MBA academic study trip to Dubai - PDF

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					MBA academic study trip to Dubai
16th May – 24th May 2007

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INDEX

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Shell Markets (Middle East) Ltd. Senthil Kumar Natesan Daimler Chrysler Middle East Fibi Napitupulu Siemens Company Shervy Tjia GTZ United Arab Emirates Ericka Perez Burj Al Arab Uca Suprianto University of Dubai Dipl.-Bw. (FH) Steffi Wallenburger Government of Dubai – Dept. of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Sarah K. Pollmann Al Nakheel Properties Ajay Pratap Singh Bhadoria „In Dubai Everything is Different“ Stephanie Kehle

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4-6

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Shell Markets (Middle East) Ltd.
Mr. Marvan AIKaabi (Communication Coordinator)

We visited the Corporate Communications department of Shell Markets (Middle East) at Dubai on 17 May, 2007 forenoon. The office is located at City towers 2, a very tall landmark in the Sheikh Zayeed Road. We are received and guided to the conference hall by Mr. Omar Al Querishi, Manager. The meeting started with mutual introductions and shared our background experiences with the referent. We learned about Shell’s history, growth and current status in the Middle East. We were surprised to hear that Shell is one of the top outside players and that Shells runs operations in all parts of the Middle East. The manager explained well about the transition of gasoline to gas economy and their new strategies. His presentation was interactive and gave an insight into the Shell’s business. After a short break with delicious tea and snacks, Mr. Omar screened an amazing video on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities of the shell worldwide. After the impressing video, we raised questions on CSR activities in the UAE region. Mr. Omar explained various activities such as special programmes for school children in Dubai. Shell is giving more than 20% of their profits to CSR activities. It was also underlined that all new projects at Shell start with great emphasis on CSR. After our discussions, we were highly impressed by Shell’s CSR activities. As a thank you we presented a special gift from the Fachhochschule Stralsund to Mr. Omar and his colleague. We also received their gifts as a token of love for visiting them. We wholeheartedly thanked Mr. Omar and his colleague for sparing their time with us. Senthil Kumar Natesan, India MBA 2006- 2007, student 3

Daimler Chrysler Middle East
Mr. Hans Joerg Fiedeldei, Mr. Ashraf Tamim

After Sales, Marketing and Logistics Daimler Chrysler Middle East (DCME) is placed in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai – United Arab Emirates. This DCME is having responsibilities for the markets in United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan as well as Afghanistan. Currently, there are around 98 employees coming from 28 different nations working for DCME. For me, this is a very astonishing number especially if we take into account that in the year 1998 only 29 employees were hired by DMCE. The objectives of DCME are: • • • • Ensuring the strategies of Daimler Chrysler Creating an integration of business area Achieving increased profitability Achieving increased volume.

The first speech was done by Mr. Hans Joerg Fiedeldei, After Sales Director. He explained that the After Sales Division is responsible for a range of activities such as: • • • parts management (e.g.: wholesale of parts and accessories) service management (e.g.: assisting the General Distributors with warranty and kindness processes) training management (e.g.: determining non technical and technical training needs for dealers and distributors, and manage the annual training) • • • after sales marketing customer relationship management and performance management. 4

We were also told that the main challenges that After Sales DCME facing are online communication, the improvement of customer loyalty on using the original DaimlerChrysler spare parts, the business in Iraq region, and the improvement in service quality. Furthermore, he also elucidated in general that DaimlerChrysler Middle East divides its business into Mercedes, Jeep/Chrysler/Dodge cars and trucks. The Mercedes brand in this region is well-known for the S – Class, because this reached the biggest sales among the other types of Mercedes. The second biggest sales comes into E – Class and nowadays the trend of driving SUV cars like M – Class is also increasing. In addition, Mercedes enjoys strong reputation for the busses; due to most of religious events require busses for their transportation. In the second speech, Mr. Ashraf Tamim, Marketing Manager, introduced us to the implementation of marketing strategies for Mercedes. He clarified and explained the marketing tools which are used for Mercedes in the Middle East: classic advertising (e.g.: TVC, print ad such as poster, banner), online communication like homepages, and as a third tool events (e.g. Middle East Motorshow, Customer and Press Events). DCME also works together with marketing agencies. In terms of media marketing he named a cooperation with the BBDO Group and in terms of promotional events, DCME uses pitching strategy and opts the best, the most suitable proposal. In addition, Mercedes also joined an E-Fair at Gitex for promotion. Since Gitex is the biggest IT Fair in Dubai, thus it is very beneficial and important to attract the customers in that event. In the previous Gitex, Mercedes could gain a very satisfying and good response from the customers. Moreover, from the viewpoint of the customers, Mr. Tamim informed us that the colour of the car

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does matter for Middle East people and nowadays the trends of Arabian women using big cars like SUV are getting bigger. For the last meeting, we gained information about logistics. The Regional Logistics Centre established in 2001 is the first regional logistics centre of DaimlerChrysler outside of Europe. The main purpose is to decrease delivery time to general distributors and therefore improving the customer service. It is the procession from plants or suppliers to the customers and it is closing the gap between the global logistics centre and general distributors. We walked through the Logistics Centre and were explained about the procedure in this logistic centre. First of all the imported original spare parts are accepted, then the original spare parts are labelled manually by the workers. Lastly the spare parts are placed in the target location for region Middle East. We all enjoyed the presentation and the informative logistics centre tour. We gained a lot of important information about DCME and could combine the theoretical knowledge with practical implementations. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Hans Joerg Fiedeldei and Mr. Ashraf Tamim for the hospitality and the useful information provided. We really appreciated their time and kindness. Fibi Napitupulu, Indonesia MBA 2006-2007 student

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Siemens Company Visit Report
Mr. Uwe Schumacher (CFO), Mr. Stuckart

On May 20th 2007, we had the excellent opportunity to visit Siemens. It was on Sunday, because the working days in Dubai are different as in Europe. In Arabia the working days are from Sunday to Thursday. It took us some time to find the Siemens building because the driver was not too familiar with the road. Siemens was located in Dubai Internet City (DIC) which was the ideal base for global companies. DIC was the Middle East’s biggest IT infrastructure, built as a free trade zone and has the largest commercial Internet Protocol Telephone system in the world. First of all Mr. Uwe Schumacher (CFO) was so kind to give us an introductory presentation about Siemens in the lower gulf region, the company itself, LLC organization chart as well as the financial chart and to inform us about major projects. Siemens LLC was founded in October 1999 and is responsible for Siemens’ activities in a region comprising the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. It is one of the largest companies in the region, which employ of about 1,200 people of more than 50 different nationalities. One of the interesting things is Siemens LLC only employee less than 50 German people and the rests are from whole over the world. It proves that Siemens LLC is indeed an international company. Siemens LLC is active in the following business areas:
• • • • •

Automation & Control Information & Communications Medical Power Transportation

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In the transportation field, Siemens is a business developer in this region. In 2006 Siemens LLC achieved 1.2 billion EUR sales, which was a big amount, and the sales expectation for 2007 is more than 2 billion EUR sales. The biggest field is in automation control. Some success stories of Siemens LLC are: the Dubai International Airport expansion project awarded Siemens a number of contracts totaling EUR 395 million. The Automation and Drives Group (A&D) won a contract to provide low voltage switchgear the The the Services fully systems largest Airport Industrial Group for the automated which is for the unit contract worldwide. Logistics Division of Solutions baggage new and handling terminal (I&S) is providing a

building. Siemens camera).

also participated in

some of Nakheel’s projects, especially in the security system (room control and

It was also pointed out that Siemens LLC is going to give more focus on Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is richer than Dubai because they invest by themselves. Once they plan a project they will do it. This is different in comparison to Dubai because Dubai always looks for an investor and just after they have the investor they will start the project. Siemens has a great opportunity in Abu Dhabi, especially in the transportation system project. We also looked at the main competitors such as GE, ABB, Johnson, and Philips. Until now the biggest competitor is GE. GE status is still behind from Siemens but it was underlined that GE was very aggressive in this field recently. But Siemens has a competitive advantage which is based on three points:

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• • •

more experience in local market because Siemens is an old player in Middle East better connection to their customers, and references.

These are some important facts that make Siemens still in the leading position until now and hopefully they are able to continue in this position in the future, too. Regarding the employment system, since there are more than 50 nationalities, sometimes there are certainly some problems on an intercultural basis, especially in the field of communication between employees from different countries. To avoid this, Siemens give new employees an introductory training which also includes cross cultural training. Also at this point the intercultural awareness of Siemens is proved. In the end of the presentation, students used the opportunity to ask questions intensively. Students also asked e.g. about the employment situation as well as the opportunity to do an internship. We all gained a lot of information from the presentation as well as the highly appreciated discussion afterwards. We would like to thank Mr. Schumacher and Mr. Stuckart for their kind efforts and time. We greatly appreciated the useful practical information which will help us to achieve our objectives and also help us for our further career. Shervy Tjia, Indonesia MBA 2006-2007, student

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GTZ United Arab Emirates
Mr. Dr. Bernhard Dohle (Resident Representative)

On the fourth day of our excursion, May 21st 2007, we had our appointment in GTZ offices. GTZ (The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit) is an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations that provides solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development in a globalised world. We were welcome by Dr. Bernhard Dohle, who is the director for GTZ United Arab Emirates, and its office is located in Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. After a warm welcome, Dr. Dohle began the presentation giving us the insights about the company in general and then, continues with the particular job in the Middle East. The GTZ profile in the Middle East Region is divided into five states: Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and UAE. In each state GTZ is running different projects, all of them focusing on sustainable ecological, environment. In the Middle East Region, GTZ is focusing its activities on three sectors: water, education and infrastructure. Water: It goes without saying that in the desert water resource are extremely valuable. Reason because of why GTZ has been conducting groundwater explorations and assessments. development social, GTZ and and the commitment to assume responsibilities in the cultural political

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Infrastructure: Besides water and solar power, wind energy is a useful supplement to power generated from oil based energy sources. Working together with the Government, it is erecting the first wind energy plant in Abu Dhabi, which is also the first of its kind in the whole Arabian Peninsula. Education: GTZ was commissioned to conduct educational plans in the UAE sector and Industrial training. Furthermore, they are providing education and training for blind people and giving some courses to promote the care of the environment, for example a program of Waste management was running in Qatar in 2006. The biggest activities are placed in the UAE, and one of the most important has been the Summer Challenge. This project has 4 years since its foundation, and its objective is to combine leisure activities and vocational education during the summer holidays, through a two-month period training program. During this time, about 600 girls and boys aged between twelve and seventeen years gained an insight into different occupations in which they have the opportunity to develop handicraft skills. The intention is that, after the training program, the boys can apply the learned skills in their everyday lives. The successful execution of this project opens the door for further plans in the vocational training and educational sector. Other activities developed in the UAE are e.g.: • • • The Groundwater Assessment in Al Ain 2005-2007 Master Educational Plan for Abu Dhabi (2006-2007) Groundwater Well Inventory (2006-2008).

Beside the general projects described above, Dr. Dohle explained to us that GTZ is also working in external projects such as Government Consultancy and

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transportation systems, due to the high demand of these services in initiatives like the new Dubai Metro, and Nakheel projects. In the very active discussion at the end, the participants had a lot of questions which needs unfortunately to be stopped by the time, as our schedule was very tight that day. After the presentation we had the chance to take a look around in the office and enjoyed the wonderful view onto it. Overall, meeting the GTZ offices was a good opportunity to gain a general overview of the different projects that support the government and other private companies in order to assure a sustainable development in this country. Ericka Perez, Mexico MBA 2006-2007, student

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Burj Al Arab Dubai, UEA Mr. Cedric Braz, Manager Guest Relations A particular highlight of the program was an appointment at the luxurious Burj Al Arab ‘seven star’ hotel in Dubai. Burj Al Arab means “Tower of Arabia” and has a height of 321 metres. The famous hotel is located on an island, 280 metres from the shores of Jumeirah beach. It has 27 storeys which comprise a choice of one Bedroom Deluxe Suites, Panoramic Suites, Club suites, two Bedroom Deluxe Suites, and three Bedroom Deluxe Suites, Presidential Suites and Royal Suites. We were pleased of having the excellent opportunity to look over the Three Bedroom Deluxe Suite. The hotel management was specially successful to promote the Burj Al Arab hotel as the landmark of Dubai and is furthermore famous for its exclusive and excellent services. On Tuesday, 22nd May 2007, we visited this most wondered place to visit. Our taxi directly reached at the main entrance of the hotel passed the bridge that connects the mainland to the island. We were absolutely amazed by the really beautiful and luxurious lobby interior. Here, we are serviced to taste a glass of pure Arabic mineral water. During the first part of the meeting Mr. Cedric Braz was so kind to present us facts about the Burj Al Arab and answered a plenty of questions we raised. By that, we got an impression of how the hotel operates and serves the guests. Burj Al Arab employs approximately 1600 employees from 25 different nationalities. The markets are mostly coming from European countries such as United Kingdom and Germany as well as from America. There are also big numbers of guests arriving from Arabia, Russia, China, Korea and Japan

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Our hotel tour started with looking at the ‘Al Mahara’ restaurant that offers a wonderful aquarium environment. The gold decorative pathway to reach the restaurant give an impression of luxury and cosiness. The guests can enjoy a special menu of sea food surrounded by a simulated submarine atmosphere. After this visit, we had the wonderful chance to observe the three Bedroom Deluxe Suite. The suite has two floors and every floor has a view of sea landscape. In the first floor, on the right side, there is a master bedroom with a bathtub, dressing room, TV, and two chairs; in front of the door, there is a set of sofa for guests; and, on the left side, there is a living room with a long sofa and multimedia TV in front and a dinning room over it. In the second floor is a working desk across the stairs and on the ride side follows a bed room with bathroom and dressing room. On the left side, we looked at another wonderful bedroom and also a room to practise sports is offered. All suites are privately guaranteed by the management. On every floor a front desk service is offered to assist and serve the guest’s needs. Finally, we were able to visit the ‘Al Muntaha’ restaurant which is poised 200 metres above the see level. From here, all guests can enjoy the fabulous panoramic sea landscapes. The restaurant offers ‘the ultimate’ in regional and contemporary European dishes. It has two bars or lounges with the pianist accompanying in the middle of them. We were told that quite often tourists enjoy meals their to get an access to the hotel and thus, to feel the ‘seven star hotel‘ atmosphere and services.

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Back on the first floor, we thanked Mr. Cedric Braz for his kind efforts as well as our possibility to share his valuable experiences with us. The Burj Al Arab tour was no questioned a wonderful moment and gave us beneficial and important insight of how the hotel management works at it’s best and thus, which marketing and tourism implications needs to be taken into consideration. These experiences will enhance our view on practical working practices in our future career. Uca Suprianto, Indonesia MBA 2006-2007 student

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University of Dubai
Mr. Ph.D. Ananth Rao, Dean, (College of Business Administration); Mr. Dr. Mahmood A. Awan (Assistant Professor, College of Business Administration)

“…educating people for a better tomorrow” is one of the basic principles of the University of Dubai (UD). Dubai, United Arab Emirates, infuses tradition and heritage with modernity and business. Rapidly growing as an international retail, leisure, conference, exhibition and business centre it is certainly one of the fastest growing areas worldwide. It was therefore also of special interest to get in touch with an academic institution during the academic study trip. Especially for the international degree courses at our University it is important to expand our network around the world and to work together with academic institutions. Since some of the alumni of the degree courses “Baltic Management Studies”, “Leisure and Tourism Management” and “Master of Business Administration” have already started working in Dubai it was first of all our aim to offer a study trip to Dubai to combine theory and practical experiences but secondly to may establish also a collaboration with an academic institution in Dubai. Certainly, a partnership cannot be created during just one or two appointments but, however, a first contact is always especially important to find out whether both institutions have “common ground” – a mutual understanding in favor of a fruitful co-operation on a long term basis. For our appointment with the University of Dubai it was essential to get to know the educational system of the UAE and to learn in detail facts about the particular degree courses offered at the UD.

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We were therefore very pleased to be able to arrange a first personal meeting between the University of Dubai and the University of Applied Sciences Stralsund. Thus, Prof. Rothlauf from the MBA-Team, the MBA project manager, Steffi Wallenburger, as well as the MBA students visited the University of Dubai on 21st May 2007. Both institutions presented their universities and furthermore introduced the most relevant degree courses to its counterparts. Afterwards, Mr. Mahmood Awan was so kind to provide us a campus tour. During the tour the plan of the new campus were shown to us. What an amazing project! The new campus will be built from scratch and is going to at least triple the capacity of the campus. We further learned that the University of Dubai went successfully through the accreditation process of the AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) just recently. Accreditation is quite well-known to all of us and I am sure all people dealing with it will certainly agree that a huge amount of time, efforts and resources are needed to go through such a process. Our congratulations on your excellent results. In order to draw a short conclusion, we are happy to be able to look back to a very positive start in which we could share ideas, speak about some possible ways how we could work together more closely in the near future and what further options for a co-operation we have. To work on a global scale means to prepare students for an international labor market and thus, to offer highest quality interdisciplinary learning based on international academic standards. This understanding is emphasized by the

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slogan of our university “Understanding reality – facing challenges – creating future”. So, the slogans of both academic intuitions match perfectly together and we look forward to deepening our thoughts in our next meeting which is already scheduled for this autumn. Finally we also would take this opportunity to kindly thank Mr. Rao as well as Mr. Awan for their kind hospitality. Dipl.-Bw. Steffi Wallenburger MBA Project Manager

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Government of Dubai – Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Mr. Talal Khalifa Al Suwaidi (Officer, Missions); Mr. Abdullah bin Suwaidan (Deputy Director, Inward Missions)

Planning, supervision, and development of tourism as well as the international promotion of Dubai as a first class tourism destination are the responsibilities of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. The first part of our meeting was mainly focused on the development of Dubai, growing from a small fisher village in the 1950s to a modern metropolis where tourism has become a strong contributor to the gross domestic product. Mr. Al Suwaidi underlined the strategic location of Dubai as a business and tourism hub, which led to further expansion of the airport and Emirates airline. Additionally, several new projects like the Dubai Marina, various projects by Nakheel like “Jumeirah Palm” or the “World”, the tallest tower of the world “Burj Dubai”, and the metro project to be completed by the end of 2009, are supposed to help Dubai turning into the number 1 destination of the world. 303 hotels and around 100 apartment hotels up to today present sufficient accommodation for business travelers but also for families. Dubai considers itself an ideal family destination providing several shopping opportunities, sandy beaches, and various festivals throughout the year. Furthermore, the city offers fine dining, mountain resorts, dhow cruises and desert safari tours, which were highly promoted in the tourism video shown after the first part of the presentation. Beautiful pictures of the desert showing the Arabian culture were combined with stunning shots of the Burj Al Arab and other modern buildings making Dubai the place to visit. Yet, based on the message of the video, the place only seems to be fun for those who can afford a rather luxurious lifestyle.

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The Deputy Director Abdullah bin Suwaidan was so kind to answer our questions about the development of tourism in Dubai once the promotion video had ended. He remarked how important it is for Dubai to work hand in hand with the private sector since Dubai wants to be the number 1 in everything. Good relations with the United Kingdom affect the surrounding European countries and so far Europe is still the main target market for Dubai. Nevertheless, a rising number of Americans seems to be interested to make business in Dubai thanks to trustworthy marketing campaigns. Mr. bin Suwaidan was not worried about a future without oil since he believes that solar energy will step in place. Furthermore, he underlined that the Arabian culture is based on respect and that there is no fear of losing the culture through new nationalities entering: “We respect them, they respect us and everybody wants to be here!” We are still not quite sure whether a real strategic development plan exists since Arabians simply tend to act rather than to talk about projects thoroughly beforehand. At least it seems that no one here worries about the future of Dubai. We would like to thank the Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Dubai and especially Mr. Al Suwaidi and Mr. bin Suwaidan for being wonderful hosts and answering our questions. Sarah K. Pollmann, Germany MBA 2006-2007, student

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“Where the vision of Dubai gets built”
Mr. Munib Fikry (Delegation Coordinator, Sales &Marketing)

Wherever we went in Dubai we could see the construction and construction every where, so it was nearly a “must” to have an appointment with Nakheel, one of Dubai’s major real estate developers. We were indeed very happy to be able to finally meet with Nakheel. Nakheel (Arabic: ‫ ﻧﺨﻴﻞ‬palm trees) is a real estate developer in Dubai and creator of several land reclamation projects, including the Palm Islands, the Dubai Waterfront, and The World. Its residential projects include Jebel Ali Gardens, International City, Jumeirah Islands and Jumeirah Lake Towers. Its shopping projects include the Dragon Mart (At International City) and Ibn Battuta Mall. After a formal introduction, Mr. Munib Fikry, Delegation Coordinator, Sales & Marketing gave us a presentation on Nakheel`s major projects. He started his presentation with Nakheel corporate video, which explains the vision of the company, investment opportunities for investors and all major projects of Nakheel Company. He explained further some of there major projects, like Jumeirah Islands and also that Nakheel is going to bring a waterfront community to the heart of the desert with Jumeirah Islands, a 300 hectare residential development created with families in mind. Here, the plans are to built an array of home types which are surrounded by lush landscaping, winding canals, dynamic waterfalls and lagoons, all located in Dubai's most prestigious district. The Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island in the shape of a cultural icon, the extraordinary Palm, Jumeirah increased Dubai's shoreline by 100%, and created a destination of world-class hotels, unprecedented retail, an array of home types and exceptional

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leisure and entertainment, all anchored by The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower. Mr. Fikry also introduced us to another project, the World. Here, the World 300 islands in the shape of the continents will be located off the coast of Dubai. The World form offers of imaginative investors or an unprecedented investment opportunity in the leisure, residential tourist developments. Adding over 232 kilometres of new beachfront to Dubai's coastline, the World offers islands ranging from 150,000 square feet to 450,000 square feet in size, and will be accessible by marine or air transport, with world-class marinas servicing the development. He also explained about Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, and Palm Deira), Dubai Waterfront, The Gardens, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Discovery Gardens, Lost City, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Village, the International City, Jewel of the Palm, The Palm Golden Mile, Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower, and Ibn Battuta Mall. After this presentation we all were able to see the models of all projects and certainly realised how the company is working in those various different projects. By looking back to that appointment and having learned the details about as well as the strategies behind all these gigantic projects we all were very excited and agreed that Nakheel is really “where the vision of Dubai gets built” We would like to thank Mr. Munib Fikry for his kind organisation of our visit and delivering an intensive insight into Nakheel. Ajay Pratap Singh Bhadoria, India MBA 2006-2007, student

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“In Dubai Everything is Different’ We finally arrived after midnight. It was a special day for me and a birthday that I will never forget. We all had expectations of what Dubai was like. We all knew it was going to be hot and checked the weather the coming weeks to our departure, we all knew we were going to see construction and development of new outrageous projects and we knew that we would experience something different. Our tour guide put it best “Because in Dubai everything is different”…. It sure is. Only in Dubai, you can be on a beach and in a desert in less than an hour, can you find the highest tower being built in the world, can you find a mall with a ski hill, can you double the population by creating man made land out on the sea, can construction projects take up 15% of the world’s cranes and the only place with plans to develop an underwater hotel. Upon leaving the airport we were hit like brick wall to heat that some of us have never encountered before….at almost 2 o’clock in the morning. As we waiting for our bus to the hotel we were immediately in a new world. Sarah’s words:” I think I am going through culture shock” – even with all the preparation meetings which took place beforehand. There were men wearing full white dress and women wearing long black coverings, heat, chaotic taxi drivers, traffic and noise. We got to our hotel and were finally on our way to bed knowing that we would have to be up in 3 hours for our first company visit at Shell. A joke amongst the students summed up our experience in Dubai; Traffic, Construction and Mustachios. We were surprised by the traffic and it took us a couple days

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to understand the reason why it would take us almost 2 hours to get to and from any company visits. The city of Dubai has no public transportation system in place. However, construction has began for a new Metro system which hopes to solve the ongoing traffic problems. Construction and growth go hand in hand resulting in many unfinished projects and a sense of incompleteness. As weekends start on Fridays in Dubai, we were relieved to have a couple free days to catch on lost sleep. Our Friday was spent at Jumeira beach where most of the time was spent under palm trees and in the water. That night we were picked up by two on a desert Safari. were taken through and down sand that we were going over. Little did we drivers were highly enjoyed listening to next stop was at a SUV to take us What a ride! We the desert up dunes with fear to slide and tip know that our experienced and us scream. Our camp in the

middle of the desert where we were introduced to Shwarmas, henna tattoos, delicious Arabic food and a show with a traditional belly dancer. A wonderful evening for all of us! Our second free day started early with a bus city tour that gave us a little insight of Dubai’s culture. Mid week, we headed out to Abu Dhabi for a visit with GTZ. Although out time there was short, we were able to see the difference between Dubai and the United Arab Emirates’ Capital, Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is more traditional and less extravagant although it has a dramatic Arabic feel. We passed by the President of the Emirates Palace with security on our tails. A magical palace fit for a king. We had some free time which is hard to imagine considering the amount of time spent in traffic.

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Some visited the traditional Souks (typical Arabian markets) and became experts and bargaining with vendors, our expert for International Finance, Professor Moore, would be so proud… Others visited friends that resided in the area, some returned to the beach or relaxed by the poolside with a book in one hand and watermelon slices in the other. Without a doubt, shopping and eating Indian food topped the list. Imagine 7 could dine for €10… Only in Dubai. As our week came to an end, we were excited to head back to Stralsund but sadden knowing it was our last time together before all students went separate ways for the summer and to write the final work of the MBA, the master thesis. It was a great trip and very well planned out. Dubai is surely different and an experience we will never forget! Stephanie Kehle, Canada MBA 2006-2007, student

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