The working week so far

As-Salaam Alaikum! It’s Wednesday night, meaning that tomorrow is the end of our working week here in Dubai. Jonathan and I have been working really hard with, getting to know our client’s work, its brand, its projects and, most of all, its people. They’ve made us feel so welcome and everyone is really looking forward to seeing the finished results of our labours – as are we!

The past few days have been spent primarily meeting people and getting the information we need to enable me to write the website content. Jonathan has been tweaking designs and ensuring that layouts and functionality are right, as well as speaking to team members and sourcing images which are going to be vital to the brief we’ve been given. Working days are long here – people tend to be in the office from 7.30am – and on average the full time hours are 10 hours per day (50 hours per week). Although the time is flying, we’re pretty tired now and ready for the weekend! I’ve got a sore throat as well, although nobody’s sure whether that’s related to the air conditioning or all the talking I’ve been doing. Possibly both.

Today was particularly interesting (for me, at least) as I got to visit one of our client’s site offices out in the desert at a new development. It’s an enormous site and we had a quick guided tour around the early construction stages which are truly stunning. We also spotted the Sheikh’s camels – a real Arabian, desert experience.

VG in the desert!
VG in the desert!

It’s not all work though…

I couldn’t bring Jonathan to Dubai without showing him the sights, could I?! We’ve been really lucky to benefit from having my family out here, who are fantastic hosts and to whom we are forever indebted.

On Monday night, we spent the evening in Downtown Dubai, having a look around the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountains and the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa is spectacular at night and it was lit up beautifully for our visit. We had dinner next to the fountains (inside, of course – it’s summer here, so the average temperature is around 43 degrees. Yesterday it was 44 degrees when we went outside at lunchtime) and enjoyed a few of its choreographed displays.

After a rest on Tuesday evening, tonight we ventured a bit further south along the Sheikh Zayed Road to the Jumeirah area. This is one of my favourite bits of Dubai, featuring the Burj Al Arab hotel, Souk Madinat and the Sheikh’s palaces. We had dinner (a curry – delicious!) in Souk Madinat, then headed outside for as long as we could cope with the crazy heat and humidity to take some photos of the Burj Al Arab and, frankly, to admire it. A quick cocktail rounded off the evening… Well, it is nearly the weekend.

We’ve also enjoyed some delicious local delicacies for lunch. The Lebanese food is great – Shishtawook and shawarma in particular!

Back to it

Tomorrow’s our last day, and we have an awful lot to get through. We want to make sure we say goodbye to the team properly, letting them know exactly where we’re up to with their project and the next steps for us once we return to the UK. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know them and it’s going to be quite sad to say bye! I’ll be back with Paul in a few weeks though so I don’t have too long to wait.

The weekend’s plans are coming together and Jonathan is going to be hit with the full Dubai experience, including brunch, Barasti and the Burj Khalifa. We can’t wait to share the results of our hard work with you; we’re really proud of this website and the end result is going to make a big difference to our client. It’s fun being here, but the best part is the positive feedback we’re getting.

More updates soon but for now, time to sleep!