This Dubai company is bringing the 'glamping' game home
With limited options available for social gatherings and celebrations at the moment, the concept of private teepee sleepovers is garnering an audience
Glamping was quickly becoming a buzzword this year, when Covid-19 put paid to those plans. However, one small events company in Dubai is offering to bring the experience home. Their speciality: teepee sleepovers.
Count to Tent offers bespoke experiences using handcrafted tents that are styled with fairy lights, rugs and luxury accent cushions. So far, they've been used to celebrate baby showers and birthdays - but are also favoured for children's sleepovers. The idea is especially resonating across the community, given the limitations that the pandemic has created, when it comes to celebrating occasions. With large gatherings banned and safety at the forefront of our collective consciousness at the moment, it's proving to be a creative alternative.
Owner and manager Anneka Evans believes the fascination with setting up tents at home is primarily driven by social media. "I think it has to do with Instagram," she observes. "It's a really nice setup for photographs. I think kids - like adults - like being in beautiful spaces, especially little girls, as it's all rather magical for them." About 75 per cent of their demographic caters to young girls aged five to 10, and a basic setup starts at Dh500, she adds.
It's only natural for the first point of query to be how she's managing in the age of Covid. The Dubai resident explains that they're keeping events as small as possible - "no more than five tents, at the moment". The linens and accessories are thoroughly laundered and sanitised, and the team dons PPE while setting up. "It's usually family events only now. siblings and cousins, that sort of thing. We're doing a lot of kids' birthdays for just parents and their kids. I'm taking as many safety precautions as possible too - not just for the clients' sake, but also for ourselves," says the mum-of-three.
With the ongoing pandemic redefining celebrations, Anneka says people are now taking the concept beyond sleepovers. "Just last weekend, we did a wedding celebration for a couple who got married at the embassy. It was just the two of them celebrating at home with their dogs. They had a picnic setup with balloons and lots of fairy lights - it was really beautiful." Families have even been asking for the custom tents for their kids to enjoy during hotel staycations (with the hotel's permission, of course).
Anneka is aware that at a time when so many have suffered financial setbacks, the bespoke offerings may come across as a bit of an indulgence. But the lack of options - with travel and bigger gatherings out of the question due to the pandemic - are making it a viable alternative for many. "People are still looking for nice ways to mark an occasion. It's important to them to continue to find a way to celebrate the important things in life and create lasting memories."