Culture, meetings glam up MICE at the Palace


FOLLOWING a breakout year which saw the Emirates Palace host a number of prestigious international conferences and exhibitions, Abu Dhabi’s iconic cultural and hospitality landmark is gearing up for a bigger share of the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector beginning with a strategic presence as sponsor and participant at this years Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM) exhibition.

“We are very keen to expand our network among the Gulf’s MICE organisers and to share with them our experience in hosting some of the region’s biggest events  - from prestigious international conferences to exclusive luxury exhibitions – which we have had the honour and pleasure of hosting last year,” said Noel Massoud, general manager, Emirates Palace.
Massoud sees a bright prospect for Emirates Palace to increase its share of the MICE market, given the remarkable $1 trillion in development currently ongoing in the Gulf, especially in Abu Dhabi. “There is a lot of potential for growth, and we are quite optimistic about our prospects considering our world-class infrastructure and collective experience in hosting MICE-related activities.”
With the region’s biggest meeting and conference complex, equipped with the latest technologies and amenities, Emirates Palace should have no problems hosting a big conference or exhibition, even a cultural programme or an entertainment production. Its conference complex includes an auditorium that seats 1,200 people, a main ballroom that accommodates up to 2800 guests, as well as an extensive range of over 40 meeting rooms, a Media Centre and a Business Centre, six large terraces and a variety of pre-function areas that offer many possibilities for breaks, cocktail receptions and banquets.
“It is not only the biggest, but was also voted the best. Last year, the World Travel Awards honoured us with the Middle East’s Leading Conference Hotel award, firmly establishing our stature as a premiere venue for MICE-related activities,” said Massoud.
Abu Dhabi has also stepped up its tourism campaign, giving Massoud more reasons to be optimistic in 2007. “We have been very successful in positioning Emirates Palace as a unique and distinctive property that provides unrivalled value for the luxury that we offer. So, we are confident that when an event is scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi, we will be the organisers’ choice to either be the venue for it, or be the official residence for its VVIP guests or participants.”
Some of the prestigious and historic international conferences and exhibitions that Emirates Palace has hosted include the Abu Dhabi Leadership Summit, the Young Arab Leaders conference, and the GCC Summit. Emirates Palace was also the official hotel partner of the recently concluded Abu Dhabi Golf Championships, which featured top professional golf players such as Colin Montgomerie and Retief Goosen, and the winner Paul Casey.
Massoud considers cultural and entertainment productions as further avenues for growth. “Not only has there been a marked increase in the number of performances, but the riveting productions have also come from a variety of interesting genre – from a classic ballet production of Romeo and Juliet to a rock concert tribute to legendary Freddie Mercury. We are looking forward to more productions this year, if only because we are probably the only venue in Abu Dhabi that has the infrastructure and technology to stage world-class cultural performances and entertainment programmes,” finished Massoud.
Emirates Palace comprises 394 luxury rooms and suites and a variety of fine dining options. The resort’s leisure facilities include two intricately landscaped swimming pools and two state of the art fitness centres. Emirates Palace houses the most luxurious and technologically advanced meeting facilities in the region which include an auditorium with 1,100 seats, a main ballroom that can accommodate up to 2500 guests, over 40 meeting rooms, a media centre and a business centre.