So Mary and I arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday in readiness for the Women in Leadership Forum being held in the magnificent Emirates Palace, a national landmark. At a cost of $US3 billion, it is the second most expensive hotel ever built.  The hotel made headlines last year when it unveiled the world’s most expensive xmas tree. Towering at 13 metres, the tree itself was nothing special – it was the $US11 million worth of jewels that was enough to send it straight into the Guinness World Records book. What are they going to do this year?  Get a real live gold angel for the top!

Often mistaken for the presidential palace, the hotel boasts 114 domes and impressive features, such as the gold leaf-bedecked lobby. Gold is just strewn about everywhere you look. From the pillars in the hallways to the sinks in the lavish bathrooms. There are more than 1000 Swarovski crystal chandeliers and the marble that abounds is imported from 13 different countries.  Am I awestruck, yes.  But you need to see it by night too.  Arabian Magic.

 

 

And here is lovely Mary Al Khouri at our Private Jet Charter stand. It was a very busy few days with lots of seminars, workshops and so on for the ladies who lead, and Mary and I we were there to advise them on the cost effectiveness and  flexibility of travelling by private jet.  Lots of them knew already, but we told them again anyway.

 

 

 

 

The event ended up with a fabulous gala dinner (well gala buffet would be a better description) sitting outside on the terrace in the gentle breeze listening to the sound of the waves lapping the silver sands.  ‘We are so lucky Mary’ I said, I think our smiles say it all.

 

 

 

 

So I headed back to Dubai for a whirlwind of meetings, business lunches and evenings out.  Here I am with our two lovely Lebanese Elie’s at Sho Chos Japanese bar/restaurant, great location right on the edge of the sea.  Thats Elie Abdo to my left our Business Development Director for the Middle East and Elie Nehme one of our Dubai based Aviation Consultants.  ‘How’s business boys?’ I asked.  I got a big thumbs up all round.  Thats my boys 🙂

 

 

Today it’s 40th National Day in Dubai, so that can only mean one thing…a day off to party and celebrate.They certainly do it in style, flags a flutter everywhere.

And sadly times up for Mr C and I, we are heading back to the UK Head Office.  So it’s bye bye to Dubai for this year.  But as Arnold Schwartzeneger once famously said, ‘I’ll be back’.