Incentive Connections, Dubai, specialise in offering a comprehensive range of destination management services. Here, Managing Director & Owner, Porus Pesi Guzder, provides an insightful overview of his award-winning company and his philosophy for success.

Successful event planning is a time-consuming and demanding task, where the devil is in the detail. The success of any event is directly proportionate to the ability to plan down to the minutest element and its flawless execution, despite a reasonable degree of eleventh-hour requirement variance.

Porus Pesi Guzder, Managing Director & Owner of Dubai based Incentive Connections, tells us how his Destination Management Company operates in this sector, describes the portfolio of services offered and passionately elucidates his mission to ensure that his clients receive a high-touch experience that brings their brand to life. He states it simply “A good event at its core, is essentially about giving each attendee an extraordinary memory to last them a lifetime.”

The term ‘destination management’ was first coined in 1972 to describe the extended role of logistics experts operating within the travel and tourism sector.  What do you consider to be the main differentiators between destination management companies and travel agents / tour operators?

I believe the main differences lie in the comprehensive range of services offered and provision of local knowledge and expertise. Unlike tour operators which generally offer pre-packaged trips and schedules, destination management companies respond to individual requests, providing niche experiences. Clients expect the local touch. It’s easy to search the Internet for information on a specific destination, but a thorough understanding of the culture, traditions, weather patterns of a region together with up-to-date knowledge of local restaurants, entertainment venues and tourist attractions is crucial when creating high calibre event packages. Using a destination management company is also a time and cost-effective alternative – clients save money by avoiding the multiple fees and charges accrued by using a range of providers.

Incentive Connections is a leading full-service destination management company with extensive market coverage in Abu Dhabi, the rest of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar.  Could you tell us more about your company and the range of services offered?

Incentive Connections boasts of a team of seasoned, passionate and experienced tourism professionals. With a combined industry experience in excess of 40 years and an extensive partner network sharing our common goal for excellence, we engineer creative solutions with the backing of robust logistical support. We combine innovative thinking with practical local knowledge and the right connections to deliver results that exceed our clients’ expectations. We listen to our clients’ needs, propose ingenious ways to delight the attendees and dedicate ourselves to creating a memorable experience – not only in the corporate event management space but also for the leisure (FIT) – free independent traveller.

Our range of services broadly fits under the easy to remember anacronym umbrella of MICE – Meetings – Incentives – Conferences –  Events.  Delving deeper, we take care of corporate events from start to finish and include the little extras too. We create itineraries and bespoke programmes, source venues, dining options, guest accommodation, social activities, audio-visual production, entertainment and speakers, sightseeing and tourism options, whilst keeping the brand as the nucleus.   We work in close partnership with our clients to understand their specific requirements and budgets and to design, plan and execute brand experiences that hit on target.

The leisure industry in the region is constantly evolving with many new and exciting developments. Our destinations are a tourist’s delight – world famous attractions, shopping extravagance, pristine beaches with stunning scenery set within a crime free environment which boasts of world class hospitality. Incentive Connections again customises holidays, based on specific interests, preferences, budgets and dates. We design simple and complex specialised itineraries and offer a wealth of information and advice, tips and guidelines to ensure both individual travellers and groups receive an enriching experience.

Our entire range of services is far more exhaustive. We also specialise in arranging distinctive meetings and events at extraordinary locations – the options really are limited only by imagination.

Since the unification of the UAE’s seven emirates, the region has undoubtedly made its mark as a leading tourism destination. In your opinion, what sets you apart from your competitors and what are your philosophies for success?

It is indeed an exciting time to operate as a Destination Management Company in this region. Dubai is currently the 4th most visited city in the world behind London, Paris and Bangkok and has the world’s highest visitor per resident ratio. Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2020 the number of visitors to the region will amount to a staggering 20 million per year, double the number recorded in 2012.  There has been extensive investment in infrastructure in the form of airlines, airports, metro stations, shopping malls, hotels and family friendly destinations, and there is vast potential for destination management companies, such as Incentive Connections, to reflect this within their service offerings.

I believe the key to success in such a dynamic sector lies firmly in a company’s human resources and providing that little bit extra to clients. Here, at Incentive Connections, we pride ourselves on our family of professional, dedicated and courteous employees and partners and the creative, accurate, timely and customised services they offer. We recognise that as the region expands and develops into an inspiring global attraction for international business and leisure travellers alike, we will certainly be confronted with significant challenges. There certainly is no room for complacency and we respond by adapting and evolving, listening and acting upon the needs of our clients whilst building on our reputation of trust and dependability.

You mentioned earlier that Incentive Connections also specialise in a niche market – distinctive special events at extraordinary locations. Can you give our readers a flavour for the ‘out of the ordinary’ events you’ve arranged and hosted?

Incentive Connections have had the pleasure of engineering numerous creative events for our esteemed clients. Our major highlights have included catering for a silver-service dinner in the desert, a sunrise breakfast reception in hot air balloons whilst floating through clouds, dinners with royalty at summer palaces as well as behind the scenes tours of prestigious landmarks and attractions – the towering Burj Khalifa and the glittering Burj Al Arab for example.

We’re also delighted to have made it into the record books!  We have our own entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for organising the largest team building event ever held at one single venue together with greatest number of people competing in a water balloon game. This took place at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai, where in hosting the 1200 strong McDonalds Group team, 720 people from the organisation simultaneously took part in a giant water balloon tossing game. It really doesn’t get any more unique than that!

If you could leave us with one phrase to sum up the Incentive Connections experience, what would it be?

‘Great events don’t just happen. They are works of attentive listening, creative engineering and watertight execution’.

We partner with organisations to create great events and leverage them for value. Whether it’s a small group or a giant conference, we give each client the same care and attention to detail. Our commitment to excellence in service really sets Incentive Connections apart. We foster long-term partnerships with our clients. We are trusted partners for reputed global agencies and have had the pleasure of partnering with various international corporations for their events.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Your journey with us begins with a simple conversation: we invite you to contact us to discuss you next project!

Further information on services offered by Incentive Connections and destinations covered as well as video and photographic imagery of events hosted, can be found at