Our meeting was conducted in this tent.

Management Meet in the Desert


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.

Our Camp

Toilet
This is the first photo I clicked on reaching the camp. At that time, I did not know that this was actually the toilet.

The venue of the meeting

Our meeting was conducted in this tent.
Our meeting was conducted in this tent.

Just before the meeting

We were among the early arrivers. The others reached soon. We started the meeting as per the time planned.

Just before the start
The CIO (standing on the left of the frame) urging everyone to settle down so that we could start the meeting.

We removed our shoes and entered the meeting tent. There was a reason for this which was not apparent for me immediately.

During the meeting

Salih asking a question.
Salih asking a question.
Salih making his presentation.
Salih making his presentation. We did not have any computers or projectors. We had to make chart on large chart papers to explain the points.
My boss (Mr. Nowaf Al Mutiri, VP Strategy) in the white T-Short and blue Track Pants.
My boss (Mr. Nowaf Al Mutiri, VP Strategy) in the white T-Short and blue Track Pants.
Salih answering a question.
Salih answering a question. Salih was in-charge for the outsourcing strategy. This was the time when we were deciding to outsource some of the functions. Bilal Ahmed (from Pakistan) and Abdulaziz Al Ghufaili managing the Presentation Podium.

The CIO Speaks

CIO, Mr. Medhat Amer from Jordan.
CIO, Mr. Medhat Amer from Jordan.

Break for Lunch

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.

Lunch Platter
Lunch was rice and chicken. It was served in huge trays. 5-6 people were to share on tray.
Haitham Raba (with blue cap; from Jordan), Eyad Quwwar (in green T-Shirt; from Egypt) and Imran Mehmood (from Pakistan) sharing one tray.
Haitham Raba (with blue cap; from Jordan), Eyad Quwwar (in green T-Shirt; from Egypt) and Imran Mehmood (from Pakistan) sharing one tray.

Break after Lunch

Ahmed Al Suwaiyan
Ahmed Al Suwaiyan
Bilal Ahmed from Pakistan and Navas Rahiman (from India)
Bilal Ahmed from Pakistan and Navas Rahiman from India
Mohammad Al Shammari
Mohammad Al Shammari

Time for Namaz

Namaz

Group Photo

Mobily IT Management Team 2012

And another one

Mobily IT Management Team 2012

And yet another one

Mobily IT Management Team 2012

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.

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