So, what have we been up to recently?

For some reason I neglected to deliver a diary blog of m2r’s latest trip to the Middle East. I plan on making up for this now however.

Courtesy of the British Government’s Gateway to Global Growth Programme of which we are a part of, I, as international ambassador of m2r Ltd, travelled for free, top deck of a 747 to Dubai on the 16th October this year. The aim was to spend 1 day working in Dubai, 1 day in Abu Dhabi and then fly to Bahrain for 5 days.

So, day 1:

Friday 0ctober 16th

After a relaxing business class flight from Heathrow to Dubai I arrived at the Al Murooj Rotana, opposite Dubai Mall with time to spare. So a couple of beers to relax followed by organising my work notes for the two days in the UAE seemed like a good plan.

Saturday October 17th

Dubai Mall was strangely quiet. I know Dubai is going through troubled times but with the reduction in hotel prices I thought that the tourist trade would have increased. The roads are still jammed so the mass emigration that people have been harping on about has not had that much effect to the traffic. Anyway, a quiet mall means I could do my ‘daughter shopping’ at my leisure and without stress. By the way, I was shopping for presents for my daughter, not literally for a daughter. I always ensure I have one day off before working in the Middle East, through bitter experience I have realised that getting off a plane into 7 days of meetings is not the best idea.

Sunday October 18th

First day of work. I have to quickly get in into my head that today, although being Sunday, is effectively Monday, but it isn’t, it’s Sunday. If you see what I mean. 5 meetings today, spread across Dubai. All with current clients but it is important to maintain the relationships, especially as we are coming up to budget time. Our clients In Dubai really appreciate me coming over, although it is quiet on the recruitment front, it will kick off again and I want to ensure m2r is still at the forefront of their minds. With so many companies in my market doing a disappearing act from Dubai, this is an ideal opportunity to cement some relationships and instil confidence with our clients that we are not going the same way. So, all in all, a productive day.

Monday October 19th

Very very early start today. Going to Abu Dhabi for 2 meetings, first one at 9am, meaning having to leave Dubai at 5.30am. I was privileged to have a meeting at Al Yas Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It was fascinating to see it, one week prior to the race. 15000 workers all frantically making sure the circuit was ready. Ferrari world looks great, as does Yas Hotel. It begs the question why I turned up a week before the race and not actually for the race, but such is life. Who wants to party on Branson’s yacht anyway!!! As I am writing this in December, it is plain to see that the circuit was ready and they did a fantastic job. The second meeting was with a government owned company, very interesting and I am sure we will be working with them early 2010. By the way, October in the UK, cold. October in the UAE, 35 degrees. Bring it on!!

After this meeting it was a hot foot to the airport (3hrs away) to catch the flight to Bahrain. I was able to visit 3 more Emirates before I flew so I have now been to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. All very different! I bet that I am the only recruiter from Wakefield, West Yorkshire that can boast visiting all of these places for work!

Landed in Bahrain early evening, feel home again. I love Bahrain. This is my third visit this year, all for work. I think that says it all. We are getting a very good reputation in the Kingdom and I am delighted with this. I am proud to work with the clients we have and long may this continue. Anyway, enough of the saccharin. As m2r is now working in the hospitality market, I was invited to stay with a client. Beautiful hotel, only opened a few months ago. Slap bang in Seef to commuting is dead easy. Martin, my driver of old, was a welcome face as well. He is a good lad.

Tuesday October 20th

3 meetings today plus the BBBF luncheon. I am also having dinner with our partner company, Elite Recruitment based in Tubli. These meetings are a mix of new business and existing client visits and with our new initiatives in the region, they all should go well. The BBBF networking luncheon at the Golden Tulip is always fun, this will be my third one, probably more than some of the local members have been to! It was great to walk in, on my own, and be greeting with welcome faces and lots of hand shaking. I am beginning to be accepted here and this is the first step to establishing some good business relationships. I even had business people coming up to me saying they knew I was coming and wanted to say hello! Fantastic! I arranged to meet some current clients there also, it was great that some managed to turn up, it was also nice to know that they were there specifically to meet me. BBBF lunches are always good, the food is great and the company is top notch. I am hoping to be an associate member, time will tell……..

Wednesday October 21st

Well, I never made it to dinner last night. In hindsight arranging to go for a Kerala curry a few hours after a 5 course BBBF lunch was not the greatest idea. However, I did go to Elite’s offices and then to Sherlocks for some beers with them. Yazied and Ranjeeta are great people, very driven but down to earth with it. I cannot believe how fast Ranjeeta drives but that’s a different story. I am sure this is the start of a great relationship between m2r and Elite.

Today 7 meetings are arranged. Due to some ‘technical hitches’ I arranged for Elite to attend a couple of these meetings which they did. I spent the day with one of the Bahraini trading companies that I work for. I was introduced to some very influential people. Several projects were discussed and they appreciated my refreshing approach. Looking forward to working with / for them. The evening was spent in the British club, lovely place with cheap beer. Just what you want after a hard days work.

Thursday October 22nd

Final day before the weekend. (Today is Friday, no Thursday but it feels like Friday etc etc). Another 6 meetings today. 1 of them is with a client who has flown specially from Qatar to see me, this is a tremendous honour. All go really well. I was very impressed with the fish at Chico’s in Adliya, the cigars were very good too. I never realised that Castro himself used to go there. However not being used to smoking fat cigars, I did think my head was going to fall off after a while. All in all it has been a profitable if extremely tiring trip. I can look forward to an evening off followed by a relaxing day before the red eye back to Heathrow.

Friday October 23rd

Had a good night with Yazied last night, saw a typical Arabian bar, gets me set for Saudi in March! Today, being Friday (Saturday, Friday, you get the gist) I am doing nothing. A bit of shopping followed by spending the afternoon at my mate’s villa in Janusan. It is important that I see a local expat villa as how UK recruitment companies can offer an expatriation service without seeing firsthand the type of accommodation you can live in beats me. If you remember, on my last trip, I actually stayed in an apartment as opposed to a hotel for the same reason. Another USP me thinks…..

So goodbye Bahrain / UAE until March 2010 at least.

Good trip?

Well……

·         30 meetings.

·         Vacancies ranging from CEO to Accounts Assistant.

·         Reputation increased / cemented.

·         Partner company met, vetted and relationship being built.

So yes, all in all, a great trip.

 

 

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