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Dubai Day 9 – 05/01/2017

Jan 5, 2017   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

It is Thursday and already our last day with CBL in Dubai.

We started our day at the Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC. It is a federal financial free zone and the financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia as it provides a world-class platform connecting the region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Our first visit was at DIFC Courts. Those are an independent English language common law judiciary with jurisdiction governing civil and commercial disputes nationally, regionally and worldwide. The DIFC Courts have jurisdiction over most civil and commercial matters occurring within the DIFC, which means that, where DIFC Courts have jurisdiction, such jurisdiction will exclude the jurisdiction of the Dubai Courts.

From there we walked to the Al Fattan Currency Tower and the offices of Hogan Lovells. Hogan Lovells is multinational law firm which claims specialization in litigation and arbitration, corporate, finance, and intellectual property. The Dubai Office serves as hub for the Middle East as the law firm has develop a strong track record in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. The team includes civil law qualified Arabic-speaking lawyers who work mainly on cross-border transactions and disputes.

We were given an introduction to the field of Islamic finance, a term used to refer to Islamic commercial jurisprudence and also to an ideology of economics based on the teachings of Islam. It was very interesting to hear of this approach to business, although the lawyer ensured us that in the end “banking is banking”.

As this is our last day in Dubai we had a free afternoon to pack our things or get some souvenirs.

In the evening, all delegates and our team coordinator met up again for a last time and walked to Madina Souk, where we enjoyed a very decent dinner at a Libanese restaurant before the morning of our Farewell.

Dubai Day 8 – 04/01/2017

Jan 4, 2017   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

On Day 8 we visited The Higher Colleges of Technology – Dubai Women’s College. The young institution has a state-of-the-art campus spread over 350,000m2 and with 3,065 students enrolled in one of six academic programmes.

As the college was almost empty due to holiday season, there was enough space for us to visit a class on Intercultural Intelligence in the morning. For about 4 hours a teacher led us through the basic ideas of ICI which describes the capability to function effectively in culturally diverse settings and consists of different dimensions correlated to effectiveness in global environment. Intercultural intelligence is used in the business world in order to bridge the cultural divide and avoid misunderstandings that affect business. Surprisingly, every delegate has a cultural diverse background: Many of us grew up with two or even three mother tongues, lived in a foreign country or moved to another continent for their studies. Hence, it was interesting to hear what some of us had done intuitively all their lives or where confronted with in their past.

In the afternoon, our group split in those students who studied law and those who are becoming lawyers. Each had another lessons related to the U.A.E. and Dubai before we returned to the EAHM.

Dubai Day 7 – 03/01/2017

Jan 3, 2017   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

It’s Day 7 of our Dubai adventure and today we were going to visit FedEx as well as the National Bank of Dubai.

In the morning we drove to Dubai International, where the FedEx Hub Dubai is located.

After a security check, we were allowed inside the office building of FedEx. At first we were given an introduction by their sales manager and his colleagues who have been here since the early 2000s or even before. They explained the general strategy and business model of FedEx to us and gave us information about the role of the Dubai hub. It plays a major role in world trade as 2/3 of the world population is accessible within 6 hours what turns out to be a great advantage in the courier business. After the presentation we had the chance to tour the hub and enter a cargo plane.

As the airplay was just about to be loaded, the delegates even could play with the controller and try to place a shipment in the airplane. We also had a “photo session” in the cockpit and the freight space, which certainly was a unique experience.

Having finished the tour we returned back to the office, were FedEx offered us pizza for lunch and engaged us to chat with their managers.

In the afternoon, we drove near Old Dubai and visited the headquarters of the National Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD.

Through a presentation we learned that NBD is one of the largest banks in the Middle East and has more than 220 branches and over 900 ATMs and Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs) spread across the country and overseas. The NBD Group is also a major player in the corporate banking arena and has a fast-growing Islamic banking breach.

Apart from that, the NBD building hosts a Pearl Museum which preserves the history of the pearl divers and merchants of Arabia and shows a unique, priceless collection of Pearls from the Gulf region. Probably none of us has seen so many pearls in his life before. Once again it was exciting to see the development as a small pearl diver’s settlement to the hyper modern city is today.

Dubai Day 6 – 02/01/2017

Jan 2, 2017   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

Our sixth day with CBL led us to another Emirate and the capital of the U.A.E., Abu Dhabi.

After a 90 minutes drive, we arrived at Masdar City close to the capital and not far away from Ferrari World. Masdar City is a planned city project, where the U.A.E. try to prove that it is possible to have a city fully realiable on renewable energy in the middle of the desert.

Our first stop was at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The university is a graduate level, research-oriented college focussing on alternative energy, sustainability and other environment issues. We were given a campus tour by one of their research assistants, a PhD student from Brazil who recently moved to Masdar to research on urban planning. As we were guided around the campus, we experienced that like many other buildings in the U.A.E., it was designed by Foster + Partners. They aimed for designing an environment friendly work-and-living space including the use of traditional architectural elements. It was impressive to see how the architecture of the building complex had impact on its micro climate and how they achieved an air condition without electricity simply by using the law of physics.

After our tour, we had lunch in one of the various restaurants on campus. Following, we had the chance to return to our bus – in an autonomous, electric podcar of Masdar’s personal rapid transit system.

Our second stop was the Urban Planning Council of Abu Dhabi. The UPC is the strategic planning agency for Abu Dhabi and suppports the Abi Dhabi Vision 2030. It is responsible for reviewing and approving Master Plans and Projects within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. We were given a presentation of one of the UPC’s planners through which we gazed some insights of the Emirate’s plans for the future.

In the afternoon we continued to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The Mosque is not even 10 years old and one of the largest (and most beautiful ones) in the world. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s uses artisans and material from all around the globe and hence is said to “unite the world”. We had a very interesting tour through the Mosque and also visited the prayer hall, which can accommodate over 7000 worshipers and features the biggest one piece, hand-made carpet in the world. The Mosque certainly is one of the must-sees in one’s lifetime and a testimony of the achievements of the U.A.E.

As we stayed in the Mosque until dawn, we even had a chance to hear the Muezzins Call before we travelled back to Dubai after a very long and exciting day.

Dubai Day 5 – 01/01/2017

Jan 1, 2017   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

New Year’s Day is our day off.

Some delegates have booked a big bus tour and go sight seeing. Others prefer sun bathing, shopping, they visit their Dubai-based relatives or take the metro downtown to enjoy one of the countless opportunities in the city centre.

 

Dubai Day 4 – 31/12/2016

Dec 31, 2016   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

On the fourth day of the programme, we drive to the city of Sharjah, which is the capital of the emirate with the same name. Sharjah is located next to Dubai and it only takes us 45 minutes to get there in the morning.

At first we stop at the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority Shurooq. Their aim is to develop Sharjah’s business potential, cultural heritage and natural beauty for today and generations to come. They chose projects that help Sharjah grown in the best way possible and search for unique mixed-use developments combining retail and cultural attractions.

Our first appointment is with a member of Shurooq’s Legal Department. He introduces us to the authority itself and explains the basic tasks of a lawyer in the legal department. After the presentation, we are invited for a nice and surprising buffet lunch in a showroom of the company.

After that, we walk over a canal and through some arcades as we head for the Maraya Art Centre. Maraya Art Centre is a three-storey non-profit museum which offers creative space for everyone. They are showcasing the work of leading Middle Eastern artists and boast an art library in which students can learn in a friendly and quiet environment. We get a tour by the director of the Maraya Art Centre and are stunned by the contemporary exhibition.

When we are done, it’s lunch time and we have a tea in a Turkish restaurant at the arcades we passed by earlier. From there we walk to Eye of the Emirates Wheel, which is similar to the London Eye. Normally, the Eye does not operate at that time of the day, but surprisingly they are turning it on for the 13 of us. From the top, 60 metres above the ground, we get a clear view on Sharjah, which seems to be quieter than Dubai, but nevertheless it is a very decent spot with nice water canals and a long beach front at the Gulf. After a couple of rides, we exit and go to some water fountains next to the Eye, where we are presented a short show.

Our last stop for today is The Heart of Sharjah Discovery Centre. It is a cultural heritage site which is a Candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site. Their aim is to restore the old cultural district to show what the emirate was like in the 1950s. After a short introduction by their manager, we are offered dates and traditional coffee and are shown around a bazaar as well as a museum. The museum holds a collection of traditional clothing and explains the traditional life in the Gulf region.

Shurooq cleary made an effort to show us around Shardjah and welcomed us very warmly!

In the early afternoon we return to Dubai and experience some traffic as many people are heading for the city centre for New Year’s Eve.

After some refreshments, some delegates head for one of the world most impressive fireworks at Burj Al Khalifa, others have booked tickets for a beach club and some stay at the EAHM to get a sight of Burj Al Arab at midnight.

Wherever they might be- surely none of us won’t forget where we spend that last night of 2016 and the early hours of 2017. Happy New Year!

Dubai Day 3 – 30/12/2016

Dec 30, 2016   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

It’s already our third day with CBL and since it’s Friday, it’s like a Western world`s “Sunday”, many facilities are closed in the morning to give the Muslim time to join Salat al-Dschum, Friday’s prayer.

Still, our language teacher Hala comes to EAHM to teach us some basic expressions in Arabic in the morning. She has a very funny and outgoing personality and learning from her is much fun. As she makes us “talk” to another, everyone is quickly able to introduce himself in Arabic and greet and thank people.

In the late afternoon, we go to the desert South-West of Dubai. At a base camp we change cars and get on special 4x4s, which take us dune bashing. After a thrilling, but safe trip on this natural roller coaster, we stop at a Beduin styled desert camp, where we have the opportunity to get on cross bikes, quads or ride a camel. For the delegates, the desert itself is the main attraction and we play around the sand dunes as children and watch the sun sink at this very special place. After sunset, we dine at the camp and watch a show which features belly dancing, fire dwelling and Dervishes whirl.

Returning back to Dubai late that night, we take a look at the sparkling skyline of Dubai and realize, how surreal it feels to build up a city like Dubai in the desert.

Dubai Day 2 – 29/12/2016

Dec 29, 2016   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

Our 2nd day in Dubai starts early in the morning as we are heading South to DP World.

DP World is a leading maritime company and enabler of global trade with terminals in 40 countries all over the globe. Their headquarter is in Dubai, where they operate the world’s largest man-made harbour Jebel Ali Port. After a short introduction at DP World‘s offices, our private tour bus is led through Jebel Ali . We see countless cargo containers and loading plants as we drive through the world ninth largest port.

Our guide teaches us about the importance of cargo shipping in global trade. In fact, almost 90 % of all goods are transported by container ships. As it is a very competitive and yet growing market, operators always search for new, more efficient ways to run their business. DP World is especially proud of their latest project, the fully automatized Terminal 3. There, machines run 24/7 without human involvement. Furthermore, it’s the geographical situation which makes the port one of the most important ones in the world and a transhipment point for goods from Asia to Europe and the U.S. as well as Northern Africa.

Our second appointment for today is Dubai South, not far away from Jebel Ali. Dubai South is Dubai’s current prestige project and will be a masterplanned metropolis in the South of Dubai. In their gigantic and modern head offices, basically in an oasis in the desert lands at the outskirts of Dubai, we are shown how the government realizes their own “Dubai Plan 2021” since 2006.

Besides a gigantic air cargo terminal, only a few miles away from Jebel Ali port, Dubai South will hold several communities, malls as well as a college for aviation and engineering- all of this built in an area twice the size of Hong Kong Island.

Dubai South is also home to the now-operational Al Maktoum International Airport, which will be the largest airport in the world when complete – and the above all, home of the World Expo 2020.

Very impressed, we return to the EAHM for lunch. In the afternoon, we have an appointment at Kempinski Palm Jumeirah. After being shown around the pool and private beach area, we are welcomed by the Hotel Management – in one of the hotel’s 4-bedroom-luxury penthouses with a very impressive view of Dubai’s skyline and the Gulf.

After exploring this 8000 AED/night accommodation, we are given a presentation on Kempinski as a brand and on their Palm Jumeirah object. As Kempinski defines itself not only as a luxury brand, but also as a “collection of individuals”, every hotel looks different but they share highest hospitality standards. After their presentation, the two managers offer us coffee, tea and cake (baked by Kempinski’s chef) and take all time to answer all our questions.

Dubai Day 1 – 28/12/2016

Dec 28, 2016   //   by Kora Philipp   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

Dear Reader,

My name is Kora, I am a law student from Würzburg, Germany, and a member of ELSA (European Law Students Association), which is how I found out about CBL International Dubai Winter Law School 2016/17. On this blog, I’ll provide you with an insight of the Law School activities as well as my own impressions and experiences in the UAE. Enjoy!

Day 1 – December 28th, 2016

It’s Wednesday and the first day of our programme with CBL.

Arriving late on yesterday night, I managed to find my way through Dubai’s bus system and took a cab for the mile to the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM). EAHM is a highly recognized school for hospitality management and it offers not only appartments in the style of a self-catering hotel, but also a fitness room, sport courts, swimming pool, restaurant and conference rooms.

In the morning, all delegates met up with the programme coordinator Elizabeth (Libby). We are 13 delegates, all either students or young professionals, taking part in the CBL Dubai Winter School and we come from all parts of the world. There are people from Australia, Germany, Iraq, South Africa, Switzerland, Western Sahara, the UK and the USA. One delegate even lives and works in Dubai.

At first, everyone introduces themselves and Libby gives us a short overview of the plans for the next 10 days. She also advices us to follow some rules, e.g. not to drink in public or not to wear revealing clothes on the streets. In the end she promises we will have a great experience here and concludes that we will soon find out that „everything in Dubai is the best, the biggest, the largest“.

Afterwards, we are given a 3 hour class on Arab Culture by an Australian guy called Phil, who has lived here for 10 years. His lecture focusses mainly on geography, religion, Arabic language and the recent developments in the Middle East. It’s surprising how little most of us actually know about the Arab Culture, but the class helped a lot to understand things better and Phil managed to eliminate prejudices and stereotype thinking.

In the afternoon, a private bus takes us to Nakheel Properties. Nakheel (Arabic „palm trees“) is a large real estate company and creator of man-made islands such as The Palm or The World. We are given a presentation on the building of The Palm, which was created to enlarge Dubai’s coast line by 78 kilometres and provided space for new estates such as the most famous „Atlantis“.

We learn much about the way the artifical islands are created here and are also shown how Nakheel took care of environmental issues e.g. by replacing corals.

Before driving back to EAHM, the bus takes us around The Palm, where we could have a sight at the Gulf Coast and the Atlantis building. We will return here tomorrow as we will visit Kempinski on the Palm.

As you see, we have been up to very much and very exciting stuff- and it’s only Day 1.

My Dubai Diary: 3 January 2016

Jan 3, 2016   //   by cblinter   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

Raining since early in the morning and it continues, as the group bus hits the roadway to Dubai’s neighbouring Emirate, Abu Dhabi. Just like in the first day in Dubai, weather like this is rare.

Our destination in Abu Dhabi is Masdar. It is an innovative city that is being built, by continuously applying new technologies and adopting practices of the world to make the living more self-sustainable. We enter the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology by personal rapid transport (PRT), an automated system that operates on the ground level, while above it – we find the institute buildings and city streets with wind towers and even water-drainage system that is apparently put to use today. We have a tour through the streets, then we see the library and wander around a little while. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is offering graduate-level studies related to environment and alternative energy, as well as provides its students good living conditions, scholarships and, of course, research facilities.

Next is Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Before entering, ladies have to cover their hair and everyone has to be appropriately dressed. A sign near the entrance says that one should not be loud, take photos, bring food, smoke, use a phone or even fall asleep there, though later we are encouraged to take as many pictures as we want to and all the visitors do… We try to gather as a group for a while but in the end, only some follow the guide and we end up searching for one another afterwards. In the Mosque, there is the largest handmade carpet, there is marble and crystals from all over the world, a giant chandelier that weighs approx.. 12 tons. Again, it’s one of the largest in the whole world.

Our last visit is Emirates Palace. There, we first see a presentation about Kempinski and it’s origins, about Emirates Palace itself and that on the eighth floor there are six Rulers’ Suites that are not a part of the hotel and, as the building is structured, it’s possible to go straight to the rooms from a special entrance, without the need to interact with the regular guests. We are offered soft drinks and appetizers, consisting of fruits, caviar buns etc. After a chance to tour the hotel, we are meeting with the General Manager.  Emirates Palace has only luxurious rooms, catergories including Coral, Pearl and Diamond – depending on the size and view of the suite and, as it has a large ballroom, 114 domes and each floor, from one end to the other is said to be 1km to go… No wonder it has been marketed as having 7 stars. Kempinski, as we are told, is not a chain in it’s vision : it’s a collection of individuals.

We leave the place only at noon. In Abu Dhabi, the streets are well-lighted, with palm trees and colourful flowers on sides, as well as the mosques here are shining green. For a moment, we come across three full buses with workers, apparently picked up after a long working day…

Days are flying fast and tomorrow we’ll have our last visits – to the DIFC. It’s a pleasure to have seen and learned so much already.

Audentis iuvat fortuna

Anna Elsa

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