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Expo 2020

Expo 2020 – Sustainability Pavilion Preview

Ever since I first arrived in Dubai in 2017, I heard a lot of about Expo 2020, the biannual world fair taking place in Dubai in 2020. Unfortunately due to COVID it is now happening October 2021 to March 2022 but the name remains the same! Therefore, I was delighted to get...
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Jedi Polar Bear – A cold water swimming challenge

As an incentive to keep swimming over the winter I recently signed up the complete the Jedi Polar Bear Challenge along with my mother. This challenge is part of the Polar Bear challenge, a fantastic initiative from a Plymouth based cold water swimmer known as Mama Bear which runs annually...
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Canary Wharf Festival of Light encourages walking

Great to see the #canarywharf Art Festival on a recent government sanctioned trip to the osteopath. It definitely brightened up the winter evening and encouraged me to walk around Canary Wharf. It is worth a look if you are in the area as it is one of the few attractions that is...
Dubai Desing Festival

Dubai Design Festival

After a year full of COVID-19, lockdowns and innumerable video calls, I was delighted to attend the Dubai Design Festival while on a business trip to Dubai. In terms of COVID-19 precautions, everyone wore masks, security staff temperature checked people’s wrists to enter indoor areas along with limits of maximum...
Champagne

Swimming 2 channels in 2 months – West Lothian Chamber of Commerce webinar

It was great to be asked to present to West Lothian Chamber of Commerce on 25th August via webinar summarising the lessons learnt from swimming 2 channels in 2 months in 2017. As part of Team MAD (which stood for mother and daughter and also a description of the challenge),...
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Post COVID-19 Air Travel – Customer Experience Challenges

I recently took a long-haul flight from Dubai to the UK in early June. Post COVID-19 has resulted in some significant changes resulting in some challenges between creating a great customer experience and COVID-19 precautionary measures. There are a lot more queues Before COVID-19, there was a 1hr 30 minute...
Careem ebike and post COVID precautions

Careem ebikes in Dubai – the easy way to cycle

I have very much missed cycling during lockdown, so I was extremely happy to see that Careem ebikes opened up again last week. I downloaded the app, paid my weekly fee, sanitised my hands, put on the gloves, unlocked the bike and I was ready to go! It should be...
COVID 19 Holding Message

Global Public Transport Operators – COVID-19 Recovery Plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary effect on health, world's economy and general day-to-day life and sadly it isn't over yet. What I have found heartening, as someone who is an avid public transport user, are the plans to restart public transport operations. A summary of these measures (Asia...
Au Revoir to Virgin Trains

Au revoir Virgin Trains

From June to December 2019, Surbon Consulting supported the demobilisation team of Virgin Trains as Virgin Trains (51% Virgin/ 49% Stagecoach) handed over to the new operator of First Trenitalia West Coast (First Group 70%, Trenitalia 30%). It was a pleasure to work with Virgin Trains looking after franchise compliance,...
5 ferries

5 facts about the 5 ferries challenge in Scotland

I was delighted to complete the 5 ferries challenge in the west coast of Scotland with my mother yesterday. This is a 70-mile route by bike with 5 ferry legs. Given my preparations regarding training could best be described as minimal, it was a relief to make it round in...