Boarding On Flight
It was 11th of October, a day on which I headed for a Business trip to Dubai along with my company’s Director Nishant Bamb. We were doing a project for 40 years old reputed organization of Middle East which is headquartered at Dubai. Nishant has been to Dubai many times for projects. Business trips have their own adventures & excitement. My super excitement cost me Rs 150/- for an Auto Rickshaw which I hired 1 mile away from the Airport. I guess, it would have cost me Rs 50/- only. Terminal 4 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is awesome. I boarded on flight. It was Emirates Airways. The Flight experience was good and comfortable. I watched full movie of Transformers: Age of Extinction on Flight.
On Reaching Dubai….
We reached Dubai and guess what? While checking out from the Airport, we saw Yuvraj Singh. He was sitting alone unnoticed at the corner waiting to pick up his luggage. This would not have been the case if he was in India. He would have been surrounded by people for his autograph & his photograph as we all know he is a well known cricketer. Atlast, an Indian couple approached him and as usual these days they started taking selfies with him. Finally we went via metro from Airport to reach our destined Hotel Royal Falcon, located at Salahuddin Metro Station. One thing was good that our Hotel was just in front of the Salahuddin Metro Station . The moment we came out of metro, we felt sudden change in the temperature. It was hot outside at 7:30 pm in the evening. It was Saturday, holiday and remaining day was meant for the rest. The next day was Sunday obviously and guess what, Sunday was the working day. Sunday is usually a working day in Dubai. They have holidays on Friday and Saturday in a week. Well that was kind of awkward to me because right from my schooldays, I have been adapted to consider Sundays as a permanent holiday unless you are working in a 24*7 working environment for a company. I was under this thought process while taking a short walk to hotel which was few steps away.
People, place and environment
We entered the Hotel, finished few formalities and led to room. It was nice and comfy. My watch was not adjusted to Dubai’s time. Clock on the room was showing 8:00 pm but my watch was showing Indian time 9:30 pm. So I readjusted my watch and settled myself in the room. After half an hour of rest, we were ready for a quick tour of in and around. We went outside and saw a grocery shop across the road. The agenda was to do some quick shopping for ourselves and buy necessary things that will be required during entire course of our stay. So we took a bridge to cross the road. This was the time I was getting to know the people, place and environment and had a quite glimpse of infrastructure of the city. The city was well organized. Speedy cars were running on the roads. In the middle of the Bridge, Nishant stopped and told me to look towards my right. I moved towards indicated direction and what I saw was quite splendid to see. I saw a huge and very tall building that was quite distant from where we were standing. It was an amazing view. The whole infrastructure was glittering in the night. I was gazing at it with my eyes wide opened. Nishant told me its Burj Khalifa and its few kilometers away from here. It was wow kind of experience from the Bridge and I was sure it will become more awesome experience when I will get there. After few moments of gazing, we headed for the Grocery store to purchase few items. Up till now I had a somewhat idea about the population of Dubai from what I experienced on Metro, Airport and people on streets. Along with local people, the population over here also constitutes Indonesians, Malaysians, Chinese (they all look same :P) , Indians, Pakistanis etc. After shopping, we went back to our room. Preparing myself mentally to work on Sunday, I lay down on the bed and slept.
First Working Day….
Next day, I woke up at 6:30 am in morning and got fresh, had morning prayers and got ready for the office. We had breakfast and then headed for the client’s site. This became regular morning exercise for me during my entire stay in Dubai. On first day, we took a cab to reach the client’s office and afterwards we usually preferred to go by metro which almost took 8 Dirham for to & fro journey. Client’s office was located in Business Bay. World Trade center, financial center, Dubai Mall was the places that were en route to the Business Bay. Around these areas, you will find huge buildings with impressive work of construction and Architecture. During my entire trip, I saw only SUV, LUV, sports car and sports bike on the roads. Even Delivery boys ride those bikes which are high end bikes in India. I will not take name those bike models to spoil your mood as many of us own those bikes. Our office timings were 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. It never felt like Sunday that day as everyone around you was on way to its work and I was assuming it to be Monday.
So we reached client’s office. As a Project Manager, my task was to address the concerns of the client related with app and implement changes. I & Nishant were coordinating with our development team in India as our ultimate aim was to deliver the quality app before its launch. On first working day, we had discussion with many senior and experienced officials of the company from diverse domains. Everyone had feedback of its own and points to contribute that can make the project success. It was cross cultural organization. People from different countries were working in this organization with varied expertise in their respective fields. People were friendly. The whole office environment was good and friendly and I was fortunate to work among the skilled and experienced professionals. During course of our stay, we befriended with a Machine. It was a coffee machine that will offer you various flavors of coffee, any time you want. I put on weight because of it.
Regular working schedule
On some days I worked till 4:00 pm and on some days overworked even after 4:00 pm in the office or from our Hotel room after the office. I used to send daily issue reports to the developers in India so they can be resolved immediately next morning and we have fresh updates for the app before lunch. In the end, our team efforts were paid well with the success of the project. Application is live and running successfully till now. It was a learning onsite experience. I got to learn to manage the project onsite, handling team despite difference in time zones and making the update ready on time.
So whenever I and Nishant got free from work on time, we visited malls and different places. It was fun. We used to take a walk from office to Business Bay metro station while returning. Evenings were really awesome. You get to see lot of sparkling buildings and the only point of attraction among them was Burj Khalifa which I never missed to watch it whenever taking walk. It is an example set up by humanity that nothing is impossible. One can reach whatever heights that one wants to reach.
The nearest destination was Dubai mall which was at the walking distance from the business bay. You just have to take a diversion inside Business Bay Metro station and take Moving Walkways to reach Dubai Mall. Dubai Mall is exactly the place where Burj Khalifa is located. Once you enter the Dubai Mall, you will find outlets of all premium & luxury Brands around the world. It is an awesome place to hang around. It had huge Aquarium with Sharks and crocodile in it, artificial waterfall, place for Ice Skate and Musical fountains. Other Malls like Mall of Emirates, Deira City center are more or less same and they are spread on a huge space. People get to see a lot. All of this makes Dubai an ultimate shopping destination in the world.
Inside Dubai Mall, besides musical fountain you will find the Pride of Dubai, the Burj Khalifa. It was an awe-inspiring experience. It looks beautiful in the evening. I could not wait to take a snapshot of it. I was even more curious to know the way it will look during the day and what will be an amazing view from the top, I could not imagine.
So I planned another visit to this place on the last day of my trip. It was Friday, holiday in Dubai. I planned that I would visit at the Top of Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeira. I started in the morning and reached Dubai Mall. It is a kind of feeling that if people cannot get a chance to measure the Mount Everest, they should measure this building. Atleast, they will be at peace.
So I reached Dubai Mall towards the outlet where I can go for booking to reach at the Top. But Alas! All slots were unavailable. The only slot available was at 10:00 pm in the evening. It was impossible for me to go for that time slot as at the very same time I had to check out from the hotel and leave for the Airport. Disheartened by this, I decided to move on because I did not want to miss my visit to other places.
I left Dubai Mall and reached Internet city via Metro. From there I took Mono Rail to reach Palm Jumeirah. It is a kind of Island in the shape of palm. You will find beautiful residences and offices here and definitely expensive. On reaching Palm Jumeirah Islands, I saw a resplendent view of beach. It was Arabian Sea. The Ocean was blue and so calm.
I spent somewhere around 1.5 hours over here and then visited Atlantis. You will even find its references one of the Bollywood movies, Happy New Year. In the end I left for the Hotel as we had check out by 10:00 pm.
I could not cover all the places but maybe next time and would never miss to reach the Top of Burj Khalifa. It was learning onsite work experience and memorable tour. I am thankful to Nishant and Ankita who provided this onsite opportunity to me. Hope to get more and more onsite opportunities in future.