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Thu 25 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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Destination 2009

This month MIME goes global to showcase the ultimate meeting venues and incentive packages.

This month MIME goes global to showcase the ultimate meeting venues and incentive packages to keep delegates motivated throughout the New Year.

An Irish affair

Delegates travelling to Dublin will be greeted with a traditionally warm welcome on arrival into the colourful city.

With a variety of music, sights and scenes - there's something for everyone - meaning you'll never be short of an incentive idea for the New Year.

Stroll around the central shopping area, which runs from Henry Street to O'Connell Street and Grafton Street, to pick up a variety of souvenirs.

Those in search of culture will love the historic castles, museums and galleries.

The city is also famous for its playwrights and plentiful theatres.

Dubliners like to eat and so the last 10 years have seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan and chic food culture, which is mirrored in the hundreds of restaurants you will find dotted throughout Dublin.

Have a pint of Guinness or a shot of whiskey in one of the city's 1000 pubs, while listening to a live Irish folk band.

On a multi-day incentive package, there's time to escape the bustle of the city and visit the countryside or coastal village, just 20 minutes from the city centre.

For incentive and venue booking information visit www.advantageico.com or call +353 1 450 2422.

Dublinin the pipeline

The Convention Centre Dublin is Ireland's new world-class, purpose-built international conference and event venue, scheduled to open in September 2010.

The centre is expected to host some of the world's leading international association conferences and corporate events.

Positioned in the Spencer Dock area on the banks of the River Liffey, Convention Centre Dublin is said to combine space, flexibility and futuristic technology. Out in the wild

Take clients off-road with one of holiday and incentive company HTT's 2009 Kenya Safari packages.

Incentives can be customised to meet clients' needs. One idea would be to enjoy a brief insight into the city of Nairobi and its people en route to Lake Nakuru National park before arriving at Sarova Lionhill Lodge (www.sarovahotels.com).

The lake is home to a fantastic bird sanctuary; inhabited at times by more than one million flamingos.

Delegates can also visit Mara, where the greatest attraction is watching the spectacular animal species, including lions, cheetahs and elephants.

Meet the Maasai Community, an African ethnic group living in the reserve, before spending the evening at Keekorok Lodge (www.discoverwilderness.com).

The trip involves a few early starts as this is when the animals are most active but it is unlikely delegates will mind getting up to drive across the Mara hills, woodlands and rivers.

On the final day guests are taken to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for the departure flight. Or, if stretching the budget isn't a problem, a beach holiday in the palm-fringed beaches of Kenya coast could be in store.

For bookings visit www.travelhtt.com or call +971 4 227 2225.

Safari details

Prices start from (US) $703 each, based on eight people sharing one Safari Minivan.

Cost includes pick up and drop off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and full-board safari, all park entrance fees, a meet and greet service, complimentary water and a flower garland on arrival.

The safari Minivan has a pop-up roof for maximum game-viewing comfort, with a professional English speaking guide.

The price does not include the cost of obtaining visas, expenses such as laundry, beverages, bar bill, telephone, mineral water, tips, international flights, taxes or travel and medical insurance.

Sightseeing in Singapore

With it's wealth of tourist attractions, as well as the beauty of the city itself, Singapore has a lot to offer the Middle East business traveller.

It's a known haven for tourists who want to indulge in a shopping spree and also has a plethora of museums, exhibitions and festivals throughout the year.

New events and attractions have also helped drive interest in Singapore's offerings as an incentive destination, including the opening of the Singapore Flyer, the world's largest observation wheel and the first ever FORMULA 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix night race.

There is no shortage of top-end hotels to recommend to clients and the region has the distinct advantage of knowing how to cater to the specific needs of Middle Eastern travellers.

The hotels serve Halal food, have Arabic speaking staff and offer spacious suites. According to Singapore tourism board there has been a 20% growth in visitors from this region, a number which is forecast to increase next year - putting it on the 2009 hot list. Meetings in the making

Integrated resorts Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa are scheduled to open in 2009 and 2010, in line with Singapore's growing meetings industry.

The $5-billion Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort will feature two 2000-seat theatres, an ArtScience museum, luxury retail outlets, unique dining venues such as the floating pavilions in the Marina Bay, and leisure facilities, including a skating rink and indoor canals.

The next phase of the development includes Singapore's second botanic garden, known as Gardens by the Bay. Occupying an area of 101 hectares, it will focus on mass floral displays and creative plant-based edutainment. A taste of Asia

Malaysia is set to host a range of international conferences and conventions in the New Year, a great excuse to pencil it in the diary and organise a meeting and incentive trip to remember.

Renowned for its culture, people, cuisine, rainforests and beaches, Malaysia provides a colourful destination for delegates, with plenty of activity options.

Save the date 2009

• Pacific & Asian Communication Association (PACA) Conference January 10 to 12 www.fbmk.upm.edu.my/paca2009/

• Public - Private Partnerships in Development International Conference January 15 to 16 www.feaconference.um.edu.my

• International Conference on Office Management and Technology 2009 (INCOMT) www.incomt09.com

• American Overseas Dietetic Association Conference 2009 (AODA 2009) April 23 to 25 www.eatrightOverseas.org

• The Sixth Malaysia International Conference on Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MICOLLAC 2009) www.fbmk.upm.edu.my/micollac

• The Fourth International Conference of Languages, Linguistics and Literature May 5 to 6 www.fpbahasa.ukm.my/SoLLsINTEC09/

• International Conference Human Capital Development (IConHCD 2009) May 25 to 27 www.ump.edu.my/ump/iconhcd

• International Conference on Marine Ecosystem May 26 to 28 www.ekomar.ukm.my/incomes2009/

• Fifth Asian Mathematical Conference 2009 (AMC) June 22 to 26 www.math.usm.my/amc2009

• Fourteenth International Conference on Thinking (ICOT 2009) www.14thinkingconference.com

• World Airline Entertainment 2009 Annual Conference & Exhibition August 19 to 22 www.waea.org Getting there

Emirates Airline: flies from Dubai, four times daily

Etihad Airways: flies from Abu Dhabi, three times weekly

Qatar Airways: flies from Doha, daily

Singapore Airlines: flies from Dubai twice daily, from Abu Dhabi three times weekly

Visa: GCC citizens do not require a visa

Where to stay

Amara Hotels: www.amarahotels.com

Banyan Tree Bintan, Bintan Resorts: www.bintan-resorts.com

Fullerton Hotel: www.fullertonhotel.com

Pan Pacific Hotel: www.panpacific.com/singapore

New Majestic Hotel and 1929: www.newmajestichotel.com or www.designhotels.com

Although it's strongly influenced by the Islamic world the area has strong Buddhist and Asian elements. Watch open-air chanting, listen to traditional Malaysian music or wind down from a busy day spent networking with a massage at one of the many Zen villas dotted around the beach.

Accommodate, meet and dine in Kuala Lumpur

Located in Kuala Lumpur city centre, the Mandarin Oriental sits adjacent to the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers, overlooking the city-centre park.

The hotel provides an ideal retreat for business and leisure; comprising of two ballrooms and 16 function rooms, including one of the largest pillarless ballrooms in the region and a business centre.

A fully-equipped gym, outdoor infinity-edge swimming pool, tennis court, sauna room and jacuzzi compliments 643 luxury guest rooms, 41 elegant suites and 51 executive apartments.

There's a choice of five restaurants offering everything from classic Cantonese delicacies to contemporary European cuisine and distinct Asian flavours.

For reservations call Mandarin Oriental (toll free) 800 065 0539. Jordanfor less

Located just three hours away from Dubai, in the heart of the Middle East, Jordan boasts stunning hotels, a treasure of history, a pleasant year-round climate and offers planners good value for money.

While the meetings industry looks set to be impacted by the global credit crisis in the second half of 2009, Jordan is debt free, which means that its stable economy is unlikely to be effected.

This offers bookers assurance that prices are unlikely to soar over the next year or so.

Planning ahead with an incentive trip to the historical country, especially the capital; Amman, could be the perfect way to keep delegates happy in 2009, offering an incentive on a budget.

Meet me in the Maldives

For planners looking to splash out and reward hard work in 2009, the Maldives provides the ideal location.

Plan an intimate, highly-focused business gathering on a private island surrounded by white sand and turquoise waters at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives Kuda Huraa.

Group activities, including fishing, snorkeling and dolphin cruises, are great for team-building and incentives.

Explorer Cruises are also available to hire at the resort.

With spa and wellness set to be at the top of every delegate's wish list in 2009 clients will jump at the chance to relax in the open-air, island spa.

For more information visit www.fourseasons.com/maldiveskh/meetings/.

Where to stay

Kempinski Hotel Istar Dead Sea www.kempinski-deadsea.com

Four Seasons Hotel Amman www.fourseasons.com/amman

Möevenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea www.moevenpick-hotels.com

Jordan Valley Marriott Resort and Spa www.marriott.com

Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, Amman www.ichotelsgroup.com

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