Think Dubai needs more exclusive events? Step forward Sherin Yousri, founder of the iLounge. We find out what she's planning for our sunny shores.
Explain the The iLounge concept. The main idea of The iLounge is to provide a one-stop-shop for quality entertainment, which mainly includes live entertainment by established artists, great F&B concepts, famous DJs and even a bit of fashion and lifestyle. To make it simple, we research and produce an event around a certain theme, making choices for sponsors and fans easier.
Are people there to dance, to hang out or to network? Dancing, enjoying, networking – all are part of the concept, and we program the evening accordingly. The events are mainly held at five-star hotels around the world, and we only use those that have the ability, interest and need to present the best of the best to our clients.
How does the membership system work? The membership is very simple: a company needs to pay Dhs91,820 per year to give their clients the ability to purchase packages and attend. The average price for a package is around Dhs1,100 to Dhs1450. There are no hidden or extra costs, and there is no other access to these events. The concept is not for hardcore and young fans, it is more upscale and mainly for those who want to enjoy a special evening networking and chilling out with similar-minded people.
How has iLounge developed? We took five years to develop and perfect the concept, and produced over 40 events in several locations and cities to make sure we were able to meet the expectations of our members and their clients. Some of these events include the Elton John concert in Munich and 12 official after-show parties for U2 in major cities across Europe.
Are they always going to be linked to musical events? Around 30 per cent of the total events will be, especially when we are sure the artist will show up at The iLounge, but most will be a complete event – a concert and aftershow at our selected venue.
Can Time Out readers join in? Yes – your readers can log in to www.the-ilounge.com by using the member name timeout and the password 1001. From there they can purchase packages.
When will iLounge open in Dubai? The big launch will occur directly after Ramadan in October 2008, but we will be holding a preview event this month at a secret location – keep checking our website for more info.
How many iLounge events will occur each year? A minimum of one a month in each selected city.
Aren’t you worried about Apple suing you because of the iPod, iMac, iPhone, iWhatever? Not at all; we actually did our first two events in co-operation with iTunes and Apple Germany, and had a written confirmation that they like the concept and will support it. We also checked with our lawyers and they feel very safe as the concept is registered as ‘The iLounge’ for ‘The International Lounge’. All we are doing is presenting the highest level of entertainment possible that compliments their business.