Dubai and the UAE – The amazing place

I’ve just spent two weeks in Dubai and the neighboring Emirates and I discovered an amazing booming country …

Amazing because of its history: 50 years ago, this place was only the desert.

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The desert can be discovered with Jeeps or Quads

 

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View from the Arabic Sea

 

Amazing because of the speed of construction: there are roadworks everywhere and new buildings are popping up like mushrooms out of the desert. For people living there, they need to update their GPS software almost every month …

Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina

 

Amazing because of the mix of modernity and tradition: there are many towers and the variety of the architecture is very rich.

Dubai Atlantis
Dubai Atlantis

 

Architecture prodigy in Abu Dhabi
Architecture prodigy in Abu Dhabi

 

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Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque

 

Amazing because of its surprises: The UAE offer a lot of surprises.

  • Burj Khalifa: the highest tower in the world in Dubai
  • Dubai Mall:: one of the largest shopping mall in the world
  • Dubai aiport: one of the largest airport in the world that has become a huge hub between Europe and Asia with its famous airliner Emirates.
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Burj Khalifa at night with laser show on it

 

Dubai Burj Khalifa

 

Dubai mall's aquarium
Dubai mall’s aquarium

 

Toy store in Abu Dhabi
Toy store in Abu Dhabi

 

I encourage you to have a look at the list of UAE Guiness World Records that is very impressive.

 

Amazing because of its development strategy: Dubai is a place for business; to prepare for the next decades, they have invested a lot of money in digital business and smart city technologies. In terms of IT and software, they have the big advantage to not have any legacy to maintain, so that they can invest directly in the most modern technology.

Dubai has announced a Smart City initiative that will leverage the Internet of Everything to become one of the world’s most connected and sustainable cities with the Expo as the platform for unveiling this vision.

Dubai has recently won the bid to host the World Expo 2020, with the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

In today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment is key. While a single human mind, and individual country or a specific community is both unique and remarkable, it is by working collaboratively that we truly advance” – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Dubai smart parking
Dubai smart parking – Pay your parking with SMS

 

 

Take vacation, it’s good for the business

The winter school vacation are just over here in France. It was a good time to take a week off with my family to go skiing in the Alps.

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A lot of sport, a lot of sleep and a lot of fresh air … People often say that one week skiing is worth two weeks in the Caribbean islands. Even if we can’t deny this statement from the financial perspective, the fact of taking some fresh air with an increased production of the red blood cells is definitely worth it. Without mentioning the nice Savoyard restaurants and the walks, the  station village and the joy of your kids to get their ski medal at the end of their week of ski lessons.

When you come back, your are fully reloaded, full of vital energy. Vital energy is extremely important to me, I need to keep it flowing to feel alive and undertake new projects. I preserve this energy with good sleep and regular sport activity during the year but nothing compares to a full week of skiing downhill.

 

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Taking vacation is not just leaving your work for a while. I have actually never stopped working in my whole life, I think it’s part of my brain structure. But this is mostly about getting away from the daily trouble, from all the noise that pollutes your brain and pump out your energy. The state of your life is the state of your mind, so it’s worth taking some break to regenerate it nicely.

 

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It’s also a matter of new perspective. While going to a remote place, you meet new landscape, new people and make new activities, that changes your daily routine and gives you full new perspective when you return.

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While I was running my own company in the past few years, I realized that the best ideas I got and the best decisions I took for my business happened when I was on vacation. This is about letting your brain loose and let it work for you as a background task without you even noticing it. There was a huge progress over the past years in neurosciences and the way our brain is working is simply amazing. Look at the ideas you often get while you sleep … I experience the same on vacation.

 

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So take some vacation, it’s good for the business! The most difficult experience I think is the first day when you return and need to process all emails you got while you were away. Good luck with that !

 

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It has been quite some time …

It has been quite some time I’ve been thinking of opening this blog. I’ve always loved writing and sharing my experience to others.

This might come from my education with a Mom who is a teacher and always loved sharing her knowledge with her students. I also had many great teachers in my life when I was a student, great artists when I played the piano, great masters when I practiced karate for years. We can only grow when learning from others and one day, it is your turn to share what you have learned for so many years combined with what you have acquired from your own experience.

Over the past years, when I was running my own startup company specialized in social network and digital marketing, I had a great mentor who took time to share his expertise and gave me very valuable advice. This never was about telling me what to do, this always was about leaving me to my role of manager, this was my own call. Over time, we became very good friends. He is a notorious Business Angel in France and he let me have a tribune on his blog. I wrote there many articles including one on “How much to get paid as an entrepreneur ?” that has ranked in the top views for the past 4 years.

As my company was getting a lot of articles in the press due to rapid growth of the social community we were  building, I discovered the world of journalists and felt very comfortable with this activity. We even got shows on TV, at the beginning on small regional TV channels and then on a national one in off-peak hour and eventually, after a few other broadcast, we reached the Holy Grail with 3 minutes on national news on the largest French TV channel. The impact was so immediate and huge that we saw lights of our servers turning to dark red … a lot of stress but such a satisfaction and good memories. For those who don’t know, journalists never tell you when you are going to be broadcast, so you get your adrenaline shot when you see your website traffic blowing the sky.

I thought then it was the right time for me to open a tribune on one the largest news website dedicated to Net startups and IT trends. If you can read French, you can read my last articles on the Stéphane Castellani’s tribune on Journal du Net. My articles got good impact on audience, I could see  them inserted many times in the bi-weekly national newsletter and I got many friends of mine sending me a short memo that they saw my article and were encouraging me to continue.

Having an expert tribune on these national web sites is great because you don’t need to care of anything except writing (technology is there, marketing is there) but as a digital marketing guy, I’ve been missing two things: first, my liberty of style and content that is sometimes not sticking to well to formal writing guidelines; second, my “Google Analytics” account to follow traffic growth, SEO ranking, social media impact, direct engagement with visitors, advertising performance … this was my daily companion for quite a while and I realize I’ve let him down since I sold my company and joined a large software vendor as a digital expert keen on APIs and middleware technologies.

Today is the D day when I decide to execute what has been up in my mind for some time and not wait any longer before starting a new journey on the Web with my blog, humble and with a desire to share my personal view on the world.