Did a Chinese company's staff holiday really 'add $80m' to Dubai's economy?

Think your work team-building trips are a bit overdone? Think again.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 30 May 2014

Corporate bonding is usually limited to away days falling flat on your face on an obstacle course (or carving ice sculptures, if your boss is a bit out there). Some companies, however, do things a bit differently.

Nu Skin China, a division of a US company that sells skincare and nutrition products via distributors a la Avon and Herbalife, flew its 14,500 staff to Dubai for a 10 day trip that the emirate’s tourism board claimed ‘generated an economic impact estimated at $80m [£47.8m]’.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing didn’t state exactly how much Nu Skin China spent in the desert city, which beat off Singapore, Seoul and Macau to host the trip.

However, reports before the mega-jolly claimed the company would need 77 flights and 39 hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for its teeming hordes of employees. Meanwhile, ‘40 exotic limousines for the VIPs and 250 buses were used,’ Gulf News said, citing some rather excitable limo drivers.

Why anyone would want to spend 10 days being shuttled from air conditioned shopping mall to air conditioned golf course to air conditioned beach is beyond MT, although it may have been a nice distraction from being accused by Chinese media of running a pyramid scheme and fined $540,000 by the government for dodgy selling practices.

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