Sometimes life has a funny way to throw you something interesting. Something totally unexpected. Something you never even thought about. Something that makes you smile like a little boy or girl, and perhaps even makes you give a tiny little squeak of cheer.
That’s what happened to us just a few weeks ago.
While we were simmering in our little bubble of nothingness in the Netherlands, waiting for our move to China to happen, Hendrik Willem read an interesting request on the Dutch in Dubai Facebook page. Apparently a small Management Team from a Dutch company was planning on moving to the UAE soon, and they were asking if there were people who could give a brief cultural introduction session about the UAE.
Having spent 5 years in Dubai and being a couple in teaching and human resources we thought we could share some of our views. And being stuck in the Netherlands anyway, we had plenty of time on our hands! So we contacted the messenger and soon got in contact with one of the team members himself.
Now, in light of this you need to know that Hendrik Willem is a passionate football player and fan with a big heart for the red&white team from Amsterdam. So when he learned in that first call that the Management Team was actually a team of trainers and staff members from AJAX, he smiled like a little boy. And while I am not so much of a football fan, even I made a little squeak of joy. This was an unexpected, but very welcome diversion of our somewhat boring life at the moment! And that it is for one the most famous football clubs in Europe….yes that does make it just more fun!
So last week we had a very interesting and fruitful morning at De Toekomst, AJAX’s training complex, where we met the team and supporting staff members. While we took the team through our experiences in Dubai and tried to prepare them best for all the cultural challenges and practical matters that they could expect, Ronald de Boer contributed from his experience as a player in Qatar. It made for an overall very lively and insightful session, with great questions from the team and sometimes hilarious examples of how cultural differences can become a painful exercise.
We are grateful for having the opportunity to share our insights and experiences, and wish AJAX and specifically Laura, Sonny, Marco and Karim lots of success and good times in the UAE!