Taking part in events and competitions – whether serious or more light-hearted – is a great way to build company spirit. What’s on offer in the UAE?

Try these great options for SME company team events

How many people does your SME employ? Numbers vary: the accepted definition of an SME ranges from 10 to 250. But no matter how many there are in your company, uniting them into one team is a vital part of succeeding as a business. Indeed, a smart SME may define itself not so much as ‘being fewer than 250 people’, but as ‘being one team’.

Of course there are conventional ways to create this unity of purpose, and good management by its very nature delivers many of these. However there are also less conventional ways to engender family spirit. If incorporating the innovative and unconventional is part of your organisation’s DNA – and as an SME, it probably is –these could well be for you.

There are two main options. Firstly, commissioning a specialist provider to arrange events for you. And secondly, seeking out and entering some of the competitions taking place across the region.

Specialist providers
There are a handful of events companies in the UAE, and as fellow SMEs, supporting them is a positive step that works both ways.


Activities these organisations provide typically include: creative events (from painting to fashion and film); problem-solving challenges (such as constructing anything from boats to airships, chariots, cars and rockets); interactive business games; and community and socially-responsible initiatives. You can ask these providers to tailor what they offer to match business challenges that are particularly relevant to you, qualities you want to bring out in your people or dynamics you want to encourage. Don’t just go for off-the-shelf activities.

Some names to contact include:

  • Biz-events. Regional representatives of an established brand, Catalyst Global. Offers a suite of over 75 teambuilding activities, many of which can be purpose-built for groups of 30-3000 people.
  • Teambuilding.ae. In the market for nearly 10 years, this organisation works with partners from around the globe to source its events.
  • Flying Elephant. For over 16 years, Flying Elephant Events has excelled at event management, from corporate events and product launches to family entertainment and royal parties.
  • Executive Oasis International. A Canadian-based consulting firm with a strong network of alliance partners in the Middle East, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Egypt.

Competitions
Many participatory sporting occasions offer a team entry option, from considerable challenges such as the Dubai Marathon to less serious such as tug-of-war.

Typical events coming up soon, that you might want to have a go at, include:

  • The Dubai Investments Park Road Race on the 4th of April – corporate teams can compete over 3km or 10km.
  • The Dubai Corporate Games, organised by High 5 Events. Held on 14/15 March, this will be the sixth running of this event, which brings together over 2500 participants from leading multinationals and local groups. Popular categories are football, basketball, cricket, tennis, table tennis and dragon boat racing. The weekend is also two full days out for spectators, with activities, food stalls, competitions, music and entertainment.
  • The Hercules Games, March 22. More than 100 corporate teams will take part in this networking and team-building sports challenge. The 12 competitions are unique in that they aren’t classic sports, but challenges ‘with a twist’. The focus is on fun, and there are special awards including Coolest Team, Fairplay Team, Kindest Team and Smartest Team. Participants are encouraged to bring family and partners, and there are activities to keep the kids busy.

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