Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Like Sands through the Hourglass

Kristen and I are on our way off for what has started to become a bit of an annual tradition of taking an international trip each year. I'll admit that I do enjoy traveling for work, but it does cause problems on the home-front as well with me being gone between 15-30% of the time.

After a great time in Iceland and last year, and south-Australia the year before - Kristen got intrigued by what we were seeing in the media about the growth-boom in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I was initially hesitant - partly due to the proximity of places like Iran and Afghanistan, but also due to the sheer cost of such a trip. - I really wanted to go somewhere that we could use United miles since I am under a constant fear that should they re-file for bankruptcy we would see those disappear in a hurry.

When we went to book the trip, it become obvious that costs would be prohibitive. I tried to refocus on a potential western-Australia trip and possibly a combination with New Zealand. I hear both are rather incredible. Upon going to book the flights to Sydney/Perth, a new United ad appeared - "Introducing Daily Non-Stop to Dubai" - This changed everything, first off - as a new flight, the free/mileage-based tickets weren't all gone. Secondly, I too had gotten excited by what I've seen happening with the growth of Emerging Markets at Cisco.

So here we sit in the United lounge (5 hour layover) waiting for the 15 hour flight from Washington Dulles to Dubai. - It's a very short trip, only 5 days - but it should allow us to get a quick sense of what it's like. Already I have had a positive response from an old-friend on Facebook telling me that Dubai rocks.

Since booking the trip, we've gotten a lot of "Wow - Dubai ?"; I'm no idiot - I can hear the sentiment of 'why on earth would you go there ?' or 'that sounds scary !' in the voices. - C'mon folks, do you realize how in today's global economy such a US-centric attitude is going to be our biggest barrier towards economic growth and technology innovation ? - I look at this trip as an immersive lesson in how it's not just tech companies that are "Dealing with Darwin" but it's countries as well. - I applaud what I've read about Dubai preparing to evolve from an oil-exporting based economy to a trade, tourism and innovation based economy. - I sincerely hope I enjoy my vacation there, but before stepping foot off the plane, I'm already hoping that I'll be making this trip again for work soon.

I hope to share more from the desert-