Well, after hopefully recovering from being on Dubai time for the past week, I am back in the United States!
It is hard to believe that the trip that we had been planning this whole year is finally over. All of the preparation done is finally complete and I am sure I can speak for every other member of the group by saying that we had one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. All of the different experiences, sights, sounds, and interactions make for something that we will not forget for a long time.
The businesses that we visited and representatives that we talked to were extremely helpful in teaching us about the country and business practices in general.
- At KPMG, we learned about the economy of Dubai, how it is based on tourism, how there is no income tax, and how they work as a firm.
- The Dubai Financial Market taught us how their market is young and growing and how it makes progress by the day.
- DUBAL showed us how one of the biggest aluminum plants in the world operates and cares for its employees.
- The Dubai Electrical and Water Association showed us how they provide fresh water to the people of Dubai (that is quite delicious fyi).
- Josephine Ford from GE showed us how a large international company operates in foreign markets.
- Dr. Mohammed Alam taught us the ins-and-outs of Islamic banking.
In short, there were quite a few amazing and educational meetings.
The places we visited as well is nothing short of spectacular!
- The Burj Khalifa is as tall as advertised.
- The Dubai Mall is truly the biggest mall I have ever seen, and it even has an ice rink!
- Take a dinner cruise if you can. They are fun and entertaining.
- The souks offer a plethora of authentic goods and you can always practice your bartering skills here.
- The Sheikh Zahid Mosque, the 8th largest mosque in the world, is nothing short of magnificent!
- Take a trip dune bashing in the desert. It’s more fun than a roller coaster.
- The Wild Wadi water park is a must on a warm day!
- The night life is also fun once the sun sets
We also saw that the RIT Dubai campus is a great option for Rochester students to get an international education. RIT’s influence is definitely apparent and I would love to study there. I am now interested in seeing how RIT’s other sister schools are doing!
Seeing the culture was also a memorable sight. The fact that it is a balance between their rich culture and the Westernized ideas made it very comfortable to adjust living there. The people were all very polite and hospitable to us and were willing to help us in any way possible. One thing to watch out for, however, is the occasional reckless driving on the highways from people who want to get from point A to point B.
Eventually, once life becomes a little less hectic, I will be able to put up a Flickr album where people can see the sights we saw and check out all of the places we visited.
In the end, this was definitely the best spring break I have had in my life. Plenty of fun times were had by all. Laughs were shared. There was not a single moment of the day not spent visiting places.
Thank you Democrat and Chronicle for giving Kristen and I the chance to write and share our experiences. Thank you to everyone who had a part in coordinating the trip (Peter, Dana, Tom, Jake, Nikki, and others) because it worked out very well. And finally, thank you everyone for visiting and spending time reading what we shared. We both had a blast writing and we both thank you for sharing with friends and providing feedback for us.
Hopefully the rest of spring will be as beautiful as it was in Dubai.