Negotiating in Dubai

Most of you know that I’m getting my MBA part-time from London Business school. The school has a satellite campus in Dubai and the two streams from London and Dubai start and finish the program together. For the first year of core classes, they mainly take block week courses while we have a weekend schedule. Once electives begin in the second year, they encourage us to take classes at the other campus to experience the culture of another city while also seeing what the sister program is like.

When the electives schedule first opened up, I spotted that negotiations and bargaining course (it’s supposed to be one of the best LBS offers) was offered at the end of November in Dubai. I thought it would be perfect as it would coincide with Thanksgiving holiday and wouldn’t be a big deal to be out of the office for the week. Well turns out, Thanksgiving was a week later this year (whoops – this American expat definitely should have double checked the calendar), but I decided to stick with the course as I heard so many wonderful things about it.

We had a great group of people from my London class that we’re taking the course as well. there ended up being 12 of us and most of us stayed at the Crowne Plaza near our campus at the DIFC. It was great having so many of us together staying in the same place. Most of us arrived a day or two before classes started on Sunday so it also gave us a beach day to break away from the dreary British winter and soak up the sun for a few hours.

The course was incredible – I learned so much and it was the tactics and strategies were very practical. In every class, we had to practice a negotiation, mainly one on one, but occasionally in groups. I was initially dreading it but came to look to forward to the negotiations and leveraging my newly acquired skills. I can’t wait to apply what I learned both professionally and personally.

We had a great week exploring the city after class, eating so much middle eastern food, and enjoying the beautiful sights and views of Dubai. We explored the Dubai mall and grabbed cocktails at the infamous bar at the Burj Khalifa, dined among the Marina high-rises at a delicious Lebanese restaurant (Abd El Wahab), and one of my favorites was exploring the souks in more the traditional Dubai and eating dinner along the Dubai Creek.

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Our final night, one of our classmates that lives in Dubai arranged a wonderful night out at The Penthouse which had these fantastic views of the marina.

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I had an amazing week and despite juggling a full load of school and work, it was so worth the experience. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take courses in different countries through my MBA and look forward to seeing what the end of my second school year holds for me!

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