Only a few days to go, and I cannot contain my excitement. Between the exams, papers, presentations, and procrastination, I daydream of the places we will go, the attractions we will see, the food we will eat, and the people we will meet. While I struggle to fold my shirts just the right way so that all my clothes and shoes fit in my suitcase, I contemplate what I am most excited to see.
After reading the itinerary over 20 times and searching the internet for photos of the places I will see, I have fallen in love with the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Aside from its architectural grandeur and its intricate design, the mosque is a cultural and religious experience I am excited to take part in. The prospect of walking through its grand halls and admiring the paintings on the walls makes me even more restless.
On a more educational note, I am extremely interested to learn about the Byblos Hospitality Group. With more than a handful of 4 to 5 star luxury hotels sprawled across the coast in Dubai alone, this hospitality group has risen quite fast within the industry since its start in 2010. My passion for business is intrigued by the little that I have read about the company so far. There is nothing more interesting to me than to really get to the bottom of how businesses go viral and what steps they take to keep themselves relevant, so this presentation is definitely something I’m looking forward to.
I’ve been told countless times prior to this trip how lucky I am and what a great opportunity this is for me, and I must admit that I do feel quite lucky to be able to travel to Dubai at this exact moment in time. The despair our country and other countries across the globe are feeling due to recent events and acts of terror, not to mention the unfair persecution Muslims worldwide are facing due to the actions of a handful, push me to feel that these experiences will enhance my knowledge of the Muslim culture and religion, introduce me to a different lifestyle, and overall strengthen my global citizenship by tearing down the stereotypical lens through which I see the Middle Eastern world. Furthermore, in the hospitality industry it is vital to your success as a professional to demonstrate tolerance, understanding, and possess an open mind when it comes to others. This trip, aside from helping me develop an open mind, will also give me a chance to learn about some of the most successful hotels in one of the largest and most popular tourist destinations in the world and how they operate, knowledge that will help me advance myself in the industry.
Well, I’m off to finish packing so keep reading because in 2 days I will be air-bound and preparing to share photos and detailed accounts of my time in the most glamorous city in the world!
Your fellow Wanderluster,