To describe the temperature in Dubai as simply hot, would be an enormous understatement. There does not seem to be a suitable word to describe the intense and sweltering heat that I walked into the moment I stepped off that plane to start a four month project here with the World Food Programme (WFP).
I am working here as a Customer Relationship Specialist for a new project that WFP is implementing called ‘Global Humanitarian Services’. M assignment is quite extensive, from analysing the market and the whole workflow, to advising management on writing tenders and implementing new business decisions. I will spend the first two months of my assignment in Dubai and then at the beginning of September I will head to WFP headquarters in Rome for the last two months.
In my luggage I have experience in this area of work, as well as motivation and dedication for this project.
Because of the wide scope of my assignment, I have met so many people in this office. One of the most amazing things at WFP Dubai is that everybody is incredibly motivated and willing to change where necessary. There is not a single person in this office that wants to remain idle. Everybody wants to evolve so they (well, WE) can supply the humanitarian community with products and services in an even faster and better way than WE did in the past. No one thinks in boxes and if someone can help a colleague, they sure will!
While I may not have touching stories about how many lives I’ve saved or homes I’ve built, after just one month working with WFP and visiting all there is to see and do in Dubai, I have already had the experience of a lifetime.
The project that I’m working on is a lot of fun because of the enthusiastic feedback I receive from my colleagues. Thanks to this, we have been able to easily make structural changes and roll out new business decisions. The “we” includes Sara Perrella, the talented and always positive Business Development Specialist and Luca Olivieri, the very structured and “man with a plan” IT Emergency Management Training Project Manager. Sara was asking me the other day why I say after every meeting, “Good meeting!”. Well, because they are! There is a constant vibe of positivity in this building, and it’s really catching on!
Dubai itself is amazing. Everything every other city has, Dubai has it bigger! There is also such diversity in this city, from the cosy old areas to the high-tech new parts of town which includes the tallest building in the world. It’s crazy!
Ramadan has just started here so Muslim people abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. I can tell you it is a wonderful experience for me. Not only because you can really see the goodness and generosity of the people, but also because they have just these enormous ‘Iftar’ meals after sunset when they break their fast. Finishing your week with a round belly and smoking shisha like all the Emirati people do is not a bad way to spend the weekend.
Keep you posted soon with some new WFP-story and a picture of my next Iftar!