The Brief:

Our client asked us to create a memorable climax for their annual three-day managers’ getaway. One of our tasks was to create a memorable gala dinner on the final night and we quickly got to work finding the right venue to capture the romance of the region. Luckily, Abu Dhabi is a part of the world that JBE is very familiar with and we knew just where to find that something special.

 

Our Challenge:

This event presented a number of unique challenges, the most obvious being the remote location. Naturally, this meant that nothing could get lost or left behind or we’d be facing a four-hour round trip when we had little time to spare. We were also conscious of the budget and the limitations of the chosen venue – we only had a portion of the property rented for the evening. This meant we had to be discreet and not get in the way of the other guests. Finally, this brief came with the possibility of a nightmare scenario: In the desert, sand storms can appear out of nowhere and without warning, potentially transforming our fantasy paradise into a dense fog of hot sand in as little as twenty minutes. It wasn’t likely to happen, but it was always in the back of our minds.

 

Our solutions:

We quickly fell in love with the Qasr al Sarab desert resort. A picturesque oasis in the middle of the desert, the luxurious getaway came with the added romance of being located quite literally in the middle of nowhere – the nearest town was a two-hour drive away. In Abu Dhabi, the sun sets in about twenty minutes and is a spectacular sight when seen over the dunes of the Liwa desert. We decided to make this spectacle a feature of our evening, with a cocktail reception starting off 30 minutes before sunset.
We took over a terraced area of the resort overlooking the sand dunes and transformed it into a candlelit retreat in which guests could relax and enjoy the environment. We made extra room by partially submerging the canápe tables in the reflecting pool at the centre of the space. After the sun disappeared below the horizon, the space was illuminated by meticulously arranged displays of candles. Later, we released a helium balloon carrying a stage lamp, elevating it to over 25 metres in height so that it covered the whole terrace in a warm amber glow (reminiscent of Arabian moonlight).
For the dinner itself, we led the guests to a cosy courtyard that contained its own reflecting pool. Here, we covered the entire area including the pool, with an internally lit Perspex floor. We also lit the arches overlooking the courtyard and pin-spotted each table to give the impression of lilies floating in serene aquamarine water.
Following an outstanding dinner, the guests returned to the terrace area where they were entertained by a seven-piece classical rock band, David Garrett Rock Symphonies. We built our own stage and dance floor as the venue’s own setup wasn’t appropriate for a night-time concert. While the guests were rocking out, we then transformed the courtyard area into a club setting, changing the under-floor lighting to a warmer colour and replacing the dining tables with lounge seating to allow the guests to keep the party going once the musical performance had wrapped up.

 

The Result

We made sure to plan meticulously, execute deliberately and prepare a similarly chic backup in should our worst case scenario happen. Thanks to our brilliant, detail-focused team and a lot of crossed-fingers, the event went off without a hitch. The Mewa staff were wowed by the truly magical atmosphere, we came in under budget and the desert was kind enough not blow away all our hard work.

 

 

Glenn McCormack
At Seasons at Guinness Storehouse, we have been working with JBE as a preferred partner for several years to provide fun, creative solutions to our corporate clients’ entertainment requirements. The JBE team offer a first-class service from site visit to event delivery, and work hand in glove with us as a venue, listening to detailed briefs, to ensure we continue to exceed our international MICE clients’ expectations on every step of their event experience.
General Manager, Seasons @ Guinnness Storehouse, Ireland
Mike O'Shaughnessy
John and the team at JBE have provided Wallace Travel Group with artists, staging, production and event management services for more than twenty years. During our many years working together we have collaborated on countless programmes and events of varying sizes and budgets and John and his team deliver every single time without exception. John has a keen eye for events with exceptional creativity and his attention to detail is truly world class. We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending John and his team to any prospective clients.
Managing Director, Wallace Travel Group, Ireland
Mr. Paul Carty
Our clients at the Guinness Storehouse quite correctly demanded the best in entertainment . The clients always looked for innovative solutions , tailored solutions that added great value to the event and to their customers enjoyment. JBE always delivered.
Managing Director, Guinness Storehouse 2020
Paul Harkin
The team at UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science recently had the pleasure of working with John Brady and Cathy Tonge on the delivery of an international academic conference. The Universitas 21 Health Sciences Group meeting brought together nearly 150 people from 20 countries, and necessitated creativity and absolute attention to detail. John and Cathy delivered on both fronts, bringing their immense experience, patience and good humour to bear on a complex and demanding academic and social programme. As a team and as an organisation, we benefited enormously from their help and guidance throughout the week. The success of the event, underlined by the exceptional feedback from delegates, is a testament to their professionalism and expertise. We look forward to working with John in the future and wholeheartedly recommend his services to any prospective client.
Director of Strategic Development, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science
Stephen Leddy FCCA
Hidden Hearing hosts an annual event in March for all of our staff and staff partners. Up until 2010 we organised this event in house. However we quickly realised that we did not have the contacts, skill set or time to prepare and operate an event of the calibre we wanted to host.

After interviewing several Event Management Companies we appointed Lorraine Bond and the team at JBE to manage our week end in March. After our initial consultation in which we told Lorraine what we wanted from the event, she immediately began the process of choosing the right venue, in this case Lough Erne.

Lorraine is very hands on and we quickly built a relationship whereby she took total control of the event understanding exactly what we required. Her energy knowledge and attention to detail was incredible.

She recommended a suitable theme for the Gala Dinner event, that was exciting and tailored exactly to our requirements. Our accommodation, food and leisure activities were all managed with skill and to exact cost and time deadlines. Our weekend transpired to be the best event that we ever hosted. Staff moral increased exponentially after the event.

In Summery Lorraine and the Team at JBE are dynamic, efficient, knowledgeable , professional and meticulous event managers. Great fun to work with !
Managing Director, Hidden Hearing, Ireland
Catherine O'Byrne
The team at John Brady Event Masters arrange the entertainment aspect of the majority of events in the 17th century Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Indeed on many occasions, they manage the entire process from the guests’ initial site visit to their final departure after their event. The high standard of creativity and unrivalled service they offer sets them apart from other suppliers. The clients’ opinion of JBEM is reflected in the enormous level of repeat business.

I work very closely with John Brady and his “can do” attitude aligned to a friendly manner, which is very much client focussed, is apparent at all times. He is calm, resourceful, highly motivated and very easy to work with. This approach is prevalent throughout the organisation and is evident in the courteous behaviour of each staff member as the team enjoy the challenge of creating, organising and producing successful events.

I would have no hesitation in recommending JBEM to address all requirements for any event, large or small, high profile or low key.
Head of Corporate Events, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Ireland
Alan Gilligan
Having recently worked with the John Brady Entertainment Team to provide the musical and performance acts for the launch of our Audi North Dublin Terminal showroom, I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone. I wanted our event to stand out from any other dealership launch in Ireland past or present and found that both John and Lorraine brought new and creative ideas from the outset and coupled those ideas with a genuine enthusiasm for the event. They worked tirelessly and late in to the night in preparation and rehearsal for the event to ensure that it will live long in the memory. A big thanks to John, Lorraine and the entire team at John Brady Entertainment for the wonderful job you did.
Group Marketing Manager, Joe Duffy Motor Group
Eva Seitz-Kolm
Since 2009 we have worked with the company John Brady Event Masters, Dublin on the occasion of a high profile corporate event held each year in different locations (Ireland, France and the United Arab Emirates). Mr. Brady and his team managed all aspects of staging and production for the meeting conference, award ceremony and Gala Evening in the most professional way with dedication, attention to detail and always striving to achieve the best result. Through his excellent network we were able to contract different international headline artists for each of the Gala Evening performances. Their personal commitment is second to none and the result each year exceeded the expectations of all participants. We look forward to working with Mr. Brady and his team for many more events to come.
MANEVA CONSULTING, SpainS.L. Sotogrande, Spain