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Abu Dhabi -- the Gala Dinner
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Early the following evening, the speakers boarded a bus for the 90-minute trip to Dubai for the Gala Dinner hosted by Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor, Higher Colleges of Technology.

His Excellency

Toni Lufkin and the Sheikh

A student film awards ceremony including Diana Hayden (former Miss World) and Mahima Chowdhury (Indian movie star) was part of the evening’s entertainment. This all took place at the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, an awe-inspiring, mammoth hotel complex that includes a towering building in the shape of a dhow’s sail. Several hundred representatives of academic institutions and tech corporations shuffled into the lobby, some lamenting that the immense bar served no alcohol, this being a State-funded affair.

Diana, a former Miss World

Building in shape of dhow sail. Those are heliports a dozen floors up.

The evening included a stunning, over-the-top laser show, a fellow who artfully scaled linen streamers to the ceiling, and the film awards. We all rose as the Sheikh and his entourage departed after the entertainment, and soon heaping platters of food appeared on our tables. Sad to say, no camel or goat.

Jay of Arabia

Knock your eyes out.

Arriving home after midnight, we agreed that this had been a unique opener for the next day’s sessions.


Blogger Meir Navon said...

Hi Jay,

Being a big fan of your blog, I'd like to share with you and all the other readers of this blog, my deep disapontment on not being allowed to participate in the Conference in Abu Dhabi.
I believe it's because I'm Israeli(although nobody told me so), but these days when we see that all human beings all over the world have to unite against the big evils that appear everywhere, I had expected for a better decision.
Being an expert in Learning, I just wanted to grasp the opportunity to learn and share my knowledge.
It's a pitty that politicians scored one point more...

4:27 AM  

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