Posts Tagged 'Dubai'

Internet bubble, now a Dubai bubble?

I am doing an event in Dubai in March, www.teched.ae. Today, exactly the day of Eid holiday in Dubai and Thanksgiving in the US, the European stock exchanges colored deep red on the announcement that the state-owned holding Dubai World has asked for a six-month delay to the creditors.

I have visited Dubai two times the last couple of months and still going 4 times between now and March. And I must admit it is an “interesting” region and society. More than once my eyes opened widely. Everything needs to be the biggest, the most expensive, the coolest, the best, the most luxurious and you wonder where all the money is coming from. It is amazing that they built almost an entirely new and modern city in a couple of decennia. Truly amazing.

Also society has very interesting aspects; no taxes but you have service charges. Can’t we consider this the same? About 90% of the inhabitants of Dubai are foreigners. You rarely see people that are retired. The demographic constitution is one of mostly people that are working. People without a job or income can’t really afford to stay. Drug policy, alcohol, traffic rules. Never seen a country where so many people make U-turns.

Doing business is another culture. One tip, the concept of “We” is a pitfall. You and me works better! And I was introduced to the concept of “Insalah” (manana in Spanish :-)).

Fascinating area. Let’s hope everything comes fine and the situation is not as bad as the press is writing.

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Positive News and Observations

It has been rather quiet on my blog for the last 2 weeks. There is a very simple reason. I am managing our Convergence 2009 Europe Series events and it has been extremely busy. Tomorrow we kick off the series in London. While I am also working on a new event in Dubai in March.

First the very positive news: despite the challenging event times (scrutinized budgets and lower attendance in general) we have been able to sell all expo spaces at all 4 locations (London, Vienna, Frankfurt ad Rotterdam) even before our event attendance registration site went live. And all 4 locations are close to a complete attendance sell out as well. London and Rotterdam are already (with many people on the waitlist) and Frankfurt and Vienna will be very soon. People are still attending events if they see the value and if companies are able to sell the value. And now we should live up to the expectations. 🙂

And for the people that can’t get in anymore, we are recording all sessions and will make them available to the attendees and people on the waitlist post the series on our Virtual Event Platform.

The observation though is “Why do people only wake up and try to get everything sorted last minute?”. And are these the people responsible for long term vision and strategy of companies? I always wonder. Maybe it comes to some proper time and project management. They could get way more if they would put some skin in the game earlier.

But hé, we are going to enjoy it. It is lovely to manage sold out events. This is luxury in the current climate.

Event in Dubai

Last week I was in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to collaborate with the Microsoft Gulf subsidiary in order to setup a key event in 2010. A few general musings about my first experience in the Middle East.

  • As any country there are local flavours and ways of doing business. Hmm
  • The city looks brand new to me. Waw, although sometimes I had the impression I was in Las Vegas
  • The Dubai World Trade Centre is a very nice venue. The one thing that caught my attention right away is that the simple watches on the walls are “Rolex”. Is that an indication?
  • Big (royal) weddings are done in the WTC. They were setting up one (2 weeks needed!!) An eye opener.
  • Do they treat email the same way we do?
  • Ramadan has an impact in every day life. Respect is the key as a foreigner.
  • Dubai seems a city which combines tourism with business. Many nationalities represented.
  • The impact of the local government and the sjeiks circle of influence

Really looking forward to make this event a success and learn a lot.

All comments about doing business in Dubai very welcome. As well as tips and tricks.


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