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Mon 13 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Business on the beach

MIME rounds up the region's hottest beachside boardroom alternatives

MIME rounds up the region's hottest beachside boardroom alternatives.The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel and Spa

The beachfront Bahrain Hotel and Spa offers corporate clients a real island getaway.

The hotel's private island lies just off the shores of the Arabian Gulf, approximately 11km from the airport and 3km from Bahrain's capital city Manama.

The island is available to hire for corporate bookings during the day.

If it is privacy you are looking for it is unlikely you will find a more secluded conference venue than this.

Though clients may feel like they are millions of miles from civilisation - access to wireless internet, telephone and fax is within reach - keeping them in contact with the outside world.

Up to 300 people can be accommodated in the setup according to requirements. The rental fee excludes food, beverages, tent, equipment or the telephone line but these can be requested as extras, with food and beverages being charged separately per guest.

Out of hours, guests can take advantage of the hotel's facilities, including chilled outdoor swimming pools, a steam room and sauna. Alternatively they may choose to blow off some steam in the gym or have a game of tennis.

Tel: +973 1 758 0000 Email: comments@ritzcarlton.com Web: www.ritzcarlton.com Watch out for...

MVM Dubai has teamed up with London-based events agency Fortesque to launch ‘The Room', a temporary beachside conference venue to be assembled on Jumeirah Beach Hotel's private coastline, overlooking the Burj Al Arab. The venue will be available for hire day and night from 23 November to 17 December and has a capacity of up to 700 people.

venpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea, Jordan

The luxury Resort and Spa Dead Sea may be set at the lowest point on Earth but meetings on the shores of its spectacular coastline will be the high point of any business trip.

The Mövenpick inhouse ‘Meet and Dine' event-management team are well-equipped to serve the needs of corporate guests.Your personal conference contact will organise the essentials in the run-up to the event, leaving you free to focus on the details which will make the event a memorable experience.

Overnight business travellers will feel at home in the traditional, village-style resort, with luxury rooms, internet access, a range of outlets, leisure facilities and spa.

Tel: +962 5 356 1111 Email: resort.deadsea@moevenpick.com Web: www.moevenpick-hotels.com Kempinski Hotel, Ajman

It's ‘Business on the Beach' as usual at the Kempinski. The hotel's 500-metre stretch of white, sandy beach provides a stimulating venue for meetings and conferences.

The ‘Business on the Beach' concept was launched as part of the resort's expansion into the business sectors, in addition to its original leisure market.

The idea has proved to be a popular one in the region with more and more companies looking for a unique and innovative alternative to the traditional boardroom.

The conference and banqueting team are at hand to provide technological assistance, refreshments, and the beach venue is facilitated with wireless internet and standard conference facilities.

Tel: +973 1 758 0000 Email: ajman.kempinski@kemp-aj.com Web: www.ajmankempinski.com Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa

The Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa offers a wide range of modern business facilities along its private, sandy beach.

The hotel provides all the standard meeting facilities on the beach and guests may also access the fully-equipped business centre indoors.

When the formalities are over guests who do not wish to leave the beach behind can choose to sip on a cocktail at the beach bar or wish to dine a' la carte overlooking the sea at one of the resort's five restaurants.

Tel: +971 4 3461111 Email: dxbmarin@emirates.net.ae Web: www.dxbmarine.com

Thinking outside the boxMCI Dubai project manager Richard Devadasan explains the importance of keeping up with emerging trends in the region's growing industry. Why is the beach an attractive meetings venue?

Beach hotels are important to the meetings industry here, both directly and indirectly. They're good for incentives and groups operations. The thing about the kind of business coming to the region is that it's creative and fresh, and the meetings venues should be the same. In most instances the beach is so close to the city that it's the ideal location.

Have you organised any corporate events utilising the beachside facilities?

We've had a quite a few large congresses in Dubai, where we've put delegates up in hotels along the Jumeirah Beach strip. We've also had clients who've wanted us to do something ‘out of the box'. Once we created an air-conditioned conference marquee in the middle of the desert. That was pretty exciting, everyone wearing suits and walking barefoot in the sand. It's good to be different and one of the main things we noticed is that we achieved full attendance.

What should planners consider when organising outdoor events?

Just employ best-practice techniques and consider things that a well-travelled international client would consider, such as fire and safety measures, evacuation procedures and when it comes to food there has to be strict guidelines on what you can serve, for how long and where. All of these factors are part of the equation.

Why is the MENA a globally attractive conference venue?

It all comes down to safety, security and the fact that the region has so much to offer. What people really appreciate is that despite being so big we're flexible and that keeps clients coming back. There are no limitations in the Middle East, you never say no. You've got to keep coming up with new ideas that will keep people coming back. Everyone talks about Dubai but the real magic of the city is that it keeps up with the times and keeps reinventing itself, the meetings industry needs to follow.

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