(Warning: This post lacks in quality what we are lacking in sleep! Watch for edits later.)

Today we visited the main branch of the Palm Islands which are man-made islands jam-packed with fancy houses.  Joanna (our organizer) mentioned that she went to a party at a house on the islands once and that all the neighbors came over because there is no privacy.  I can definitely believe it; the real estate is almost completely covered.  Our exposure was pretty limited but it seemed like a playground for the rich.  After a quick driving tour, we stopped at the famous mall with the indoor ski slope for some shopping and sledding in the desert.

AJ poses for Laura but I sneak a shot of them both.  The indoor ski-slope is shocking!

AJ poses for Laura but I sneak a shot of them both. The indoor ski-slope is shocking!

In the late afternoon we heard from two speakers at the Dubai School of Government with an Indian lunch in-between.  The second speaker got everyone ramped up because he answered questions very quickly and honestly, which is a rarity in our experience here.  Our last activity of the night was dinner and entertainment at Shelter which is, an innovation campus that allows ideas to exist in a creative environment.”  It was fantastic.  The space is designed for young professionals and people interested in starting their own businesses who can rent “office space” upstairs.  The idea is to bring together people from many sectors and with different ideas and create collaborations in new an interesting directions.  It was the most inspirting project I have seen on this tour.  The space was fantastic and equipped for movie screening with a 25 person theater as well as a locally owned cafe that served beautiful fresh juices.  Our time here was improved greatly by a presentation by the Producer of Freej (it’s like an Arabic Golden Girls).  At the end of the night, our own Shad White sang and played beautiful guitar for the group.  It was a lovely evening.

Now that the group has had some time together, conversations are really brewing.  I want to document all that is happening, but it is nearly impossible.  Tomorrow is the last day of programming and there will be time for reflection after that.  Stay tuned …

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