J. Ray McDermott in Dubai

The engineering and construction company chose the emirate for its annual conference

Pre-event planning: Engineering, procurement, construction and installation company J. Ray McDermott holds an annual conference for its offshore division staff. "Our main objectives for the event were to bring the divisions together and to work in a private environment that was close to our offices in Jebel Ali, and to the recreational options Dubai has to offer," says J. Ray McDermott area office supervisor George Kutty, who organised the event.

Challenges: With a busy itinerary, the location needed to be easily accessible and the host venue needed to provide fast meal options to keep to the schedule. A range of activities to entertain delegates was also important. The client typically books hotels, but this year decided to try Oasis Beach Tower's serviced apartment-style accommodation. Kutty adds: "The only problem we thought we might face was with the apartments, with the delegates not knowing each other."

Solution: Dubai was chosen for its strong transport links and five-star airlines Emirates and Etihad. The venue's new event spaces were also a hit, and using apartments helped staff to network. Kutty adds: "It's a nice way of introducing people, as well as being economical. The apartments are very luxurious, so we had the best of both worlds." The meeting ran across two-and-a-half days, featuring intense workshops. "We needed to have fast lunches so as not to waste time," says Kutty. "The Thyme buffet lunch meant we were able to move in and out in 45 minutes." The final day finished at 11am, giving delegates the chance to explore. They enjoyed desert safaris, trips onboard Bateaux Dubai and went shopping.

Post-event analysis: "We had a communal feel to the event, in five-star comfort. It was the best outcome we could have hoped for and there was no negative feedback," says Kutty, who says the company would consider Oasis Beach Tower for future events.

FACTFILE

Client: J. Ray McDermott

Event: World Annual Marine Conference (Offshore Division)

Group size: 42

Agency: In-house

Date: 10-12 November 2010

Venues: Oasis Beach Tower, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Budget: Undisclosed

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