Student Blog | Study Abroad in Dubai, UAE - Part 4
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My Dubai Diary: Monday 29 December 2014

Dec 30, 2014   //   by cblinter   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

DIFC Courts

We started at 8:00AM today because we were scheduled for a presentation at the Dubai International Financial Centre. There we learned about the DIFC structure. We visited the DIFC Authority and the DIFC Courts. We also learned details about the cluster based economy and the free trade zones. We later took a short drive to Sharjah. The view from the Eye of the Emirates was breathtaking. The ride was long enough for you to take in the city from all angles. We visited the Sharjah Art Museum as well. It was wonderful to see how much the local and regional arts are appreciated.

The final activity of the day was a trip to the Heart of Sharjah. It is a project, in the centre of Sharjah, focusing on the restoration of traditional heritage areas in Sharjah. It exhibits so much character. Finally, We were able to visit the Souq Al Arsah. I was able to purchase everything on my list at this market! I am not very good at bargaining, but some of the other delegates were professionals. It was truly an authentic experience.

Today I got to learn more about the financial structure of the Emirates, and then I got to witness old trade practices in the market.

– Ebony Aiken

My Dubai Diary: Sunday 28 December 2014

Dec 29, 2014   //   by cblinter   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

Dubai blog I woke up to the sound of birds chirping in the courtyard.

My first class started at 9:00AM, so I took my time getting ready and explored a little more. The Emirates Academy of Hospitality and Management was just as beautiful during the day as it was the night I arrived. I met two CBL International delegates on the way to the first class, Arabic Language and Culture. We were each from a different country, but openly discussed similar sentiments of anxiety and excitement. Our lecturer, for the Arabic and Culture sessions, received his masters in Middle Eastern studies. The two sessions were very interesting and covered a great deal of information. The sessions stressed the importance of certain customs and the history that made them so significant. The sessions also showed just how intertwined religion and politics are in the Middle East. It was in the form of open dialogue. Students were free to ask questions and speak their opinions.

During a short break, a few of the delegates and I decided to grab lunch at the pool bar. The menu was diverse, and the prices were very pleasing. We decided to get our meals to go, because we were running late for the next session. The group headed to Coral Dubai Diera Hotel. There the General Manager spoke to us about the formation of the managing company. He also talked about the growth and future of the hospitality and tourism market in Dubai. Next, a special speaker spoke to us about Islamic Banking and Finance. There was so much to cover in such little time. I was relieved when we were told that we would be receiving a PowerPoint of the information.

Today was very informational. I can appreciate the foundation for the visits we will be taking later this week.

Although I have experienced extreme jet lag, I decided to go out with my new friends. We took a taxi to the Dubai Mall. We explored three floors of shops, the aquarium, and even caught a water light show. It is such a huge mall that we decided to save the rest for another day. I have made a list of the things I want to purchase. Let’s hope that I have enough funds!

– Ebony Aiken

My Dubai Diary: Saturday 27 December 2014

Dec 28, 2014   //   by cblinter   //   Student Blog  //  No Comments

It is 10:36PM. After a 13-hour flight from the US, a breeze through customs, a trip to the currency exchange, and smooth taxi ride through the city … I am finally here.

While waiting at baggage claims, I realised just how unprepared I was to actually be in Dubai. I did not have a complete understanding of the attitudes and customs. I had no knowledge of the currency. I had no idea of how to navigate through the city by address. I immediately felt vulnerable. I then remembered, however, that I was headed to a programme that would teach me all of those things.

I took a deep breath and recollected my thoughts. Every airport has a currency exchange. Turning to my left, I saw the sign as bright as day. The gentleman was very friendly. He explained the conversion system, and even transferred my cash into a prepaid visa. Next, I thought of how I would get to the Emirates Academy Lodging. The taxis were located right out front of the exits for Arrivals. The walk there seemed liked a journey. I observed the kiosks and fashion labels. I observed the people waiting for loved ones, and others for potential customers. It made me a little anxious, because I did not know whom to trust. After almost deciding on a taxi, I decided to decline because I was not completely comfortable. He understood my fears, and kindly escorted me to the line of taxi drivers. Immediately I was introduced to a driver, and believe me it was not your ordinary taxicab. As I rode through the city, I was in total awe of all the stores, hotels, and apartments. Bright lights and luxurious architecture surrounded me. In addition, the fast pace of the cars on the highway made me feel like I was in a movie. I honestly do not believe it hit me until I opened the door to my suite. The Academy is nestled in the beautiful, warm, and calming neighborhood of Jumeirah. The view from my window is the pool courtyard, and just above the building stands the Burj Al Arab.

I cannot wait for the first day of the programme to begin. I have arrived.

– Ebony Aiken

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CBL International Education is a private education provider that offers programmes in Cambridge, Dubai, Oxford, and at Ivy League universities in the United States. CBL International cooperates with universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States when organising customised executive seminars, modules for MBA and LL.M. programmes, study abroad programmes, summer schools, and summer institutes. Since 2015 CBL International is a WorldStrides Organization, one of the largest education travel specialists in the world. Visit the CBL International Study Abroad website!
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