Incentive Travel Ideas: Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Abu Dhabi and Dubai offer a wealth of opportunities when it comes to corporate incentives.  Each can certainly hold its own or they can be easily combined to provide an unforgettable multi-destination incentive programme.

The temperatures in Abu Dhabi and Dubai can creep into the 40’s during the summer months of July and August and so it is important to take this into account when planning your incentive programme.  Many people will find these kinds of temperatures uncomfortable and so it is best to avoid the hotter months, if at all possible.  With average temperatures in the high twenties to low thirties, March, April, October, and November are great months to visit the UAE and guests will be able to enjoy all that these two great destinations have to offer.

Access from the UK is superb and with a flight time of around 7 hours, your guests aren’t going to be spending their entire trip sat on a plane.  Etihad and Emirates are the major contenders when it comes to flights and you are best to explore Etihad for flights into Abu Dhabi, and Emirates for flights to Dubai.

When it comes to finding somewhere to stay in Abu Dhabi and Dubai you are literally spoilt for choice!  Think about what you and your guests are going to be doing and make sure that your chosen venue fits in with your activity programme.  If you are required to travel off-site for activities such as dune bashing or cultural tours, think about the transfer time and see if there is a venue which is located centrally – the last thing you want is to take up precious time travelling from place to place.

Also consider what your guests would like to do during their relaxation time.  Would they like to relax by a pool or beach, or would they prefer to explore the sights and sounds?  This again will have a bearing on the location of your hotel and what areas of Abu Dhabi or Dubai you want to base yourselves in.

As with the hotels, there is certainly no shortage of things to do when you are in the UAE.  Here are a few of our recommendations and highlights that should be top contenders for a spot on your Abu Dhabi or Dubai incentive programme!

Spend a night in the desert

A night spent in the desert is a great option if your guests are looking for some adventure.  There are a variety of options available ranging from temporary camps in the dunes, to permanent accommodation with plenty of traditional charm.

A night in the desert is great when combined with dune bashing, sand boarding, camel treks, or dessert safari activities.

Visit the Burj Khalifa

At over 2,700ft, the Burj Khalifa is officially the tallest building in the world and is an absolute must if you are staying in Dubai at any point during your incentive.

Experience Yas Marina Circuit

If you have a few adrenaline junkies in your group then incorporating the Yas Marina Circuit into your incentive programme would be a worthwhile addition.  When the circuit is not in use for Formula 1 (or other motor sports) there is the opportunity for guests to take part in various driving experiences ranging from passenger laps (with a seasoned pro behind the wheel of course!) to incredible F1 sessions where you will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of an ex-formula 1 car.

Yas Marina is also home to Ferrari World, the Iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel, Yas Links Golf Course, and the newly opened Yas Mall, all of which are well worth a visit.

Yas Marina Circuit from the air
The Yas Marina Circuit from the air with the iconic Yas Viceroy hotel in the centre and Ferrari World at the rear

 Visit Al Ain

If you are looking to experience some more traditional aspects of the AUE consider a trip to Al Ain.  Situated approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Dubai, Al Ain is known as the Garden City and provides a stark contrast from the ultra-modern hotels and sky scrapers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

One of the worlds oldest continually inhabited settlements, Al Ain is the Emirates “heritage heartland” and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shop till you drop

If shopping is high up on the agenda then you are well served in the UAE.  The incredible Dubai Mall is without a doubt the best option and boasts the worlds largest collection of fashion brands under one roof.

If shopping isn’t all your guests are interested in then there is the Dubai Aquarium, ice rink, and spectacular Dubai Fountains to keep them entertained within the mall complex.

F1 Grand Prix

The Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place in November at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.  As you would expect this event is hugely popular and so early booking is recommended.  Tickets and hospitality at any F1 race is expensive and Abu Dhabi is no exception – also consider that hotel costs and flight prices will also be at a premium during the Formula 1 weekend.

We think that Abu Dhabi and Dubai are superb incentive destinations and offer a wealth of opportunities for guests with varied interests.  The time you have available, the type of guests that will be attending, and your incentive budget will be the major factors in determining whether you visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or choose to include both as part of your incentive programme.

By choosing your venues and programme carefully you are able to create a bespoke incentive programme which offers exceptional value for money and will provide guests with a truly memorable and unique experience.

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