One of the greatest joys of travelling for work — aside from taking advantage of all those air miles you’ve clocked up—is the chance to tag a few days of downtime to the bookends of your trip. The Great Hotels of the World recently reported on a survey that stated 75% of business travellers will extend their trip for the purpose of leisure, and this ‘bleisure’ trend continues to rise in popularity as an economically viable and environmentally-conscious option.
Allow the promise of world-class service and a dry climate to entice you to the Middle East. A region rich with both history and innovation, the two parallels collide for an otherworldly experience.
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The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is bang on the money, with The Mandarin Oriental, Jumeira being the closest beachfront resort to both Downtown Dubai and the financial and business districts. You’ll be able to conveniently commute to the World Trade Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre and Dubai International Airport within just 20 minutes’ drive.
The Manadarin Oriental, Jumeira comprises 178 spacious rooms and 78 elegant suites that each boast its own breathtaking sea or skyline view, while many come with their own private balcony; plenty of space to accommodate the entire headcount of 99% of all businesses in the EU. Choose from no less than six unique restaurants and bars, with highlights including Tasca by Portuguese celebrity chef Jose Avillez and Netsu, a Warayaki-style Japanese steakhouse by Australian-born chef Ross Shonhan.
What really makes Mandarin Oriental, Jumeira stand out as a forerunner for business-focused travel is their understanding of how employee wellbeing is integral to success. Their Mindful Meetings concept takes ‘a progressive approach to meetings to help you drive better results’, offering a creative programme of wellness elements designed to inspire and engage guests. In-house specialists can tailor-make yoga and stretching sessions for breakouts, guide meditations, offer digital wellness dips, host stress management workshops and create relaxation zones that will enhance meetings, leaving participants feeling less stressed, more productive and ready to focus on achieving objectives.
Mindful Meetings can also help colleagues connect with community outreach volunteering programmes, team-building challenges, cocktail receptions, laughing yoga, creative colouring and exclusive after-hours spa use. Of course, the catering also excels by fuelling with fresh, local and organic cuisine specifically chosen to stimulate, nourish and fight fatigue. With Wi-Fi throughout the hotel allowing for seamless flexible working, you won’t even need to turn on your out-of-office.
If you do manage to tear yourself away, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Within easy reach, you’ll find La Mer’s beachside shopping, dining and waterparks, and unmissable attractions such as Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Opera, the Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall. But with luxury beach cabanas overlooking the Arabian Gulf, a wide range of water activities and culturally-influenced spa treatments, we wouldn’t be surprised if you choose to stay after the last presentation.