How to choose the best event planner in the UAE

by Hafla

Planning an event can be quite the task, but it can be simplified with the help of the right event planner.

Dubai is a leading global events destination, While events drive visitor numbers, visitors create economic opportunity. In 2021, Dubai World Trade Centre hosted 189 events, welcoming 1.55 million visitors, an increasing trajectory for both event and visitor growth confirms that the MICE sector is instrumental in supporting the emirate’s economic agenda.


The center’s exhibitions in 2022 performed remarkably well, attracting 12,000 exhibitors, a 35 per cent rise from the previous year, and drawing more than 37,000 companies to the events hosted by the center. Dubai hosted 4.67m visitors in the first quarter of 2023, up 17 per cent from 3.97m in the same period last year. 

Source: ArabianBusiness

Brief About Event Planners:

Event planners plan several events & execute them according to clients specifications. These events can take anywhere from two days to an entire month to plan depending on the size of the event. 

Event planners have several job titles.

  1. Director of Events
  2. Registration Manager
  3. Event Planner
  4. Event Coordinator
  5. Corporate Events Manager
  6. Meeting Planner
  7. Event Manager
  8. Event Specialist
  9. Conference Coordinator
  10. Senior Meetings Planner
  11. Party Planners

An event planner can select the venue, recommend the food and beverage choices, source the entertainment, create the invitations and be on-site on the day of production.

If you cannot manage any of the above on your own, then you need to start your search for an event planner.

Choosing an event planner to suit your needs is an essential part of the process, and here is how you should go about it. 

  1. Experience counts

Experience will make itself count. It translates into expertise and problem shooting abilities, and eventually into excellence. You may be tempted to hire the trendy new company on the circuit, but remember that the one with multiple years and events tucked under the belt is going to be the right choice.

Here are two important reasons why experience matters for event planners:

  • They know how to plan and execute events of all sizes and types, from small corporate meetings to large-scale conferences. With a proven track record of success, they have the expertise to avoid common pitfalls and ensure seamless event experiences.


  • Their extensive network allows them to connect with top vendors for catering, AV equipment, security, and more. Their efficiency and negotiation skills enable them to promptly accomplish tasks while securing favorable rates.
  1. Recommendations are reviews in real time

While doing a background check, always give weightage to feedback from people you know. By all means, go through the online review section, but nothing beats word of mouth. To be personally recommended is a stamp of guarantee. Just make sure the recommendation includes words like organized, efficient, flexible and professional.

  1. One-stop-shop 

A successful event planner needs a large repertoire of vendors. More vendors means more options and also a greater choice when it comes to price. After all, one of the advantages of hiring an event planner is the one-stop-shop experience. Being able to choose from a variety of options displayed in one place is satisfying, and being aware of the price range ensures that you have made the best choice. 

  1. Suits your needs

Select a company that specializes in what you want. Planners typically cover many event types, but are known to excel in a few. Find the one that suits your requirements, so that your needs are not lost in translation.

  1. No hidden costs

Discuss budgets, fee and policies with your event planner before you sign on the dotted line. Ensure that the planner is upfront with you, and comfortable talking about money and policies. Leave no scope for a surprise in the form of hidden costs and clauses.

  1. Personality matters

An event where you and the organizer are on the same wavelength is bound to go off more smoothly than one where you have to spell everything out. A point person who is compatible with you and has the ability to anticipate your needs will deliver better. 

  1. Communication

The success of any event depends on communication. If you are unable to communicate what you have in mind, its execution is bound to be faulty. Your event planner must be ready and available to listen, and also be confident enough to express an opinion. To give you the best experience, the experts at Hafla (LINK) believe in listening and then weighing in with their suggestions.

  1. Time frames and deadlines

Once you are done thrashing out details, the next logical step is setting a timeline. A good event planner will commit to a deadline and suggest a stepwise time frame as soon as requirements for the event have been spelled out. Hesitation here is a sure red flag!

  1. Flexibility is the name of the game

Event planning is not just about planning the perfect event, it is also about the response when faced with an emergency or a change in schedule. There may be a vendor no-show, or a sudden change in the number of guests, a power outage or weather issues – how your planner has dealt with unforeseen situations matters a lot.

  1.  Go with your gut

Do the due diligence. It is very important to go through website reviews and do background checks, but always go with your gut. If there is something that tells you all is not okay, you must listen to your instincts and decide accordingly. After all, what looks good on paper may not work out in reality.


1.What do event planners do?

An event planner is responsible for assisting clients in bringing their vision to life and ensuring that meetings, conventions, or other events are planned, organized, and executed successfully.

2.How do I organize an event in Dubai?

Events in Dubai require a permit from Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)

3.How do I choose an event management company?

Go through the credentials, case studies, clientele, and testimonials.

4.What questions should I ask an interviewer about event planning?

What are their areas of expertise? Have you ever had to plan more than one event simultaneously? How do you manage your time and energy? What information do you request during the interview process with a potential client? What do you consider when choosing the location/venue for an event?

5.What services do they offer?

It is important to make sure that the services offered by the event planner you are considering will be able to manage your requirements fully.

6.What is their cancellation and refund policy?

Make sure you know the details of your event planner’s contract terms upfront. If you must cancel, postpone, or dramatically change your event, you need to know if your planner will charge an additional cost.

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