Archive | January, 2011

Company visits part 2 Homework #15

26 Jan

The next visit was at FedEx Dubai. Unlike majority of the companies, FedEx is a company that I’ve actually heard of before. I learned a lot about FedEx as a company. One thing that intrigued me was how FedEx explained that it is much more than shipping packages, it is providing the FedEx experience. FedEx wants its customers to use FedEx to feel the entire experience with no problems. FedEx offers the experience by giving its customers the purple promise. We also learned that Fex has vast amounts of different branches. I believe FedEx Dubai will be extremely successful in the future because it acts as a hub in between the eastern and western world. One thing that intrigued me was how FedEx Dubai dealt with the terrorist package. On the news before coming to Dubai I remember was how a package from Yemen destined for the United States contained an explosive. One of the head people in charge explained the story of how he held the explosive and had no idea, but later found out what was actually inside of a printer.


Company Visits Reflection part 1 Homework #14

26 Jan

The very first company we visited in Dubai, was TDIC. Recently, TDIC has focused all of its efforts in creating “Saadiyat Island” in Abu Dhabi. TDIC is extremely well organized and intelligent in the way that it both markets its development on projects and the way it gets money from foreign markets. I believe that Saadiyat Island will be successful due to the great efforts of the civil engineers behind the developments. The next company visit was at Majesty Yachts. I learned a lot from Majesty Yachts which taught me how rich one would have to be in order to buy a yacht, but the real skill is behind the masterminds who sell yachts. Yachts in general are completely unnecessary, and are based off of impulse buying. One must sell from a completely different angle when applying the customers. Majesty Yachts creates some of the most expensive custom made yachts around the world. One thing I found extremely interesting was how so many all the workers were indian. It was something I haven’t ever seen before in my life. Some laborers didn’t even wear masks over their faces as they sprayed extremely bad chemicals. I later found out that the workers live there, eat there, and as I was leaving I saw the awfully small showers where they washed their faces. Here were the greatest yachts for the most wealthy people in the world being worked on by some of the most unfortunate laborers.

Workers exploited? Homework #13

10 Jan

One thing that I think is obvious in Dubai, is the specific racial hierarchy. Emiratis are at the top, followed by whites, and then Indians/Filipinos/Chinese. Most of the laborers have extremely stressful and intensive jobs, requiring them to live and eat on site. While touring Majest Yachts, the “exploitation” of workers was obvious. Indians in purple jump suits worked with extremely toxic chemicals in dangerous environments. They had housing and food provided for them as well. It look like a terrible lifestyle, and I know a lot of people on the trip viewed it as shocking and disturbing. However I don’t think they specifically exploit their workers. Everyone who is working there CHOSE to work there. Not to mention the money they are receiving is being sent back to their homeland. All of them (maybe just an assumption) were not citizens, and very likely not to live there. Yes it’s not a great life, but I can’t even fathom where these workers come from and how awful their lives may be at home. Dubai is granting them money/food/and a house, those who have jobs there are much luckier than the people who are living in the slums of india. Is it a bad thing?

Dubai’s Government System Homework #12

10 Jan

Whenever I study abroad, the government system in each country is always something I view as extremely interesting. I realize how much I take for granted in the United States. One of the main reasons why I could never live in Dubai is because of the Government system. Although right now I think the Sheikh is doing a great job running the country and handling conflicts, I don’t like the idea of having no say in my government and country. One day a sheikh who has no idea what they are doing my gain power and completely ruin the country, would I have any say? I like the idea in the United States I have the freedom of speech, and other liberties. In the United Arab Emirates, a lot of these liberties aren’t there. I also don’t like the idea of a national religion. If I’m not muslim or if I don’t agree with one of the rules of the koran, I have little to no say. I think one of the greatest conflicts Dubai and the rest of the emirates will face is with the government system and national religion. Less than 20% of the people in Dubai are the local Emiratis, while the majority come from all over the world. Are a large majority of them muslim? What sickens me even more is when you see a 4 floor super yacht worth over 20 million dollars being created for a ruler of a country, while people within that country are starving. What makes the sheikh a better human than anyone else?

Reflections on Sheikh Zayed’s Quotes Homework #11

10 Jan

“A nation without a past is a country without a present or a future.”

“Nobody can live the present without recalling the past. It is from history that we learn and acquire excellence.”

It’s interesting that the shakes puts so much emphasis on its past and Dubai’s future. Dubai has an interesting past that is filled with culture. While many tourist countries and cities sacrifice their culture to bring in more guests, Dubai and rest of the United Arab Emirates does a fantastic job of incorporating their original roots into their everyday lives. Their past can specifically be seen by their faith and religion, as well as traditions such as smoking shisha and drinking tea. Dubai’s conservatism is extremely beneficial because it retains its own national identity. Many museums are dedicated to Dubai’s past, and people from all over can see how a cosmopolitan city rose up from the sand within 40 years. Cabo San Lucas is a great example of a city that does not hold onto its native culture and instead has whored itself out to tourism. Cabo San Lucas has sacrificed its native mexican history to become a tourist site for Americans. Cuba is also a great example of a country that did the same thing as Cabo, but inturn became entirely reliant on the United States which led to its poor economy and eventually communist take over. Although some may view the United Arab Emirates as too conservative and stuck in their ways, I applaud them for their cultural traditions and believe it will make Dubai extremely successful in the long run.

Homework #10

7 Jan

After spending almost two weeks in Dubai i can officially conclude that I believe that overall Dubai is a sustainable emirate.Overall the United Arab Emirates are extremely successful when compared to the other countries around the region such as the middle east and Africa. Dubai overall has many problems that it has to face including the obvious: heavy reliance on tourism, an obvious and distinct racial hierarchy, and the immense amounts of projects being developed without full financial backup. However, after staying over a duration of time and visiting the many global companies, I have learned how globalization and tourism can create enough profits to dominate a countries GNP. Dubai is a country that is the center of the world. It is both cosmopolitan and globally accepting. Its Burj Khalifa and the rest of its “world wonders” creates a prime destination for anyone in the entire world. Its ability to connect to everyone in the world, in some ways brings people closer together. Tourism is also extremely rampant and is also on the rise. I believe and hope for success for Dubai, it is like nothing else in the world.

Homework #9

6 Jan

Today we learned all about the importance of Dubai, and how Dubai’s media tempers with it’s news in order to improve the nation. While many westerners like to see the fall of Dubai, and look at Dubai with a sense of Shadenfreude because when the middle east fails, americans (and others) feels a sense of accomplishment or pride because it’s not themselves. Little do people know how that when the economy in Dubai increases, the world’s economy increases. When Dubai succeeds, it creates more jobs, which leads to more jobs for workers from India, China, and other nations. Those workers send money back to their countries, which lead the countries overall increasing. Since Dubai’s improvements, India has also dramatically become better. Another interesting thing we learned was how Dubai’s media censors anything that trashes the country. Coming from America where freedom of speech is used all the time, Dubai is very different. Remember the terrorist package from Yemen to Dubai that was destined for the United States? Not many people have heard of it at all from Dubai. The world’s largest car pile up took place in Dubai, and at first the death toll was extremely low (around 7), but on the scene of the crime it was obvious that there were over 18 body bags. I truly appreciate living in a country where I have the opportunity to vote for representatives of my country and have the freedom of speech. Tomorrow I am coming home and already the mixed emotions are hitting me.

Desert Safari Dubai Day 7 & 8

5 Jan

Yesterday there wasn’t much going on, we went to FedEx Dubai and toured all the planes and learned about FedEx as a company, we then went to a french water engineering company where we learned about all of the things they do (ZzZz) Afterwards we went to a mall where i bought a new pulli and some awesome shoes (only buyable in europe).

Today was a lot of fun, we first went to visit Majesty Yachts and learned all about the made to order yacht making business. We saw the marble interiors showers and a large yacht that was being made for a ruler of a country (country not disclosed). It was really fascinating, and it was also intriguing to see laborers that worked without the creation of labor unions (the group was somewhat divided on this issue). Afterwards we went on a desert safari, where we drove around in vans and went up and down the amazing dunes-then watched the sunset. We then went to a little oasis in the desert, where we smoked hookah,ate dinner, and got henna(for free), i had my name written in arabic on my arm-it looked really cool. We also rode camels! We then watched belly dancing, and then left. At the end of the day we all went in the sauna and relaxed….felt incredible (even though my legs are still sore from snowboarding).

Homework #8

5 Jan

Today was an extremely fascinating day, We went to a Majesty Yachts, a luxurious yacht building business, that makes made to order super yachts for the most extravagant customers (from rulers of countries, self made millionaires, to celebrities). We learned the most fascinating this about the production and selling of yachts. One thing that I thought was incredibly fascinating was how people perceive things when they buy them. Think about it, why would anyone ever buy a yacht? Personal jets and fancy cars are the utility to get from here to there, but yachts are a symbol of luxury, they have no necessity other than escaping land, being on a boat, and showing off ones wealth. In fact people don’t normally buy yachts, yachts are bought purely off impulse. Yachts (like many other products) are also heavily based on where they come from, but in fact come from other places. Yachts that are built in the United Arab Emirates typically give the perception that they are italian. Toshiba (clearly japanese) is typically constructed in taiwan, india, and china. If Toshiba gave the perception that it was constructed in those following companies its quality would depreciate. The same can be said for yachts. It’s really interesting to see that the middle east (not having the greatest reputation) has the greatest manufacturing of luxury items. If you think people are picky about luxury in Beverly Hills, introduce them to an emirati or saudi prince-they know how to be treated and expect a lot for their money

Homework #7

4 Jan

The more time I spend in Dubai, the more and more I learn about Dubai’s incredible amount of excess to globalization. Whether I am in a mall and see all of the stores from across the world or at the international companies that we visit. Today we visited FedEx Dubai, where we found out that Dubai’s FedEx is the hub for all of middle eastern packaging and also the center of the world for traveling in between from asia/europe/and the US. Dubai FedEx was also there during the bomb scare from yemen-it was really interesting to meet the person who actually held the bomb in their hand and had to contact authorities.  Dubai is continuing to be one of Middle East’s most important cities, because it is a city that is so globalized. Globalization is one of Dubai’s greatest assets, and is probably the main benefactor in keep Dubai sustainable. However Dubai’s biases towards emarati people and disrespect to majority of its people is something that will have to change in order to make Dubai sustainable.