Expert Speak: Linda Mwaffak, Director of Sales at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre
Nestled within 15 hectares, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is a heavenly haven in the midst of the bustling Dubai city. With multiple customizable indoor and scenic outdoor venues, this five-star luxury hotel is a preferred option for destination weddings.
We got more insights on wedding planning, accommodation, and venues available from Linda Mwaffak, Director of Sales at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, who told us how the hotel stands out in comparison to others, and how this luxurious property is ideal for hosting a big, fabulous Indian wedding.
1. Couples want to work with teams who have a deep understanding of their culture and requirements. What kind of facilities can Indian/NRI couples expect at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre that make it a perfect choice for hosting Indian weddings?
“Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is the perfect one-stop-shop for Indian wedding festivities. We have one of the largest ballrooms in the Middle East, which can host over 1,500 guests, making it ideal for a big, fantastic wedding. The Great Ballroom is equipped with the latest audiovisual equipment supported by world standard technicians, providing the perfect facility to host extravagant themed musical events such as a sangeet night or a cocktail party. It has an onsite bridal suite, facilitating pre and post-wedding arrangements for the couple. Supported by 580 rooms, luxury suites, and smaller functional event spaces, it is ideal for hosting destination weddings and multiple functions under one roof. The hotel is staffed by over 50% nationals from the Indian Sub-continent, making it easy to communicate in the national language. A dedicated team in the banqueting department is assigned to the wedding party, and it is the single point of contact for planning and executing the functions, addressing the room inventory enquiries, and for making the Food and Beverages arrangements.”
2. With destination weddings being the biggest trend, how many Indian weddings have taken place at the property so far?
“Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is one of the leading event venues in Dubai to host Asian, Middle Eastern and Western expat weddings. In the last two years, over 50 Indian weddings have taken place successfully at the hotel.”
3. Having exceptionally luxurious and the grandest of ballrooms in the Middle East which are perfect for big, fabulous Indian weddings, how many guests can you accommodate in each ballroom? How compatible are they with the various and latest technology, decor needs and seating arrangements?
“Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre has several acclaimed wedding venues, which provide the perfect event spaces to host multiple functions characteristic of large-scale Indian weddings. The venues offer the flexibility to extend and divide the moveable partitions based on the wedding party’s requirements. The event space is entirely customizable with a round table seating arrangement and provision for the stage and a dance floor. The banqueting team works with the wedding party and event management company to tailor the event layout and decorations based on their requirements. The Great Ballroom can accommodate from 850 to 2,000 guests, the Wasl Ballroom can fit in 200 guests, and the Falcon Ballroom has space for 500 guests. All the ballrooms are equipped with the latest technology such as projection systems, A/V equipment, smoke machines and multimedia, which are managed by world-class technicians. We also work with a specialized audiovisual and lighting company to cater to the guest’s needs.”
4. Does the property have wedding planners and decorators on its panel who couples could work with? How open is the hotel about working with new or external teams that couples may prefer?
“Yes, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre has a dedicated team of specialists including wedding planners, decorators, and an A/V in-sourcing company available for the hosts to choose from. We are also completely flexible to work with the wedding party’s preferred specialist teams to address their discerning needs.”
5. An Indian wedding includes several rituals that may not be possible to conduct at a lot of international venues. Are there any restrictions or special arrangements that couples need to keep in mind when hosting a wedding there?
“Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is the perfect venue to host Indian festivities, as we have multiple event venues which can be customized for the bespoke requirements of various Indian functions. We can also accommodate the important Indian ritual of pheras indoors in the functional areas, or outdoors at the hotel garden.”
6. Food being the number one priority at Indian weddings, many communities prefer having vegetarian or vegan options on the menu. How comfortable are your chefs with preparing traditional vegetarian cuisine that will please Indian palettes?
“We have a team of specialized Indian chefs, who can prepare vegetarian meals to cater to the bespoke requirements of Indian communities, and regional cuisines to appeal to the specific palates of the North, South, East or West ethnicities from India. We are also open to collaborating with the wedding party’s preferred chefs and F&B venues to address specific needs.”
7. When planning a destination wedding, logistics and budgeting can become a tad bit tricky. What is the approximate budget that families should keep in mind when hosting a wedding at Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre?
“The hotel can cater to wedding functions from as small as 25/30 guests to 2,000 guests at different price ranges based on the event spaces booked, set-up requirements, and attendee numbers. We have a variety of food and beverage menu options with different price points, to suit the budget of the wedding party.”
8. Dubai ranks at the top for couples looking for destination wedding options in the Middle East. What makes Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre different from other properties?
“The hotel is conveniently located next to the airport, making logistical arrangements easily available. It is also close to the Downtown area, yet away from the city’s hustle and bustle which makes it the perfect destination to host grand Indian weddings. It has 24 event spaces to cater to functions of variable attendance sizes, 580 well-equipped rooms and suites to house overseas guests, and 18 onsite restaurants and bars which offer multi-cultural cuisine options ranging from Chinese, Thai, Italian, Continental, Indian, Japanese, and more.”