Melbourne Cup may be Australia's biggest horse race, but the track-side marquees attract just as much attention as the race itself—and none more so than that of major event sponsor, Emirates.

Celebrities, politicians, and the upper echelons of Australian society—including Australia's richest person, Gina Rinehart—pack into the glamorous Emirates Marquee to catch a glimpse of the race, make the most of some priceless networking opportunities, and indulge in the renowned Spring Carnival hospitality. So designing and delivering this 'event within an event' is no mean feat.


cievents designed this year's Emirates Marquee, which featured the largest balcony in the marquee's history, and design elements that helped bring the airline's brand story to life. 

Mercedes-Benz S-Class launch in Hong Kong
Mercedes-Benz S-Class launch in Hong Kong
Case Study: Rugby Sevens gains traction in Singapore
Case Study: Rugby Sevens gains traction in Singapore
Case Study: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Case Study: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Emirates celebrated 20 years of flying to Australia this year, and chose the theme of "Australia" for their Spring Carnival hospitality.  cievents created an Australian homestead-inspired marquee, taking inspiration from its local destinations – Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney – into an interior filled with vibrant and unique flora and fauna including eucalyptus mint, waratahs, kangaroo paws and cockatoos.


Key features of the marquee included:

  • The largest balcony in the marquee's history, overlooking the final straight of the Flemington raceway
  • Entertainment that payed tribute to Australia’s heritage and indigenous culture with a contemporary dance performance in collaboration with Aboriginal artist and didgeridoo player, Stan Yarramunua
  • The Emirates Melbourne Cup Trophy on display
 
  • Luxurious interiors: Native floral table arrangements and a towering four-metre Queensland Bottle Tree that took pride of place in the centre of the marquee 
  • The Parlour: A pampering space with Lancome makeup artists and hairdressers 
  • Some of Australia's finest sea pearls in an Autore showcase
  • A curated Australian menu with an Aussie BBQ and a sit-down restaurant menu featuring one dish from each of the five Australian cities that Emirates flies to (Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne)