Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Duty Travel -- Dubai 24-26Feb2011

It was last minute I got selected to go for a workshop in Dubai. The workshop was sponsored by one of our competitor (Company E) for knowledge sharing purpose. My company would just have to pay for air tickets and allowance.

It was my first time going to Dubai and my first time going to the Middle East. However going on duty travel was not a fun thing because it was not a holiday. For those who travel on duty travel would understand what I mean.

My manager and I were selected to join the workshop. Our Department Head would take the same flight with us to join the Excom Meeting and back the following day. Our Senior Manager (team head) would fly into Dubai one day later to be one of the speakers for the workshop and would go back on the same flight as ours. So, we were flying into Dubai with our Department Head and back to Malaysia with our Senior Manager.

We took noon flight on 24Feb2011 and landed there late evening in Dubai. The flight took off 1 hour late from KLIA due to technical issue and we had almost 1 hour transit in the airplane at Karachi. Upon landing Dubai airport, it was a long walk to the immigration where we ended up queuing for almost 45 minutes just to get our passport stamped. By the time we check-in the hotel, it was too late and we were tired. We ended up only taking sandwiches in the hotel. The hotel which was booked by Company E was just opposite the airport. Yes, we stayed nearby to the airport and not in the city. This was how close the hotel was located…

The next day, we had breakfast in the hotel and a bus fetched all the participants to the Company E training centre (or another word, it was actually known as college). It was a one whole day session of sharing from other companies on the title “Continuous Monitoring”. I was amazed how small I was seeing other participants who were majority minimum managers and above. Some was even the Head of Department.

After workshop, we were sent back to the hotel. Our Senior Manager just landed and requested us to wait for him. My Manager and I were just ‘lepaking’ around the hotel and even taking our nap. Yes, we were still tired over our flight the day before with time difference of 4 hours. We took a free shuttle to the airport where we took train to the town. It was so late but we managed to see Burj Al Khalifa at night.

Than we walked to Dubai Mall to see the Giant Aquarium and had our late dinner at the food court. We were admiring all the expensive cars and all the expensive shops in the mall. The people there was having a good life enjoying having ‘tea tarik’ session in an expensive café.

On Saturday, it was the last day of the workshop session. We from Malaysia were the first to leave that we need to check out from the hotel in the morning. We pulled our luggage to the workshop. We had to leave after the brainstorming session and missed the brainstorming sharing session. It was a big rush and our Senior Manager was not happy with the arrangement but what to do…Cut cost… because our company would need to absorb the extra night stay for the hotel and extra allowance if we were to stay another night.

The return flight was a bigger airplane and yes, directs flight with no transit. We ended up doing our shopping in the airport. I managed to get a t-shirt for JL and AL with 3D Camel sewn on the t-shirt. JL was white color (I couldn’t find green for him) and AL had pink color.

We landed at KLIA on Sunday morning about 6plus am. Our Senior Manager went home while my Manager and I went to watch shop. I did my survey before I went and made comparison with Dubai Airport and found a better deal in KLIA (surprise leh…) that would be another post to write about…

I went home to zzzzzz and went for lunch with my grandmother from Alor Setar. I was so sleepy both journey from home and back to home for lunch. The journey was tiring and rushing. It took some time to adjust back my body clock.
The best experience I had from this trip is I made friends with all the competitors who could be useful to get the best practices and knowledge sharing. I distributed my business cards to everyone before I left for airport on the 2nd day.

Wish I had time to view more of Dubai….but just didn’t make it…


jazzmint said...

wah...so busy ler the trip hoh. The aquarium is huge!!