Archive for December, 2013

Cats and violins

December 13, 2013

So here we are. The final night of the final trip of 2013. And what a year. We have visited 6 countries, done 18 flights, attended countless meetings and generated some fantastic new business as well as cementing those existing relationships. It has been tiring, stressful but very fulfilling and we will be doing it all over again in 2014.
I am writing this looking out at the corniche in Abu Dhabi. Very nice it is too. If Carlsberg did final hotels to round off a business trip……..

Abu Dhabi certainly has some great potential for us and will be explored in much greater detail, as will the rest of the UAE. As with the rest of the GCC, education and training are two areas of huge focus and demand, therefore our wonderful services should be in great demand. Based on the conversations I have had, I feel very confident of having a good client base here by the end of 2014.
Trade Missions are always interesting vehicles in which to do business. Great for contacts but I do feel that some people come on these and expect it to be a bit of a jolly. They are not. Please, if you expect to have loads of ‘down time’ and be mollycoddled from the minute you arrive, don’t come. Simple as that. You are using a place that an adult could have taken.
Regarding my current location, I have to say it is simply stunning. This hotel is incredible and thank God we are part of the soft opening otherwise I would be washing dishes to pay for it. The £50k Christmas tree in the lobby says it all.


I arrive home tomorrow, slightly nervous as to the amount of work we are going to have to do next year, over and above what we already have, but in today’s climate, I am not grumbling. To those who moaned and complained about the intensity of this particular trip, I am sure when you reflect you will realise how beneficial all the meetings were. If you don’t, stay at home and keep stirring the cauldron.
To the St Regis hotel, thank you for your amazing hotel but do us all a favour, change the music around the pool. It sounds like a cat has been trapped in a violin.
To the Training Gateway, the trip was too hectic and no water on the coach nearly killed me. (Joke, but then you already know that). Looking forward to being part of the next one.
Merry Christmas folks.



Anyone got any matchsticks?

December 11, 2013

Well, that was an eventful 2 days here in beautiful Oman. For someone used to cold weather in December, sitting here in Muscat where it’s 30 degrees is somewhat of a weird if not fantastic experience. Might as well enjoy it whilst I can….
This leg of the trade mission has been excellent, in my opinion better than Qatar but only because I have made more contacts and received greater interest in our recruitment services. Plus I just prefer Oman, but that’s just my personal opinion.
I am struggling to remember the number of meetings we have had etc due to extreme tiredness, but suffice to say, loads of positivity and we will certainly be coming back in the very near future. As we already do quite a bit of business here it is always good to see familiar faces and build on our already good partner relationships. That’s what it’s all about after all.

As the Training Gateway are now forced fans of my blog, just a word about them. Thoroughly impressed. (Ok 2 words). If I am allowed to come on another on their trade missions I will definitely be at the front of the queue. It is a shame that not everyone shares the same sentiment, some of the comments have been hilarious to say the least but if you think I am going to share them on here, not a chance. All I will say is some people are better suited to working in the UK. For ever.
Thankfully no idiocy from me this time. Well, just a little bit but you can’t have everything. You have to let your (in my case imaginary) hair down sometimes for fear of going crazy.
Anyway Merry Christmas from Muscat, next stop Abu Dhabi where I somehow doubt it will be any less hectic than here. Which is good, although unbelievably tiring!



Rainbow chicks and shiny towers.

December 9, 2013

What a contrast in a week! My first blog post in Saudi involved heavy rain, the sighting of an Ark and a bloke jet skiing down the street in Riyadh. Qatar on the other hand is boiling. Bright blue sky, loads of sun, I can see the sea… Hang on, this sounds like a holiday. If only.

I arrived on Friday evening and yes, Saturday was a day of rest but Sunday and today have been totally full on. Meetings all day plus the evening, today the first meeting was at 7.30am but took 45 mins to get to, so all in all utterly knackering.
This time I am part of a very well organised trade mission with The Training Gateway. I am very impressed. The slightly lazy side of me wishes for less activity but the far more dominant side is glad that it is all go as this means loads of business opportunities. I am here with my education recruitment hat on and it is lined with felt and looks like a Fedora. The meetings have heralded some positive conversations which I am sure will generate new contracts in Qatar. I have also met some of our existing clients which is always good too. I will certainly be coming back in the near future.

As usual my business professional side always gives way to bouts of dumbassness. I managed to get my feet tangled in a series of fishing lines whilst out for a stroll on Saturday. Unsurprisingly the guy who owned said lines was not overly chuffed.
Before I go to Oman and whilst you wonder of the other 50% relevance of the title to this blog! see below.. I kid you not. At the souk, you can buy rainbow coloured chicks. Not sure of the ethics behind this.