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Hospitality Adventures in Dubai

Dubai - Fall 2015
FIU’s study abroad experience in Dubai offers exploration and familiarization of a major international tourism destination.

Goodbye Dubai

By Dubai

Let’s catch-up on our study abroad journey through Dubai.  I was looking forward to our visit with the Department of Tourism and Marketing.  I did find the discussion there very interesting. We learned that it has not all been smooth sailing in the rapid development in Dubai, how they plan to catch-up infrastructure, and plan for the continued re-branding and new market expansion.  These are things that I will take to heart and incorporate into my own career strategy when dealing with difficult times. We also had the chance to visit with the digital media team.

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Finally I made it to Expo 2020, the visit I was most looking forward to.  I learned great information and would still like to visit again during the Expo.  A visit in 2018 would probably have provided more concrete programming ideas that could relate back to my profession in event management.  Expo 2020 is still so far in the future they are still working on building, utilities, and legacy planning for after the Expo.

We visited Ski Dubai I found the staffing to fall short here compared to all the other customer service experiences provided throughout Dubai.  I conquered the cold and participated in all the snow park events.  I did make a snowball, but it was nothing to the snowball I took to the face from a little boy in line.

Ski

Two new activities to report since the last time were the visit to L’altelier des Chefs of Dubai and the Desert Safari and Dinner Show.  The dinner was quite interesting and gave me a chance to utilize the proper cooking techniques I learned during my FIU cooking class.  The chef was also different then most of the other interactions in that he was looking forward to leaving Dubai and return to Istanbul.

Cooking

The finale event to our trip was a Desert Safari and Dinner Show.  While I loved the dune driving, the trip was extremely rough for my motion sickness.  We had the chance to watch the sunset over the dunes and even with all of us there it was still such an isolated area and you could imagine no one had ever been there before.

Desert Sunset

After sunset we had a short drive to the base camp.  I really wanted to try the dune surfing, but I was not feeling up to it by the time the driving was done.  Even though there was no show since it was a holiday, much fun was had by all.  We enjoyed camel riding, hookahs, henna tattooing, and star gazing.  I also was delighted by the fact that base camp had been invaded by a litter of gray tabby kittens.

So this concludes our adventures in Dubai.  Hopefully the friends we made are not fleeting and we keep in touch.  While Dubai was grand, I think its character can be repeated by all of us if we strive to please in our hospitality careers and remember that their theme of “nothing is impossible.”

P.S.  While I have never needed it in the past, there will definitely be prescription Dramamine for all future flights.  Apologies if you got stuck next to me while we experienced turbulence into or out of Atlanta.

 

Goodbye Dubai!

By Dubai

I’m a little devastated to say that our trip has come to an end and none of my peers nor I wanted to leave Dubai. However, after the long plane rides and delayed hours at the airport, all we were thinking about was still being able to make it home for Noche Buena/ Christmas Eve to be with our friends and family. Aside from the holidays, there is no doubt that we all intend to return to Dubai for the World Expo in 2020.

One of the presentations I really enjoyed while being in Dubai was the Kerzner Presentation and tour of Atlantis, The Palm. We were first greeted by three FIU alums, who gave us the tour around the property. They informed us that there are 1,539 rooms; 166 of them are suites and 7 are signature rooms. One of the signature rooms is the Royal Bridge Suite which we were able to go in and see! They also showed us around the many restaurants and shopping areas, the zero entry pool, and let us see a model for phase two which will be 800 hotel rooms and 250 apartments.

Next, we had a presentation by recruiters for their MIT program. Two of the FIU alums are currently in the program and the other graduated from the program and is now working there. Here, we were able to get a better understanding of the company’s culture and more information about the MIT program. Kerzner’s vision is to “create amazing experiences and everlasting memories”. From the experiences that the MIT students have had thus far, they said that they never say no to a guest, even if the request sounds impossible they always find a way to accommodate the guest.

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Phase Two

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Lobby

The Desert Safari was an experience like no other! The drive to the camp site was amazing! We had a crazy drive through the dunes, where we noted that several cars had to do minor stops due to motion sickness. We saw a falcon show where we learned how fast and smart they are, and I was able to hold one later. We even got to ride a camel and get henna tattoos done. As our tattoos were drying, the class decided to get together to smoke hookah and it was nice to see all of us spending time together before leaving. Soon after, we had dinner and enjoyed watching the stars together. The only disappointing thing about that night was that it was a holiday, so there was no drinking allowed.  There really was no partying either, so we missed out on the belly dancing show.

These experiences have enhanced my global citizenship because I’ve been able to see first hand the truth about who the Emirati people are. Before coming on this trip, I would mostly hear negative things about them due to them being in the Middle East. I’m definitely more interested in learning about different cultures and seeing other misconceptions throughout the world. Another person who influenced me was our tour guide; she was very informative and willing to help us with anything at any time. She always demonstrated her professionalism and anyone in the industry should have that drive to always be there for their guests.

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Camels in the desert

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I will definitely miss Dubai and all of the new friends I’ve acquired along the way. Hopefully, we’ll all be here again for 2020 and see what new things Dubai has to offer us.

Happy Holidays,
Jenny

Happy Holidays from the USA

By Dubai

Happy Holidays from the Atlanta Airport!

As we are delayed from our original departure time of 5:00 pm to our new time of 7:30 pm, I’ve had time to go back through my photos from our trip. Dubai was amazing and filled with unforgettable experiences that not only made us all more global citizens, but challenged us to be better in the Hospitality and Tourism industry.

Ferrari World is a very interesting attraction located just outside of Dubai in Abu Dubai (specifically Yas Island). We noticed similar rides to ones they would have in the United States in terms of structure and style. All of the attractions were in English. (English was present throughout the entire trip. I never felt uncomfortable because I did not speak Arabic.)
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Prior to this experience, I have never been in an indoor theme park. The roller coasters were outside but you started/boarded inside. There were shows (which I did not have time to attend) and they were building two more rides. Even though we had the gold pass, which has unlimited fast pass, I was not able to do everything because we were only there for about 4-5 hours. In addition to the rides and shows, there was also experiences. For example if you wanted to drive a Ferrari, you could for an additional fee.

I was so impressed with the Expo 2020 and DTCM presentations! Hearing about all that Dubai is planning and has achieved so far is so motivational. I found it extremely interesting that both of these divisions are funded by the government. Pictured below is the model of the facility that they are building for the expo.
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The expo will run from October 20th to April 10th, 2020. The theme is “connecting minds, creating the future.” From this theme there will be three main branches: opportunity, mobility, and sustainability. After the expo is over, they plan to continue to use the space for events and concerts and a legacy aspect. During the expo there will be an expo village, which is where the employees and volunteers will live; after the expo that will be residential housing. The office looked like a young and fun yet challenging environment. They were all very welcoming and very interested in our experiences while in Dubai.

I felt really safe for the duration of the trip and loved the city. It was so beautiful and so open to ideas and growth possibilities (they just want to be the best they possibly can). I would love to go back in 2020 to see all the changes! image

My Amazing Trip Has Sadly Come To An End

By Dubai

Wow! I am completely speechless about my experiences in the past week and a half in Dubai! We did so much and learned so much – from touring Atlantis and riding the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, to meeting with the team at Nakheel, who were the masterminds behind many plans in Dubai like the Palm Island! If I could describe this trip in one word it would be “Unbelievable”!

Before I got to Dubai, I was a little uncertain about the trip for two reasons: One being was me being the only male with around 19-20 females; the other reason was being in a country that was so culturally different than what I was used to in America. I gained so many new friends on this trip which really helps me out since I have only spent one semester in Miami and at FIU, and I could definitely see myself living in Dubai! This place is not just great, it’s awesome and fun! Dubai is a city that you would never find in America, and it is a place that I will cherish forever. After visiting the company that is in charge of putting together the World Expo 2020 and going on the Desert Safari, I was 100% sold on this city. Both were experiences that I will never forget!

The World Expo is an expo that is held every five years and attracts tens of millions of participants from over 200 different countries over the span of 6 months. These countries who attend this event share common ideas, interests,  and even show off their own innovations that they have created. Its goal is to unite the countries so that we can make the world a better place.

In the year 2020, Dubai will host the World Expo 2020. This is major for Dubai since this is such a new city, and you can tell the city is definitely in gear for having everything ready by their deadline. Everywhere you look you see cranes or some type of building. When we went to visit the team who is behind all of this expo madness, we were all amazed on how much potential this expo is bringing to the city. The expo will be beautiful and will focus a lot on sustainability, since that is such a big topic among the world nowadays. I got to see the plans and layout of the expo building and I was blown away on how much they want to achieve in such a little time! Everything was so futuristic! I have no doubt that Expo 2020 will be the most popular and memorable expo of all time! The speakers who conducted the presentation, including the Senior VP, Khalid Sharif, and Abdulla Al Gergawi, were awesome, and they answered all of our questions with confidence and accuracy. You could definitely tell that they knew their material and were excited about Dubai’s future! I am very excited about the World Expo 2020 and hopefully I can make it to this amazing event!

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Now onto the Desert Safari….I must say, the Desert Safari was the most fun I have had in a very long time!  I loved every aspect of it and wish I did not have to leave! It was something I have never experienced before! I loved the falcon show and was amazed at how smart and quick those animals are! The drive to the camp site was so fun! Going through the dunes and blaring loud music as our guide Siraj was scaring everybody in our SUV was amazing! I did not think is was going to be so crazy and fun.

Once we got to the campsite, I had a chance to ride a camel and sandboard before eating. I had never done either, so both were new to me, and I want to do them again! The dinner and hookah under the stars was a memorable experience. It also gave everybody in our group a chance to relax and get to know each other a little more before we had to part ways and go back home. It was definitely a fun experience and will definitely be doing it again when I come back to the UAE in the near future!

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All good things must to come to an end, and this Study Abroad trip is one of them. You could not put a price on this trip. I gained so many friends, connections, and memories during the past 10 days. That is all priceless. I will miss this magnificent city, but the good thing is that I know that I will be back soon, and possibly for good because I would love to work in this thriving city! Dubai will always have a place in my heart.

Thank you so much and Happy Holidays,

Desmond C. Bounds

Dubai

By Dubai

It’s halfway through the trip now, and we have gotten the chance to experience Dubai. Between visiting the attractions and going to presentations, I have been able to better understand the hospitality available. Upon arriving one of the first things I noticed was how welcoming everyone is. From the check-in agents in the hotel to any of the servers at the restaurants, there is excellent service.

As part of understanding how Dubai runs its hospitality services, it is important to understand the culture. One presentation that really resonates with this was the speaker at Jumeirah Mosque.  Nasif Kayed’s presentation on “Open Doors, Open Minds” really did allow for us to ask questions that we would normally shy away from askingIMG_0293. He had a great insight into what it is to be Muslim and what Islam is.

Dubai is located in an Islamic county so, when an industry like tourism is involved, there is going go be people from all over the world with different customs. As a tourist it’s important to understand that we must respect the religious teachings that govern over day to day life in an Islamic state, and by having someone explain the religion and culture, it makes it easier to go in with an open mind. As someone who is looking to work in this industry, knowing about different cultures makes it easier to understand someone’s needs and would help me attend to their needs.

The Spice Market and the Gold Market was a beautiful area to visit. IMG_9959It brought a touch of the old Dubai to the new city everyone believes it is. The streets were old and clean, and the people that resided in them were far from the polished look in downtown Dubai. I enjoyed going through the souks and getting a hands-on approach to the bargaining that takes place. I have never bargained before and I learned that it wasn’t as easy to do in a foreign currency. Even with these challenged I enjoyed learning from our tour guide some of the tips and tricks.

From New Dubai to Old Dubai there are infinite numbers of activities. This is a city with a “can do” attitude. It is clearly reflected in the way locals go around doing their business. There are no limitations here, and in the short time I’ve been here, I’ve enjoyed it.

Dubai Mid-Trip

By Dubai

Hello again! This is Jenny.

I’ve been in Dubai for a couple of days now, and it’s all been great! The plane ride had some turbulence, the flights were long hours, and we all were jet lagged, but we quickly forgot about everything once we started to see the skyscrapers throughout the city. Everyday we’ve been able to see various attractions and presentations that have allowed us to be more knowledgeable about the beautiful Dubai.

One presentation that we’ve seen so far that really caught my attention was the Nakheel presentation. They work with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to determine how many tourists come each year and how much they expect for the years to come. Currently, Dubai has 12 million tourists a year and they expect to have 20 million by the year 2020. Seeing such rapid growth happening in Dubai, Nakheel is constantly looking for new developments that will make a contribution to the improvement of people’s lives, therefore making them want to come to Dubai. They explained a little bit about their projects such as the “World Islands,” which part of is currently under construction. What interested me the most is that whoever wants to have a property has to present their plan/ motive for construction and must abide regulations which can be turned down by Nakheel. Their World Islands also vary by density; the lower the density the smaller the development has to be.

Nakheel

World islands

                                                                                      The World islands, view from Burj Khalifa

We were able to go to the Burj Al Arab which is not exactly how I imagined it to be. It’s known to be the world’s only seven-star hotel so I expected it to be extremely luxurious, but it wasn’t as I expected it to be. Yes, there was gold all over the hotel and inside the staterooms, and the amenities and view included in the room were amazing. However, to me it felt like we were in a cruise ship, I think this was mostly due to it being surrounded by water all around. A unique thing they had was that the check-in to your stateroom was in the same floor that you would be staying at, so you wouldn’t necessarily check-in at the lobby. Also, the stores inside the hotel were very luxurious and the customer service from the employees was exceptional.

View from Burj al Arab

Both of the activities I experienced will enhance my global citizenship altogether. In the Nakheel presentation I learned that you have to be smart when proposing a business plan; you want to be able to come up with a product that is new and exciting to people but at the same time abide by the regulations given. In the Burj Al Arab, I discovered not all things are what they seem and everyone views things differently.

No matter where you work, I would want for all of my guests/customers to be satisfied with the product given. These aspects will help me become a more successful industry professional because I would constantly be making sure that the customers’ needs always come first and that they are content with what they are receiving.

Until next time!

Adventures in Dubai

By Dubai

Hello My Beautiful people!!!  I’m truly grateful to be experiencing this growing country with so many different and amazing individuals!

Within the past four days of exploring Dubai we have been able to absorb so much of the cultural aspect of living  and working in Dubai. Being that I’m a Criminal Justice major and studying amongst all Hospitality students has also given me a different perspective of the world that we live in. It’s an incredible feeling to see the passion in the productions of the hotels that we’ve visited so far.

We had the opportunity to visit the Burj Al Arab, which is the hotel famously known for being built in the shape of a sail boat, in addition to visiting the Burj Khalifa; but my favorite attraction of all so far has to be Atlantis at The Palm, Dubai, which is run by the Kerzner company.   From hearing about the obligations and work put in, one truly has to live to serve to enjoy working within the hospitality field.

The Kerzner company wants all of their properties to give the feel that their guest “check into another world,” and you truly get that feel within Atlantis. We were given a tour of the entire facility, which took about four years to construct, starting in 2003. The hotel consist of 1,539 rooms including the extraordinary Royal Bridge Suite, which is located in the bridge of the hotel combing the two towers. The suite was beautifully decorated completely with gold embellishment and consisted of 3 bedrooms and bathrooms and a living room that included a bar and had a view overlooking the entire Palm Island and ocean view; I could’ve died there and been happy. It was exquisitely, yet simply decorated. The little things are what excite me and they truly touched every square inch of that suite with love. We were not able to photograph throughout the suite to maintain the exclusivity of it, being that clientele that normally visits have celebrity status. It was an experience I won’t ever forget.

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This is a model of Atlantis at The Palm, Dubai

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This picture was taken on the balcony of the Royal Bridge Suite

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This is a view of the entire Palm Island from the Royal Bridge Suite

In addition to the attractions, we’ve been given the chance to go to different presentations given by different people/companies working here in Dubai. We went to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), located in wind tower house in the historic Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai. We had the pleasure of having an authentic Arabian dinner with Kasif Kayed, a cultural expert, who spoke on all aspects of the culture of Dubai comparing it to our traditional American culture.

When one is able to provide you with information from an unbiased view, it gives you assurance that our society has a chance at survival apart from social propaganda going on everyday telling us who to be and how to live as people. It allows you to see that there are people who see the strife that our society deals with on a daily and that we’re not in it alone. The dinner alone was also an experience because I’ve never tried authentic Arabian food, and even though majority of the dishes contained meat, I was able to enjoy a small portion of the dinner including the delicious dessert!

 

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Kasif Kayed and I

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Arabian family style set up of dinner

In this day in age, no matter where you live in the world, we are all connected, and being a active global  citizen should be something one should always be concerned about. I believe these experiences have enhanced my global citizenship because I now can say I know the basics of working within the hospitality field and understanding the amount of time and energy put into making others’ lives simpler while visiting their establishment. I feel it’ll  make me appreciate everything more when traveling and staying at hotels/resorts.

One will never truly know what happens behind the scenes until you cross to the other side. In addition to the tourism aspect, I get a better understanding of the culture of the Islamic world. My father is Muslim and growing up as a young girl I’ve always been raised to cover myself, and I never truly understood it as a child; but as I got older, I came to understand it was all about setting a standard of respect for myself and letting others know to respect me. That was all it was to my father, yet speaking with Kasif he gave me other reasons as to why woman go to the extent of covering themselves. It could be for the sake of security purposes say if one’s husband holds a certain status within the government or his community, no one could come for their wife because she wouldn’t be recognizable. We all as people just have to accept the fact that we are all created the same and how one chooses to express themselves’ through their beliefs or dress doesn’t define them as a person in totality.

I truly can’t wait to see what the rest of Dubai has to offer!!

Dubai is awesome!

By Dubai

The Dubai tour has passed 5 days out of 10, we’ve seen lots of things and experienced the Arabic culture.

We arrived Dubai on December 14th night. The Double Tree by Hilton Hotel & Residences Dubai Al Barsha is where we reside. The hotel room is super comfortable with excellent housekeeping service.

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On December 15th, we visited Dubai museum in Bastakiya area, the old town area of Dubai, and learnt the Dubai history. The city’s major industry was pearl diving. After 1930, it collapsed due to the growing population. In 1966, Dubai started the oil era. In 1971, United Arab Emirates established by Abu Dhabi president Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Now Dubai city has become a modern metropolis with 2,250,000 population (2015 census). We acknowledged the brief concept of Muslim culture.

I also saw how the religion influences Dubai’s living condition, for instance, their official weekends are Friday and Saturday, because Friday is the day that Muslims go to the Mosque. I feel that culture is essential to hospitality industry, a cultural difference can cause a lot more adjustments to almost every dimensions of a hospitality related property. So the industry companies should hire the scrupulous employees and listen to the guests’ feedback carefully to avoid the misunderstanding of the different cultures.

 

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We visited the hotel Burj Al Arab and Palm Island on December 16th. They are just amazing. Then we looked around in hotel Atlantis on December 17th. This hotel is dramatically large; it contains almost everything a tourist needs. On December 18th, we climbed up to the top of the Burj Khalifa and went shopping at the world’s largest mall-Dubai Mall.

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Besides those attractions, we also listened a presentation from Nakheel (Arabic: نخيل‎ palms or palm trees), a government owned real estate developer in Dubai founded in 2000. It is also the creator of several land reclamation projects, including the Palm Islands, the Dubai Waterfront, The World and The Universe Islands.

We saw a big future that Dubai holds through their presentation. The islands are gorgeous, and the villas on the islands are super-popular through international purchasers. Most of the purchasers buy the houses only for holiday vacations. In addition, I noticed the islands are soaking into the ocean inch by inch every year, and they have special management department deal with the issue. I have never heard any program like this – creative, adventurous and grandiose – and it reminded me to keep an open eye to the world’s current changes. Think boldly, and you never know!

P.S. We also saw how Arabians love gold. They can simply purchase gold through an ATM!

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Here in Dubai…

By Dubai

The class has made it to Dubai.  Hooray!  If I ever visit again, I want a luxury flying experience.  The day spent on travel to arrive here for me was not fabulous.  On the first leg, I got ill and the second flight I was situated in between a teenager who thought my seat was his arm and leg room and a family with three children under the age of five.

The hotel so far has been excellent.  There are some curious differences, but that is what makes this type of travel fun, and all the staff have been super helpful.

In my first entry I mentioned that I was looking forward to our visit to the Bastakiya area and I just wanted to recap that my favorite part of that visit was the bamboo home in the yard of the Dubai Museum.  Our guide, Mozhgan, explained how they would wet down the fabric vents in the towers to help cool down the home. I was disappointed in the souk shopping. I thought it would be more local goods and I found the vendors were really aggressive with trying to sell their products.  All of this increases my knowledge-base in regards to the local culture.  The souks I now view as only a tourist area that locals don’t patronize.

Historic HomeFabric Vents

 

The next educational experience that I am looking forward to is the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing presentation. How did Dubai,in the last forty years, go from a little known desert community to a metropolis of luxury and one of the top five world travel destinations.  As an example of what I hope to find out:  Was it only the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision that lead the UAE to become a tourist mega attraction?  Did they always dream of the massive number of visitors and plan their infrastructure from the beginning to support it?   Why do they feel they are so successful in drawing the tourist dollars to Dubai?  Is it only because the government was able to leverage their oil profits into funding of such necessary projects such as reclaiming land to build such projects as the Palm Island.  How does the DTCM expect to hold the market and increase share now that they are so saturated?

I would love to be able to take a small part of their ideas and be able to incorporate them into helping expand our market attraction at work.  While I am in a position of event management, I still need to be able to connect to my customer base and provide them an experience to remember — and here in Dubai, they are not only succeeding in this but exceeding.

Later that same day we went to ski!  I am way too uncoordinated to actually ski, but the class will have a chance to visit the Ski Dubai indoor slope and snow park at the Mall of the Emirates.  It is unfathomably that I have never seen snow.  I guess since I am a Florida baby, I find it a little intimidating.  While I primarily serve a Caribbean market, you can never tell where life will take you.  So maybe this introduction will serve to inspire me to try another cold, wet…no I mean wonderful white Christmas vacation.  I am sure it will be a time to remember.  The penguin encounter or snowball making is about my skill level and speed. (Not Buddy the Elf speed though.)

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Come back to find out if I fell flat trying this new experience.  I will follow up on how my experiences were met, surpassed or fell short for the Expo 2020, DTCM, and Ski Dubai discussed in the previous blogs.  I will also discuss two new experiences L’altelier des Chefs of Dubai and the Desert Safari and Dinner Show.

Dubai, my happy place

By Dubai

Hey guys!

Sorry about how boring my first post was, I didn’t know exactly how to do the post.

So this is our 4th day in Dubai, and I am fascinated with the beauty of this city. Dubai is a city full of progress and ambition. Everywhere you look there is great architecture and great people. I love the atmosphere here and how businesses want to expand and make Dubai better.

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 12.04.06 AMAtlantis

My favorite presentation so far was the Kerzner presentation of Atlantis. On Thursday morning I woke up thinking I was just gonna hear a simple presentation of a hotel chain, but we got to tour all of Atlantis and hear Kerzner’s amazing business proposals to expand.

The tour of Atlantis was fascinating. We got to see all the parts of Atlantis and their best room called the Royal Bridge Suite. The Bridge Suite was the best hotel room I have ever seen. The word that comes to mind when describing it is luxurious. Everything was high-end, and the best part about the room was its view of the city. We got the BEST pictures in that balcony. After, we toured the remaining parts of the hotel and then went into a conference room for the meeting with Kerzner.

The man directing the meeting told us about Kerzner’s expectations for expanding their hotels. I thought Atlantis was huge already, but with their new building being made, it’s going to be humongous. It was the most interesting meeting I have ever experienced. I was amazed at how beautiful every hotel they owned was. I also learned a lot about hotel companies and what they have to do to beat the competition. I found it amazing how they keep expanding and changing the themes of their hotels. I also learned a lot about the the people that visit their hotels and how they accommodate to them. Atlantis for example, is a family hotel; their theme is fast and productive, while other hotels are personal. I plan to use everything I have learned in this meeting when working for hotels in the future.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa_Currently the tallest building in the world

I can’t even face the fact that I visited the tallest building in the WORLD.

On the way up to the Burj Khalifa there was a lot of walking because we had to walk through the Dubai Mall, which just so happens to be the biggest shopping mall in the world. That’s two record breaker building that I saw in one day.

On the way up to the Burj Khalifa, there are sculptures of it and facts on why and how it was made. It’s hard to believe that such a huge building was completed in only six years while they are still buildings in Miami which are being built after 8 years.

Not only did we also take some amazing pictures, but I also saw how much this city has progressed in such a little amount of time. Nine years ago nobody knew what Dubai was, but now, everybody wants to come here and experience the magic of this city for themselves. While looking down you can still see how there is a lot of construction going on. By 2020, Dubai will be full of newer and better buildings.

This city has done so much in a few years and I admire how much Dubai has progressed. I learned a lot about the history of Dubai and their goal to be a known city. I’m pretty sad about this trip coming to an end because it feels as if I’ve only been here for a little bit. I wish this trip was never-ending and Mozhgan was our tour guide forever.

Goodnight Guys,
Can’t wait to enjoy the last few days we have to together.|
Dalila Pineda

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