When Wendy Butler, senior program manager, global meeting services, at M&I, Caledonia, Wisc., was searching for an international destination that would create buzz and excitement, Dubai rose to the top. Her client, a food company, was bringing together a group of 100 marketing directors from around the world and the focus of the February 2013 meeting was on emerging markets. “Where better to hold a meeting like that than in an emerging market?” she says.

                                                                                                      Dubai Creek

As she worked with the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel and other suppliers, she found they were highly sophisticated in their understanding of the meetings market. “They know everything there is to know about how to work with groups and are very efficient. The hotel offered the same delegate package pricing options as you would find at European properties, and all I had to do was pick.” There were no issues with time or language differences. “It didn’t even feel like I was calling the Middle East, because I could get online early in the day and reach my vendors and everyone spoke perfect English, even in the restaurants.”

Dubai is located in the Middle East, but it is truly a global city. Airlift was fairly straightforward, with attendees making a single connection. She was sold.