular with business events groups.

In fact, familiarisation trips remain the "most effective tool" in allowing global meetings professionals to experience Dubai first hand, also building the city's reputation as a business events destination, says Steen Jakobsen, assistant vice president, DBE.

Another key takeaway of this study mission: the value of face-to-face meetings for the business events industry.

"While we have been able to continue to building relationships and engage with planners and buyers globally through webinars, virtual conferencing and other technology, the value of face-to-face interactions remains unrivalled."

Looking ahead, DBE has plans to welcome more inbound study missions, "as well as face-to-face interactions in planners’ and associations’ home markets through our roadshows, and of course our trade show activations".

Safety, of course, remains a top priority.

"By including well-known and popular group options such as Burj Khalifa, Atlantis The Palm and Desert Safari, this study mission has demonstrated how the city truly is open for business and able to offer planners the full suite of options they need, while at the same time prioritising safety."