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London, Sydney, Rome, Amsterdam Paris, Melbourne, Lisbon, Barcelona, Berlin, Hong Kong, New York, Auckland
Dubai and Mauritius the Top Two Long Haul
Destinations from the UK; Have Displaced
the Caribbean and Canary Islands
(Dubai, February 2004):   Dubai’s strategic location as the closest ‘long-haul’ destination to Europe is helping the emirate to secure increased incentive travel, according to the industry’s top official.

Speaking at a recent incentive travel conference co-sponsored by the Government of Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Roger Tondeur said that Dubai and Mauritius were the top two destinations outside of Europe from the UK in particular. These two destinations have displaced areas such as the Caribbean and Canary Islands.

The president of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives said there was a huge opportunity for Dubai in the European market. He said:  “The destination is priced well, representing value for money, and this is important given the focus on price as the market has flagged.”

At the same time, Tondeur said Dubai was the nearest city that was considered ‘exotic’ that could be reached without flying too far.

His view was endorsed by Michael Scully, general manager of Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, a Dubai beach hotel that has achieved considerable success in courting the incentive and meetings sector.

Scully said: “While there was a retraction in incentive travel in 2002, last year we were optimistic at the beginnings of a revival, and in 2004, we are receiving exceptional levels of interest from organisers of corporate meeting and incentive events.

Michael Scully
“The spread of hotel accommodation in Dubai means we can cater to all levels of business now, from fun and sun reward breaks and top-end treats for high achievers through to the full-blown corporate event with camels, belly-dancers and more.”

As well as the only outdoor amphitheatre in the UAE, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi has recently added extended its facilities for outdoor events, and has established itself as the premier hotel on the beach for concerts, parties and other events.

“Whatever a company wants, we can accommodate their requirements – from cocktails under the stars in our beach-side amphitheatre to a full-blown fishing safari from the marina, as well as more serious meetings in our dedicated complex at the Dubai Marine Club,” said Scully.

The property, which underwent significant landscape extensions in 2003, registered a 10.6 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue, and a 16 per cent increase in average room rate for the year.

The programme of substantial renovations is now almost complete, with the principal phase, the increase of conference and banqueting and facilities, and the extension of the beach and marina to reach 1,200 metres, already paying dividends. 

London-based Le Méridien is a global hotel group with a portfolio of 130 luxury and upscale hotels (34,000 rooms) in 56 countries worldwide.  


Kirstie Hepburn
Strategic Solutions
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi
Tel +971 4 3915390

Also See: George Markantonis Named Chief Executive Officer of Kerzner's Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai / January 2004
Kerzner International Studying a Few Mega-resort Destinations Centered on Water Parks; Planning Starts for Dubai's $650 million Atlantis, The Palm / September 2003

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