Client: Channel Incentive

Desert Delights

  • Dubai and Abu Dhabi
  • 40

The brief

This incentive needed to offer a “full on” three day/three night experience in the Middle East. The trip needed to offer three different daytime experiences and three varied evenings with excellent food and wine. The trip needed to have a wow from start to finish and be a true reward for a hard won incentive, pitched and promoted by Outbound* and designed exclusively for one of their channel clients. Outbound are a specialist channel agency for many IT Manufacturers and alongside them we have produced some outstanding incentive programmes.

*To see the details of the incentive and the mechanics behind it, please click on the Outbound link above. Ulterior and Outbound work very closely offering a full incentive solution as we are both specialist in our fields.

Day one

Desert, meets city, meets sea – this one-night Dubai and two-night Abu Dhabi trip had it all. Guests flew into Dubai with Emirates on the overnight flight and had VIP meet and greet upon arrival. They were welcomed at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina with a private breakfast on the terrace overlooking the water. There was a bit of time to get changed and freshen up before heading out for a catamaran sail along the spectacular Dubai coastline. There was a BBQ lunch served onboard, sunbathing, plenty of swimming, all washed down with a cold beer (or four!) and some chilled music.

The group had some time at leisure before a stroll along the marina to the Buddha Bar, definitely a priority when you only have one evening in Dubai! The atmosphere was electric, the food fantastic and the service impeccable. While most guests continued the night upstairs in the bar, others meandered back to the Intercontinental for a good night sleep before the exhilarating day ahead tomorrow.

Day Two

After a relaxing breakfast, guests were packed up and ready to head out in 4×4 jeeps to the desert to enjoy spectacular scenery and the thrill of dune bashing with their experienced drivers taking them well off road into the Arabian desert. There was time for a quick break in the middle of nowhere, and a chance to show off their surfing skills (on sand obviously!). Refreshing ice cold drinks were served in the shade of a tent whilst having a bit of a laugh at some of the trips and falls as colleagues came down the slope – at least they had a soft landing! After an action-packed morning, it was lunch in the middle of the desert at Al Forsan, where the buffet was endless and drinks plentiful.

A mid-afternoon arrival to the Fairmont Abu Dhabi meant that guests had some time to relax before dinner. Of course, luggage was transferred directly to the hotel and placed in rooms before guests arrived. A special dinner was arranged at Saadiyat Beach Club, with private tables on the decking overlooking the beach with the feel of the cool sea breeze, which was very welcome after time in the desert. The guests were served amazing family-style Mediterranean food and reminisced about the day until late in the evening.

Day Three

A much needed lie in and a leisurely breakfast meant that guests were raring to go for their afternoon activity. They met around midday transferring to Origins at the Yas Viceroy hotel (now the W) for a superb lunch before heading over to the Yas Marina Circuit to try their hand at drag racing. Guests took turns to sit in the drivers’ seat of a Mercedes AMG and with two cars racing at the same time along the half kilometre straight, they were able to get to top speeds in a matter of seconds. A podium awards ceremony left some a little smug, but it was safe to say they all had a fantastic time!

There was nowhere better to end the trip than with a private dinner on the lawns of the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi. An unbeatable location, with unrivalled views over the famous blue mosque, lit up in all its glory, emphasized by the dark night sky. Endless chow mein, delicious sushi and amazing green curry were served, cementing a great end to a packed but absolutely unforgettable trip!