Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi   13:35

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Sabine, 15 October 2010
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates , Abu Dhabi 35°


Getting ready for the big opening

Sorry for being out of touch lately, but the big opening is coming closer and closer. Tomorrow the soft opening starts, which basically means that we open the park in the evening for invited guest (Sponsors, partners etc.) But we will not open the whole park, only certain areas, rides and attractions will be available for the public. For example, we will not have the stores open yet since we are still busy getting everything ready. Slowly but surely you can feel the tension rising, the atmosphere is getting tenser and everybody tries their best to get Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (FWAD) ready for the public. People from Ferrari are arriving next weeks to help us get the stores ready for the opening, but until we can do that we first have to get our merchandise sorted out in the warehouse. That’s our main task for the next days.

Only two short weeks after our big opening the biggest and most anticipated weekend is reaching Abu Dhabi, race weekend. Next to the F1 Event there are events throughout the capital to keep all the visitors entertained. For example, there are concerts taking place during the F1 weekend, right next to FWAD. I would love to see Kayne West, Linkin Park perform live on stage. But unfortunately, first of all the tickets for the F1 are way too expensive and second off all I will most definitely work on those days anyway.

Three weeks ago, we moved from the Aldar project office to the Park. Our new office there is quite spacious and a nice change to our previous open plan office. But there are still a lot of obstacles to overcome before everything runs smoothly. During the last weeks most of the day we didn’t had any AC and we had to deal with power cuts and no Internet connection. Not really a great environment to get work done Sad Also there is still no canteen on site, which means every day for lunch we have to drive back to the Hospitality village canteen, which is not really convenient for any of us since it takes quite some time to go there, eat and go back.

By now we are around 40 Colleagues in the merchandise department and of course all of them need to be “entertained”. Therefore, I was quite busy with giving training and arranging things, but since nothing for us is ready yet, after a couple of days we “rented “all of our colleagues out to other departments, like warehouse and park services. It was not really an ideal situation, we didn’t want to put them there since it was not really what they came here to do, but we didn’t really have another choice. And we all have to help to get the park open. Unfortunately not all of our Colleagues were thinking along those lines. We had to deal with some complainers that were “infecting” the rest of the group. But you will always have that. Overall, we have a nice bunch of people and there are still some more to come.

We found a great Sushi place just around the corner where we live. I love Sushi, I could eat if every single day. The Abu Dhabi Golf Club offers “Sushi all you can eat” for only 105 AED (ca. 20 €), which is great value for your money and it’s always really fresh and just tastes great. We were looking forward going there regular after the end of Ramadan (because they stop offering it during Ramadan), but unfortunately we only went once after that and then we found out that due to renovation of the club house at the golf club they will cancel it until the end of the year.Sad

I almost forgot to mention it, but after waiting for forever we finally got our Internet connection, TV and landline at home. Now I can finally catch up downloading all my favorite shows from the US Wink It also makes it easier and cheaper to stay in touch with everyone through Skype. Calling home with your cell phone all the time wasn’t the best solution.

In the beginning of October we also had a nice “get together” at my bosses place. Not everyone from my department could make it, which was not too bad in some cases Smile Overall I get along very well with the people in my department, but as everywhere there is always that one person or in my case two with whom it’s hard to work together for different reasons Wink

Eva and I also did a guest presentation last week at a Hotel management school here in Abu Dhabi, where our former teacher, Claudia Habets (from the NHTV) is now academic Dean. She invited us to talk to her students about FWAD and about why we came here etc. It was fun, they were all really interested. And of course it was also nice to get away from the office for a couple of hours Wink

That’s it for now. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have time to take any pictures in the last month. But I promise I will upload some from the park once we are open.

I hope all of you are doing well.

Talk to you soon again.

Take care,
Sabine

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Heidi

17 October 2010

Heyy Sabine! Good to hear you're still enjoying yourself up there in the desert Wink I'm really curious about the park and it's still nice to read what you're up to. Makes me wanna go abroad myself! Anyway, good you found a new sushi place hihi, because who can live without it? Greets from Holland!! xx

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Christmas tree at FWAD
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