BLOG: Dubai trip opened up a wealth of exciting opportunities
Updated: Sep 3, 2021
By MD Danny Yeow
“You must be mad,” my mate told me when I explained that I was going on a business trip to Dubai during a pandemic.
Deep down, I feared he may be right too.
But this was something I was really keen on doing having launched my own business during the outbreak of Covid-19. I wanted to get ‘out there’. I needed to get out there.
By the time I returned from Dubai a few weeks later, and despite all of the PCR and lateral flow tests I was forced to do as I made my way to the Middle East and back, I was really glad I did it.
Ed Tech Sector
Not only did my journey help me to complete some work with existing clients, it also opened up some really exciting opportunities in the Ed Tech sector in countries that I have never worked with before.
The next few months are going to be an exciting time for GEST Consultancy.
The trip started in bizarre circumstances as I rocked up at Birmingham Airport. The only thing missing from the deserted departures area as I walked in was some tumbleweed. I checked the departures board to make sure my flight was still on and realised it was the only flight leaving!
Heading through check-in, even the seats and loungers were empty for my KLM flight via Amsterdam. Was I really the only person in the airport?
Thankfully, I turned a corner and saw 50 or so fellow passengers who ending up joining me for my first flight in a long, long time.
Dubai was under less limiting Covid restrictions to the ones I had left in England and that enabled me to get out and meet people face-to-face which reminded how preferable that format was, compared to online chats.
We actually hosted a hybrid event (pictured below) which involved some people being there in person and others joining in online. It went well and could be a good option for the future, especially in an international market.
I was really busy. I had plenty of school visits, linked up with some new partners and had meetings with the Department of International Trade (DIT). Infact, it was largely down to DIT I was there in the first place. I had received applied-for funding for some of the trip as part of a wider bid from them to keeping British business interests abroad as busy as they could be, given the pandemic.
I’m always grateful for their support both financially and ‘on the ground’ in the Middle East.
Talking of the wider Middle East, I came home with three exciting new opportunities across the region which will hopefully come off for GEST over the next few months.
Opportunities in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan around subjects like curriculum development, procurement and management systems will hopefully bloom and provide GEST Consultancy with links in countries that I have not worked for before.
It felt busy while I was in Dubai. That economic kickback that is currently taking place at home in the UK, certainly felt like it was doing the same in the Middle East too. The Ed Tech sector seems to be booming.
I have got to be honest, it was nice to get out to a restaurant as well, meeting people and having a laugh with good food and good company.
I decided to come home via Spain where there are 350 international schools and plenty of Ed Tech opportunities. There was good food and good company there too…but perhaps that could be the subject of another blog.
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