Tag Archives: uae

Another Long Week: Snows & Scorchers, Politics & Hacks, Moscow – Abu Dhabi – Tokyo.

Good day boys and girls!

I’ve been a bit quiet of late – but I’ve a good excuse – I had a real tough week: the schedule was tight and intercontinental, plus alarmingly… combative…

It all started in Moscow. Now, normally come the month of May, the last vestiges of the long cold winter – snow and ice – have long disappeared, at least by a month. Not this year. It snowed the other week! The weather was so bad – cold, windy, wet – that even the May 9 Victory Day parade was partially called off (the airborne part). Ye gods! And I was soooo looking forward to it.

Bad weather causing things to be called off – hardly anything new there, right? Well, actually…

You see, in Russia, the authorities have a habit of… making sure the weather’s good on special occasions. In Russian they call it ‘shooing away the clouds’. I don’t know the details, but they somehow shoo away clouds by… doing something to the atmosphere to make sure clouds don’t come close. Playing God? Maybe. Whatever, it normally works. My question: WHAT WENT WRONG THIS TIME?! I mean, the budget for seeing off clouds for the weekend must be huge. Hmmm, I wonder…

Early doors it looked like the budget was well-spent: the sky was clear and the sun was shining:

Read on: a sudden global malware outbreak…

A Mirage-Hotel in the Desert.

Briefly, a few words about a place we stayed at in the desert. Well, this hotel… was like… a mirage – for it seemed almost unreal to me, what with it being right in the middle of a real desert!

It was built, so we were told, on a greenfield site bare desert site up from nothing. As you can see – all around there’s nothing but desert. Water gets piped in from 200km away! And the Internet is super-fast. And free! The hotel is called Qasr al Sarab.

Read on: Chinese New Year and a lucky upgrade…

PhwoahxPhwoah in the Desert.

Ever driven across a desert – I mean, off-road – actually on the sand? Probably not – it generally can’t be done by all and sundry; only specially-trained, experienced drivers are permitted. But it doesn’t really matter; just being in a passenger seat is equally thrilling as being sat behind the wheel. The experience beats helter-skelters easy. Must-try!…

Alas, after such a wonderful sunrise, the sunset was a bit disappointing. There was a strong wind, and the clouds on the horizon appeared to eat up the sun-imbued colors like a crocodile. Or so it seemed to me ). All the same – pretty awesome, even though it seemed to have been digested by a large reptile.

Read on: The difference between dunes and barchans…

Desert Scene: Beautiful, Serene.

Deserts…

Nothing quite like them. Endless sandy scenery, wavy dunes, sand all squishy underfoot – or blowing up into your face by the wind; in fact, sand: EVERYWHERE! In your boots, in your pockets, in your… teeth! But despite such petty tortures (and with sandals on your feet, not boots) – the desert is otherworldly beautiful, breathtaking, brain-numbing, hypnotizing. Like this:

Read on: the largest contiguous sand desert in the world…

A Knight’s Move.

Howdy boys and girls!

Many of you will already know about our latest sponsorship project – seen it on the news or on one of our sites, if not this one.

But for those who missed it…

In this here large charming building, constructed specially to house such events – in the Emirate of Sharjah

…a few days ago we announced to the world that we’re now sponsors of world championship chess, i.e., of FIDE and World Chess!

Read on: So… why?…

Dubai-city.

I first visited Dubai a long time ago – back in 2005, in February as I recall. It was then that we signed our very first distributor contract in UAE.

Business didn’t take off immediately (if I remember correctly), but by little by little we started conquering the home-user segment (green boxes appeared on the shelves of local shops) followed by small companies, and now we are working with large corporate customers too.

In November 2008, we officially opened our local office in a skyscraper right in front of Palm Jumeirah island – in this one right here:

post-29-0-46955000-1449755175

Read on: A quick excursion…

The aquapark in Atlantis: not to be missed.

Beach-resort holidays (‘vegging out’) are not my thing. At all.

Sand, sun-loungers, parasols, ‘refreshing’ drinks and sunblock – I can survive that torture for two or three hours tops. Then I have to start strolling along the beach, sometimes a few kilometers at a time, oftentimes with camera. It beats lounging about any day. You walk along, get a tan, take a dip once in a while, take pictures along the way… Once, in the Dominicanan Republic, D.Z. and I strolled like that for some four hours. Afterwards we looked like models for a scary sunblock ad.

So yeah: beaches, sand, beach beds and basking in the sun are not for me. But!…

But #1. Some of our trips can be really hectic, involving flying across several time zones. As a result we get to the hotel not just tired, but totally wasted. If there’s nothing I have to do the next day and there’s a nice little beach close by, I can easily spend the day sleeping there. I’m pretty good at it. I lie down in the shade around midday and wake up at sunset, all rested, fresh, and ready to go.

But #2. We often organize our business events in beach hotels (which means that for me a beach has come to represent work rather than play:). Anyway, in our 18 years of active corporate life we’ve been pretty much everywhere. From Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It works out real nice: we work in the daytime and can have a good time in the evening – resort-style. And often we stay for a couple more days after the business is done :).

I seem to be taking a long time getting to the subject of the waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm hotel resort in Dubai…

dubai-atlantis-1

Read on: Things to do in Dubai if you got some time to spend on yourself…

Abu-Dhabi-Finali-Mondiali.

How time flies… It’s now nearly two weeks since I was in Abu Dhabi for a high-speed adrenalin injection, and only just now have I gotten round to putting fingers to keyboard. So apologies for the delay folks; sometimes I need a full reboot – a few days of catching up on sleep and spending quality time with my family. Everything else – for later. Now, here’s that later…

So, like I say, I was in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for the Finali Mondiali.

Abu Dhabi Ferrari Challenge

But why? Well, why, that is, apart from ‘it’s nice and sunny down in the Middle East’, like always?

Easy. Sometimes you need to meet face-to-face the folks you normally communicate with only by telephone or email. Mod-coms are all very good, but they’ll never by any match for personal interaction for catching up properly…

To take an analogy, let’s say you’re barbequing on the shore of a lake. Your pal’s also barbequing nearby – but on the shore of a neighboring lake. And you’re Skyping each other.

Question: Are you eating together or separately?

Answer, IMHO: You’re eating separately, and only imitating human interaction.

Homo sapiens – we were all designed to interact with one another. And the closer and more personal, the better. And that’s why I was in Abu Dhabi. Ok, that’s enough theory/work… Now: FUN!

There were tons of fun to be had in Abu Dhabi, so much so I’m struggling to work out which particular tons were the funniest. I think… yes – for me the best was the mega roller-coaster here (interestingly sometimes referred to as a Russian mountain – turns out roller-coasters first appeared in St. Petersburg – in the 18th century!!). What can I say? It’s mega!

Abu Dhabi Ferrari World1 second

Read on: May the luck be with us next time!…

Abu-DhaBull.

How time flies. Though we sponsor Ferrari’s F1 team, I haven’t made it to a single Grand Prix race this year – and it’s November already! 2013? Where did that go?…

Anyway, better late than never – here we are, at the 17th 2013 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Sooo, Abu Dhabi… what can I say? One word – a surname – sums it up best: Vettel. This man is just…irrepressible. An exceptionally skillful driver. A skillfully exceptional car. They must add Red Bull to the gas or something… But no – the real secret weapon car-wise is this unassuming fella. Jeeez, what a fearsome combo… these two on energy drinks. So fearsome of late that the red meat isn’t letting anyone else have a look in. Black horses in yellow fields included.

Alonso for the umpteenth time already started from somewhere in the middle, but then incredibly forced his way through to up near the front. This time he was fifth to pass the checkered flag. His leaving the second pitstop – have a watch on YouTube; clearly more than a little vexed was he…

F1 Grand Prix Abu DhabiQualifying – the view from the garage

Read on: fitting-up, start, fight!…