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Welcome to Sweet Spots!

Back to the Rhode Island Coast – and loving it!!!!!!

Although I miss “my girls” terribly, I am so. . . . happy to be back in my bed, breathe fresh air and see the color green all around me.

Very ready and excited to get back into my “BD coaching saddle.”   Found this Forbes article that synthesizes the new business development paradigm.

Dubai Series: Final Reflections

So, as I unpack from the long 20 hour trip home, I’m left with a few distinct memories of this fascinating place:

  • my new favorite food is Lebanese
  • it costs less than $30 to fill an empty gas tank of a large SUV
  • a new-found respect for the Philippines (mostly women) and Indians (mostly men) who leave their native countries to work in the UAE to help make a better life for their spouses and children back home
  • Dubai drivers redefine aggressive
  • the sand storm in the movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is a fairly common occurrence
  • how much I appreciate fresh, clean air and lots of green
  • Everyday at the Dubai Mall is like our beach on a warm 4th of July – packed with people and cars – it is the world’s shopping mecca
  • No income tax is an obvious draw for the growing expat community, but 30% tax on liquor bites!
  • As sophisticated and wealthy as Dubai is, it remains a new country and undeveloped in many aspects – and still a land of many opportunities for the budding entrepreneur
  • I already miss “my girls”!

Dubai Series: Heading Home to the States

It’s been an amazing two months in Dubai. When I launched my Dubai Series on March 1st, I shared that this was my fourth visit to this unique emirate and, indeed, my comfort level and understanding of the culture and people continues to grow.   We welcomed our second granddaughter (the real reason for the visit) into this amazingly diverse world and our daughter and her young family share the same mixed feelings about our leaving – will miss the help but welcome the privacy!!!   And, while I’ve enjoyed this and previous visits, I suspect that there won’t be a 5th visit since we are all hopeful that they will be returning to the states permanently by next year.   Their five years in Dubai (heading there only 2 months after getting married) have offered them outstanding personal, business, travel and relationship opportunities that will influence and shape their lives forever.   Certainly, their deep and strong relationships with their large “expat community” will insure future travels to places all over the globe.    But, with two young daughters, they desperately want to build a family homestead and re-establish strong family ties back in New England.

Dubai Series: DLA Piper – Legal Titan in the Arab World

The legal profession is changing rapidly in the Arab world and DLA Piper may be at the center of this transformation. Kawaiti-botn and German educated Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Yaquot is the only Arab head of a big international law firm in the region. In a recent article of The National, the Abu Dhabi daily news source, this lawyer shares his views on the legal world in the Middle East, and his vision for DLA Piper starting out by saying ” We are the biggest law firm in the world, but in the Middle East our focus is on local priorities.” Read more about the legal/strategic view on growth in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia.


Dubai Series:  Support for UAE over islands reaches the West

A couple of days ago I wrote about the recent trip to Abu Musa by Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.   Yesterday’s paper declared the all of the Gulf states rallied behind the UAE and condemned the “provocative” visit. The strong and unanimous support for the UAE’s position emerged fromt he meeting in Doha of Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers (GCC).     Well, today’s front page headline was US backs UAE in islands dispute stating that the United States stepped into the dispute over the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, with support for the UAE and a call for Iran to accept arbitration – and respond positively to the UAE’s initiative to resolve the issue through direct negotiations.   The Arab Group of the United Nations also condemned the visit in a letter to Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general.   However, a statement signed by 225 Iranian members of Parliament (MPs) said the UAE’s claims to the islands had no historical basis and that Iran’s territorial integrity and jurisdiction over the islands is unquestionable.    And, in other developments, the Iranian cabinet noted to turn Abu Musa into a “model tourist resort.” Abu Musa and the Tunbs are close to the strategically important shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz. The roots of the dispute originate with the formation of the UAE in 1971, when Iranian troops forcibly took control of the islands. Under heavy pressure from the UK, the Ruler of Sharjah agreed to share Abu Musa with Iran without agreeing to any relinquishment of sovereignty. According to the UN, Iran has continually been in breach of the terms of the agreement by building military installations.