First day in Doha, Qatar.

This study trip is part of a 5th semester 3 ECTS course at ZHAW SML specially designed for the International Management program. The goal of this study trip is to get a comprehensive understanding of the culture and common business practices in Qatar. 35 students are enrolled to this course and the Study Trip is led by Professor Khaldoun Dia-Eddine and Senior Projektmanager Maya Gadgil. Special thanks goes to the Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) who enables us many interesting company visits through their network and support.

Day 1

The day started with a delicious breakfast at the hotel.  After being informed that the program changed we took emerging measures and headed to Qatar Foundation instead of the original destination Qatar University.

Divided into two buses, out of which only one had Wi-Fi, we drove slowly but continuously through the concrete jungle of Doha towards the outskirts of the city, where Qatar Foundation and Education City are located.

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After arrival at the Qatar Foundation Visitor Center and the recollection of the smokers, we were led to the 7th floor of the modern building. The head of social media gave us a presentation on the vision and action areas of Qatar Foundation.20160207_10382220160207_100440

The following Q&A session was characterized by a rather slow start maybe because it was the first one. Afterwards, we were showed around the balcony to gain a grasp of the impressive size of Education City. Simultaneously, we took the opportunity to take some great pictures and selfies.

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The highlight of the visit, however, was the beautiful book ‘Souk Waqif’ they gave us in exchange of a chocolate bag.

We then visited the student center of the Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and were able to listen to two more presentations as well as to take the opportunity to exchange with six local graduate students. Also during this visit we were able to ask questions about their studies as well as find out more about life in Qatar.

Lunch time approached and we were served a delicious lunch buffet at the student center, while having a representative of the HBKU at each table. The questioning went on.

Afterwards, we boarded our heavily air-conditioned busses and headed to Qatar Airways, where another buffet with fresh coffee awaited us.

 

Firstly, we were able to gain an insight on the customer experience at Qatar Airways. Not only in the air but also the whole check in, customs and airport transfers as well as hotels operated by the airline.

The second part of the presentation, ‘the unsexy` part according to the head of ground operations, brought us closer to the whole mechanisms on the ground at Doha Hamad International Airport.

He presented the challenges of luggage handling and processing as well as the whole cargo business of Qatar Airways.

Both presentations were very informative and the presentation skills where really outstanding. This made the afternoon a pleasurable and knowledge enhancing experience.

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In the evening, everybody spread out in order to get their own individual experience. Some of us went to an artificial isle, the Pearl, to have our very first authentic Arabic dish.  All in all, we had a very positive first impression of Doha.