Continuing our iVEDiX Travel Diary, our roving reporter in the Middle East, Dubai based iVEDiX representative Caz, has some tales to tell and learnings to impart of a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Since Dubai’s regional Gulf Information & Technology Exhibition (GITEX) in 2012 the team had been working overtime to establish solid relationships with various Middle East Government entities here. Efforts recently rewarded with invitations to meet 2 very strategic departments across the UAE. Whilst typical regional confidentiality dictates non disclosure it is worth noting that both are directly engaged in the evolution of data systems and business intelligence initiatives here; a space within which, of course, iVEDiX excel. And the kudos is clear. These departments are notoriously prudent in whom they choose to engage with, or even meet. This was then already a ‘win’ for iVEDiX to secure a meeting but nevertheless the pressure to deliver was also incredibly high.
And pressure of another kind existed. A logistical one. The meetings were to take place on the same day and had to include an additional commercial meeting – in Al Ain. The farthest tip of Al Ain. Consulting Mapquest the journey was over 300 miles total; 7 hours driving time. Oops. With 2.5 hours allotted to each meeting in 3 different locations this was going to be a very long day.
What we really needed for a trip of this magnitude was a Schumacher-driven Ferrari, what we got was a Jean Michel-driven Toyota Corolla!
So here are just a few of the lessons we each learned over the span of our time together in the confines of Hertz’ finest.
- When renting a vehicle always ensure its 0-60 performance is less than 15 minutes
- Whilst we have proven it physically possible it is not advisable to forgo food and drink for a full day, not with a frenchman in tow; pre-purchased in-car food and beverage supplies must next time feature strongly and preferably include fancy french pastries and a particular brand of mountain spring water….
- Roundabouts are approached more slowly than your prevalent speed, usually…
- A GPS will only assist your journey if the correct address is actually entered, I will say it again, a GPS will only assist your journey if the correct address is actually entered
- It is always advisable to fill up on gas as soon as possible once the warning indicator lamp lights up – that’s the one which looks like a gas tank and is lit up in RED
- There are amazingly few gas stations between Al Ain and Abu Dhabi
- Disregard advice from backseat drivers; they are likely to be a gibbering mess and unlikely to make any kind of sense at all. Do, however, check their fingernails for damage.
- Always try to remember to disengage child locks in the rear of the vehicle in order not to leave colleagues behind; unless of course that is your intent, in which case please refer to Point 2
But setting aside the fun elements of our trip, the business and relationship-building achievements were immense. As both teachers and students in the information exchange iVEDiX came away with an even greater sense that the UAE has reached a level of maturity and operational readiness to accelerate its ascent to meet the demands of both today’s and tomorrow’s leadership. And we are very much looking forward to being an intrinsic element of that shift in gears – even if a frenchman is driving!
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