Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On the Road - Day 6

Good morning!

I've just figured out that I've hit the airport(s) 6 times in 6 days. Another 9 between now and November 11th - how relaxing!

24 hours since my last note and it's been a fast pace. We landed (late) in Doha and had a scant 4 hours to dash around to all of our meeting sites with our guide. Made easier was the fact that both Al Jazeera and the US Central Command base are off limits until we actually visit them with our group next week.

Doha's the capital of Qatar, a country of only a quarter million people. 6000 of which are members of the Royal Family and who spend some time in the palace compounds built along the water. Some of the buildings in Doha have been around since the 60's and most of the roads have been completed enough that getting around is easy + quick. The skyline again is dotted with brand new modern skyscrapers, most in varying stages of completion, with 500 towers to be build in the next 7 years by 2015. 500!!!!

Doha feels a little more like a resort, at least our hotel does as it's right on the beach with a large pool and cabana area. Not too relaxing though what with the sounds of construction everywhere around us.

Our guide Leel, who will be with us next week, finally captured what we've been feeling. It's been incredibly hard to confirm meetings, get answers back, finalize venues and speakers. Much more so than any other excursion I've organized. Leel (who comes from Sri Lanka) offered that people here have so much money that there's not a sense of urgency to anything. Most work in the mornings and take the afternoons off. Shopping is the biggest form of entertainment, as are afternoon coffees at Starbucks. Ah! That explains it.

The nationals of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are a minority and very well taken care of by their government, including free houses, cushy jobs, and a $25,000 subsidy for your wedding if you marry another national. All the service jobs in the hotels and elsewhere, and certainly construction, are all done by foreign workers.

Spent a half an hour napping on the beach in the late afternoon, but as the sun goes down just after 5 I have yet to experience the real heat. Everything is air conditioned to the nth degree so much so that I'm wearing more and more layers as I look longingly outside at the sun during the day.

Early morning with a 4 am wakeup call and back on the plane to Muscat, Oman this morning. We'll be on the ground for 3 days, with our participants starting to arrive tonight and tomorrow. Today will be a little frantic trying to get our packages organized for the guests, incorporating the 957 large + small changes that we've made to the program now that we've been here in person. The goal is to take half a day off tomorrow in the sun before we launch into the 6 am - 10 pm days of our program.


1 comment:

sujon sarkar said...

I think your post is so helpful for us .I will surely come back in your site.
I got a new site which is very easy for movie download.
payce software collection