In 2012, our CIO decided to hold the IT Strategy meeting in the desert. When I heard this, I was very excited as I had never spent time in the Desert though I was living in Saudi Arabia for more than 1 years. However, I did not know what to expect. I was more than certain that we would just go out of the Riyadh city to some resort to hold the meeting.
AsI did not have a car, Salih Al Subai told me that I would be travelling in his car. Salih picked me up from our office at around 9:00 AM. Then he soon drove out of the Riyadh City and was on the highway. We kept driving and soon we were off the highway into the desert. We kept driving for about 2 hours before we reached our destination. I found myself in the middle of the desert with nothing in all directions.
Soon we reached our camp.
We were among the early arrivers. The others reached soon. We started the meeting as per the time planned.
We removed our shoes and entered the meeting tent. There was a reason for this which was not apparent for me immediately.
After the CIO’s speech, lunch was served. Arabs have a practice where many people share one plate of food. In all functions I attended, I found this to be the practice.
On one occasion, I was working very late in the night. At around 11 PM, I was going out for dinner. The Security Guard met me as I was about to step out of our building. When he learnt that I was going out for dinner, he asked me to join him. We both shared from his lunch box which was also elaborate.
We left the site at about 5 PM. The plan was to spend till around 10 PM. However, there was an alert for a Sand Storm and thus we had to abort the night stay plan.