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Delegates express delight and appreciation at arrangements in Dubai

posted on 23/09/2003: 2053 views

Delegates and participants attending the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund have expressed their delight not only at the arrangements of the Annual Meetings, but also at the facilities and infrastructure for daily life in this desert country. With representatives of finance and business from 184 member countries of the World Bank and IMF, the number of people here is huge and of the calibre that travel internationally regularly.

James H. Doyle represents Trinidad and Tobago at the World Bank Group in Washington. "After Hong Kong and Prague, the city of Dubai has made a great impact on the attendees. Right from touch down at the airport, each and every delegate and guest is made to feel so special. The hospitality that one sees and the friendly citizens and residents all around enhances this place.

"I am definitely staying back after the meetings are over for two days, and have already booked myself on a desert safari. Of course, one thing I have to mention is the taxi ride I took from an outing to the astounding Gold Souk to the Ramada Continental, where I stay. After explaining to the friendly, English-speaking taxi-driver what the meetings are all about, he refused to accept the fare! I think that one person proved to be the best ambassador of the UAE to me. I hope I get many more opportunities to come to this place.”

Emile-Robert Perrin is the Additional General Secretary of the French High Council of International Cooperation, and an advisor to the Office of the Prime Minister. "This is my first time in Dubai, and I must say that I am absolutely impressed. The arrangements are extremely well done, and even the smallest detail has been attended to. The signage is very helpful, as are the hospitality staff, all of which make the DICC very easily navigable. I find the transport very convenient and on time. Sadly, I will be leaving soon and doubt that I will be able to take in many of the sights and wonders of this beautiful city,” said Mr. Perrin.

Naoko Ishii, from Japan, is vocally appreciative of what she is seeing in Dubai. The Director of the Development Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance, Japan, she works closely with countries in need of developmental finance, and is deeply impressed by what she feels is structured development here. "I have been attending these meetings regularly, and I can state that the facilities here are just fabulous. From the Grand Hyatt, where I stay, it is easy to get here by bus and very comfortable. To be frank, I never expected everything to be air conditioned here, and I packed for warmer weather. This has taken me by surprise. Afghanistan and Iraq are popular topics of the meetings, and I think the intentions of these meetings are being achieved, by informing and involving the international community,” she said.

Abdoulaye Soumana, from Niger, is the National Director of the Central Bank for the West African States. "I have been attending the Annual Meetings every year since 1997. I have had the opportunity to see many places, but what I have seen here I was not prepared for. Of course, being so close to the Middle East, I have heard and read much about the UAE, but seeing is believing! I am staying at the Dusit Dubai, which I think is an absolute marvel of a hotel. The transport that has been arranged to and from the hotel and DICC is so reliable. I had a chance to go out for some shopping, and I was shocked at the prices here are so competitive compared to back home. Electronics and gifts for my family were what I focussed on,” he said.

Ashwani K. Sharma and S. Venkitachalam are from India and are visiting Dubai for the first time. They work with the Executive Director of the IMF, India, and are awestruck by the attention to their each and every need. "We have been attending the Annual Meetings every year since 1987, and find that there are some things that we can take for granted at each venue. Some things like the enthusiasm of the host and the involvement of the community that we are seeing here, we have not come across before. "It is a secure feeling, without intrusive security, and a pleasure to see so many nationalities under one roof. We both have planned to extend our stay a little beyond the Annual Meetings date so that we can learn more and see much of this place that is so famous where we come from,” they said.

The Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund were first held in Washington DC in 1946. They are hosted by an international city one year in three. The UAE and Dubai were selected because of their highly developed transportation and logistics infrastructure, growing importance as a financial hub and its established position as an oasis of opportunity. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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