Dubai Part 2 & Reflection
Our time in Dubai was most wonderful. In this last update, we discuss our last three days in Dubai and our overall reflection of its business culture.
Friday: The Palms, The Burj Al Arab, Arabian Desert, and Cultural Dinner
The Palms is one of the most beautiful and impressive man-engineered creations in the world. The Palms are a collection of pseudo islands that have been created to resemble a palm tree when viewed from the air. It contains many hotels, residential homes, and beaches. The Palms also feature the world’s only “seven star hotel,” The Burj Al Arab hotel. The Burj is a pinnacle appearing building with luxury rooms and restaurants that can only be enjoyed by guests that are willing to spend $25,000 per night, per room. The hotel also features a restaurant connected by a bridge on the Persian Gulf, a helipad for VIP guests, and a rooftop tennis court.
We continued the day with a “dune basing” tour of the Arabian Desert with 4×4 SUVs. This was a fun experience that could be related to driving dune buggies in northern Michigan. We were transported by the 4x4s to view the sunset on the Arabian Desert; quite the view. After the Sunset we transported to our cultural dinner, also held in the Arabian Desert. The dinner provided traditional dishes along with belly dancing, other dances, and camel rides. Our own Lance Sheard enjoyed volunteering his sharp dancing skills with the locals for our Cohort’s entertainment!
Saturday was a free day for everyone. Many of us enjoyed the Jumeirah Beach front. Others enjoyed shopping at the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall with over 1,000 stores that can only be found in cities such as Paris or New York City. Golf was another form of entertainment to be enjoyed; Zach Steimetz was our golf guru in Dubai.
Sunday: Schindler Elevators, Pharmatrade Pharmaceuticals, and Dubai Dinner Cruise
We started our day with Schindler. Schindler is one of the worlds largest elevator manufactures and servicing companies. We enjoyed learning about their current market share in the UAE and how elevators are being transformed into a “smart” product. Our own Monica Morales works for Schindler in Holland, Ohio, she truly enjoyed the opportunity to see her company’s international operations.
Pharmatrade was our next meeting. Pharmatrade is one of the top market leaders in pharmaceutical distribution in the UAE. We were the first education group to ever visit Pharmatrade and we enjoyed its hospitality. Although we were presented a lot of information, the environment was laid back–a common value found within the Middle East for business meetings.
We finished the evening with dinner cruise on Dubai’s marina. The cruise featured a buffet of local and some American dishes, but none-the-less, enough food to feed an army. We enjoyed pictures and more dancing entertainment on the upper-deck of the cruise. However, Lance Sheard refused to share his dancing skills this time. Upon our flight, many of discussed our favorite parts of the trip and our upcoming series of flights back to the States.
Reflection: We truly enjoyed the business aspect of Dubai. In the US, business is to the point and it can be a “hierarchical” ego battle. Yet, in the UAE, and in other areas of the Middle East, business meetings are treated like an extension of a family dinner. Yes, you are aware of each individuals’ rank, but it is not used as leverage. Also, the meetings are more relaxed in the Middle East. Whether or not the meetings are long/short, the agenda is flexible and it gets off topic easily. It is common for the first part of the meeting to have intended small talk that is of longer duration than the average meeting in the US. The public culture is of the same style. The locals are very approachable and they do not rush you in conversation. However, the automobile driving is the opposite. Lastly, our group was wonderful. We had all good memories and no drama. This was helpful for a few first time flyers within our group; which had the best experience, even with a 20 hour flight, all thanks to the help and patiences of our group.
Thank you for reading our Dubai blog updates. We have truly enjoyed our time in Dubai and the support of Lourdes University and its Franciscan Sisters.
Lourdes MBA & MOL Dubai Group