A few weeks ago, I heard Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE call out three airlines - Emirates Air, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways - in a wide ranging discussion where he could have mentioned countless other companies. What’s striking is these 3 airlines are headquartered within a couple of hundred miles of each other. And with business travelers each is building a loyal customer base with superb, innovative technology and service.
That part of the world is also pioneering in a number of architectural, sustainability, healthcare and other areas.
So, no surprise,Oracle is holding its CloudWorld event in Dubai this week. As she planned her trip I sent Susie Penner at Oracle a list of innovative projects I have written about in that part of the world.
Masdar City – from The New Polymath “ a 2.5 - square - mile planned city with very lofty green goals. It will be carbon neutral and will recycle all its waste. No gas – powered vehicles will be allowed. Small, driverless electric vehicles will provide local transit. Tall buildings will shade most of the city to reduce the need for air - conditioning. Wind turbines, solar arrays, and plenty of trees will keep this city of the future self - sustaining.
Burj Khalifa – the highest building in the world, with a nightly fountain show which makes the one at the Bellagio in Vegas seem mundane
Burj Al-Arab – shaped like an Arab dhow and made famous by Tiger Woods hitting golf balls from its helipad
Dubai Aquarium – the world’s largest indoor aquarium
Not all is high tech – there is also the Camel Market and the Spice Souq and many more sights.
Susie’s big challenge, besides fighting jetlag, will be to try and squeeze in a few of these sights. And whether she can give up her United loyalty to try for the return flight one of the airlines that Immelt raves about:)