THE END OF 2016 WAS A BUSY FEW MONTHS FOR OUR TEAM IN THE MIDDLE EAST
November in the UAE is synonymous with motorsport. Working with McLaren Automotive we hosted a dynamic track day, for a number of prospective customers of McLaren’s 570S, on the Hill Circuit of the Dubai Autodrome. A few weeks later and 100 kilometres up the road, at the Yas Marina Circuit, Nico Rosberg sealed his maiden Formula One World Championship ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. We were working on behalf of a range of clients including Magnum, Martini, Rexona, UBS and UPS.
After the success of Rugby Sevens’ return to the Summer Olympics in Rio, all eyes were on Dubai for the opening event of the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series. A few highlights of the 360° program that we delivered for our long-time client included the first cashless payment system at Dubai Sevens, a plethora of customer awards to celebrate HSBC’s 70th anniversary in the UAE, a memorable song-filled appearance from the Fiji team for HSBC’s guests in the VIP suite and a client-event with brand ambassadors Ben Ryan, Brian O’Driscoll and George Gregan.
Shortly afterwards we delivered the HSBC Youth Festival, aimed at helping grow grassroots rugby in the region. The event included an appearance from Alex Goode, the England and Saracen’s Full Back, and included more than 3,000 players across 220 teams.
We worked with HSBC to deliver a week long VIP hospitality programme for its guests at the 2017 HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, where Englishman Tommy Fleetwood upset the odds to claim his second European Tour title.
Rafael Nadal won the tennis season’s annual curtain-raiser for a fourth time as he beat David Goffin in the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Working with the title sponsor we delivered Mubadala’s interactive zone, which this year had a passport training scheme to get young Emiratis and other children playing the sport. To inspire this next generation of tennis stars, six of the sport’s top players including Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga took part in autograph signing sessions in Mubadala’s interactive zone in the sponsor village. As a unique twist for 2016, our seventh year working with Mubadala, we commissioned a local artist to work on a sculpture throughout the tournament using tennis items to create a national treasure, the Date Tree.
More than 25,000 people took the streets of three cities in the Emirates to take part in five Electric Runs, a series of neon-fuelled mass participation night runs. These runners, walkers and dancers were joined on three occasions by the most successful middle distance runner in Olympic history – Dame Kelly Holmes – who is an Electric Run veteran and Daman ActiveLife Ambassador.
The year ended with a bang as we managed a New Year’s Eve party on Al Maryah Island. The 14,500 partygoers were treated to a number of popular Arab acts on stage and a spectacular eight-minute fireworks display. Just over the water we were running another New Year’s Eve celebration in Yas Mall, where footage of parties from around the world were streamed live to big screens in the venue to create a truly global party.