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  • Monday, May 31, 2010

    Abu Dhabi Photos

    Getting a view of what Abu Dhabi is like is a tall order - the old and the new mixed with the cultural and the tourism outlook that Abu Dhabi brings. Many of you will know the Abu Dhabi blog - Abu Dhabi Daily Photograph. It features on our best Abu Dhabi Blogs list, and if you haven't yet bought it you should check it out and add it to your RSS reader. But what you should also do is buy the book. It will have prime placement on your coffee table. The digital version doesn't do justice to the magnificence of the photos - in which case, you should just buy the book!

    Abu Dhabi Daily Photograph


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    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Things to do in Abu Dhabi

    A few years ago, you might have thought that a yawn was the best thing to do in Abu Dhabi. Well, since Abu Dhabi has stormed onto the tourism scene, and with so much promise for the future as a tourist destination, we decided that it was high time that we put together a guide of things to do in Abu Dhabi. It will no doubt evolve over time, but as a marker we have put together our top 10 list of things to do in Abu Dhabi.

    To some it will be a surprise, but while the Emirates Palace is one of things to see in Abu Dhabi, the number one thing to do in Abu Dhabi, if you are visiting, is to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It's available to Muslim's and non Muslim's alike and it's free. It's probably one of the best tourist experiences in the whole of the UAE. I kid you not.

    Check out our list of things to do in Abu Dhabi


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    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Best Hotels in Abu Dhabi

    Remember just over 5 years ago, the Abu Dhabi hotel scene was sparse. before the time of the Emirates Palace Hotel, the Shangri-La and Fairmont, there weren't any real standout hotels. The interconti had closed down for renovation, hotels were being renamed. Why? They were getting ready for Abu Dhabi to emerge - and since then, the Abu Dhabi hotel scene has exploded. While there are probably still only a tenth of the hotels available in comparison to Dubai, the strategic placement of hotels around the city and ont he relevant islands, is showing a sustainable scene with RevPars setting themselves up to maintain at a realistic stable level due to the stability of occupancy etc. We have reviewed all the relevant hotels, including the new hotels on the scene to understand which, actually are the best.

    It's a 2010 list, but by 2011 and 2012, there will be more hotels that push into the top ten list. This list of top ten hotels in Abu Dhabi is supposed to give a better view to tourists and business travellers on where to stay. These are the best 5 stars (or indeed 7 stars!) in Abu Dhabi. But maybe the best 5 start hotels in Abu Dhabi is not the be all and end all and don't cater to everyone. So we have looked at different segments, including the best budget hotels, which will give you a clean room to sleep in as well as a list of midrange hotels in Abu Dhabi. Inevitably, there is the list for the business traveller, but also, there are the best hotels apartments in Abu Dhabi. We have created this list because, you don't need to coup yourself up in Sands Hotel for 3 months while you are deciding whether you will stay in Abu Dhabi or are going to commit by finding a real place to live!

    So the question is, which ones topped our list. Check them out to find out:

    The Best Hotels in Abu Dhabi
    The Top Ten Hotels in Abu Dhabi
    The Best Hotel Apartments in Abu Dhabi
    Business hotels in Abu Dhabi
    Budget Hotels in Abu Dhabi
    Midrange hotels in Abu Dhabi

    And of course, let us know what you think!

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    Abu Dhabi's Gold Dispenser

    Imagine a vending machine that dishes out gold. You can find it at the end of the yellow brick round...in Abu Dhabi:

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Abu Dhabi's top hotel is upping the ante in the race for Gulf glitz: adding a gold-dispensing machine. The ATM-style kiosk in the Emirates Palace monitors the daily gold price and offers small bars up to 10 grams or coins with customized designs. It's the idea of a German entrepreneur, Thomas Geissler, who began testing the cash-for-gold machines in his native country in 2009. The Abu Dhabi debut on Wednesday is billed as the first international foray for Geissler's "Gold to Go" brand. Geissler says he picked Abu Dhabi because of its high-rolling atmosphere and the region's traditional ties to gold in commerce. The unveiling was timed well. Gold hit a record high Wednesday of more than $1,245 an ounce.

    And no, this is not a joke.

    Abu Dhabi, Where The ATMs Are Filled With Gold

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    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Green Arabia

    There upside of being green in a land where Oil is king means your efforts are taken in larger proposition. When you start thinking the impossible, you win prizes:

    Abu Dhabi has won the Arab world’s top green city and most environmentally friendly city awards. The double recognition was announced at the 2010 awards ceremony for leading Arab cities in environment, greening and landscaping, technology and architecture.

    That's a whole lot of effort.


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    Solving Emiratisation in the UAE

    How do you solve the regulation of nationalisation? - it's a question tackled by many states where expat's form the a large proportion of the qualified labour force - and the same issue that the UAE faces. Emiratisation in the UAE is less about attracting qualified Emiratis in the workplace - it is more aboue keeping them in the workplaces. The reasons cited by Emiratis for resigning from corporate positions have been a lack of career progression and the absence of a mentoring culture, according to a study conducted by government-sponsored Emirates National Development Programme (ENDP). Does this mean that employer only attempt to do this to keep to the rules? The flip way of looking at it is to embrace attempts to bring out the most and thus attract the best Emiratis irrespective of the regulation of nationalisation:

    “How well an employee performs and how long they keep working for a company goes hand-in-hand. When employees perform well, they feel good about themselves, the job they are doing and the company they are working for. Any employee who doesn’t perform well will almost always be stressed about that fact and hence more likely to want to change jobs or employers to get into a position in which they can be a performer. In general, employees tend to join what they believe is a good company, but often leave because they feel they have a bad manager.

    It is the manager’s job to set the motivational environment for their work group so that every employee in it has a chance to be a top performer. Setting clear goals and expectations about the job and then helping each employee achieve those goals and expectations is the essence of any great manager, who needs to convey that he or she is on the employee’s side in not only helping them do a good job, but in helping them to learn and grow in order to be able to take on additional responsibilities and in the process achieve their career goals.

    The manager thus must take a long-term view of their relationship with each employee that is reflected in the everyday actions and interactions that manager has with each employee. When this long-term view is adapted, it becomes more common and natural for managers to see every interaction with an employee as a building block for a stronger, more mutually beneficial relationship; they seek to systematically ask an employee for their opinion or input into decisions; they see learning opportunities in every assignment and every mistake an employee makes; and they feel successful when their individual employees are successful.

    This is the basis for a recognition culture, a mentoring culture, which in turn, makes every employee feel special and leads them to want to contribute at a higher level to the success of their manager, their team and the organization. Employees in such an organizational culture report being 5 times more likely to feel valued, 7 times more likely to stay with the company, 6 times more likely to invest with the company, and 11 times more likely to feel completely committed to their job and their employer.

    When this type of culture is in place, an employee’s career potential expands on a daily basis through every assignment, added responsibility and opportunity to contribute and they become less focused on individual promotional opportunities as a measure of their career advancement. They become empowered to act in the best interests of the organization in suggesting, developing and implementing their own ideas on a routine basis.”

    Government policies are also important when it comes to providing work for nationals and whether they should follow-up with the private companies to make sure they are not only hiring but also provide strategies to retain them like the UAE government who extensively made various measures to ensure that private companies hire Emiratis:

    “Depending upon the type and extent of the incentives, such government policies could greatly impact the hiring of Emiratis. Those incentives, however, are relative to the options and employment offers that Emiratis receive elsewhere for their type and level of education and experience. Ideally, retaining Emiratis should already be in the best interests of those companies who hired Emiratis to begin with, especially given they will have a vested interest in training those employees and the longer they stay, the greater company-related skills and knowledge they will have. Depending upon the level of the employee, the cost of replacing him or her can range up to 1.5 times their annual compensation. I’ve never seen where a government has had success providing ongoing incentives to help companies retain their employees. Such focus needs best come from within the companies themselves as they address the specific reasons employees report leaving and strive to create a stronger organizational culture that values the individual employee.”

    Quotes above from Bob Nelson, the keynote speaker at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Emiratisation Forum on 30th & 31st May 2010 at Fairmont Bab Al Bahar Abu Dhabi.

    Retention of Emiratis in the private sector needs to be addressed


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    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

    Are you ready for Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi? Are you ready for Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster - reaching 240km/h in under 4 seconds?

    Vroom vroom.

    Ferrari World Abu Dhabi


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    Boy or Girl?

    Join the discussion on Flickr

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    Friday, May 07, 2010

    Abu Dhabi - the song?

    Weird songs often come out of nowhere. And this is no different. A song has recently been released by a little heard Swedish group called Tex Glitter on their new album - Walk of Shame. The song is entitled "No Country like Abu Dhabi". That's bizarre in its own right because Abu Dhabi is not a country, it's an Emirate. I'm not sure what they are trying to say - maybe, as a country single, there is no country music in Abu Dhabi - or maybe it is actually saying that Abu Dhabi is not a country. Inspired lyrics, I'm sure - "under du desert skies, du camels run wild, du road goes on for ever, tru du desert sand". The track gets even weirder once you get to 2 minutes 10 with some experimentation with Arabic type background. Who knows - maybe this will be the hit of the summer? And perhaps it will be the surprise choice to be played prior to this year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Stranger things have happened.

    Sing with me now: "no derz no, derz no country, like abu dabby". I guarantee you, you will be humming it unexplainedly later today.

    Listen to No country like Abu Dhabi on Myspace


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    Tuesday, May 04, 2010

    Chocolate Massage in Dubai

    Among all the weird and wonderful things Dubai offers, one can get the ultimate chocoholic treat in Dubai - the chocolate massage.

    As the Hyatt says:

    The Ultimate Chocolate Experience - Be drizzled, rubbed, massaged and wrapped in warm chocolate as your skin is clarified, refined and pumped full of natural antioxidants. But the best part of this indulgence is that it is 100% calorie free, making it the quintessential treatment for every chocoholic. The pampering begins with a shoulders-to-toe exfoliation using real Dagoba organic chocolate and pure cane sugar. The bliss continues with a warm masque of pure cocoa, real honey and coconut milk. After removal, our decadent French cocoa absolute moisturiser is applied. This serves to release tension stored in the muscles as it locks in moisture.

    No licking.

    Hyatt Chocolate Massage


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    Saturday, May 01, 2010

    The Best Photography in the Middle East

    Some of the photography is just fantastic. Here is the UAE Winner:

    Check out the Canon Gulf Photo Plus for more


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