In the second week of February, 35 students traveled to Doha, the capital city of Qatar, as part of the 5th semester course of their International Management program. They were accompanied by Khaldoun Dia-Eddine and Maya Gadgil of the Center for Middle East and Africa Business at the ZHAW School of Management and Law. The aim of this study trip was to get a deeper understanding of the culture and common business practices of Qatar.
The five-day program was a colorful mix of interesting visits, presentations, and encounters. High-caliber companies and institutions such as ABB, Doha Bank, Qatar Airways, the Qatar Foundation, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, LafargeHolcim, and Al Jazeera Network opened their doors to the group, and their representatives made themselves available for Q & A sessions. They not only offered impressive insights into the business world of the Middle East region but also provided true Arabic hospitality in the form of rich refreshments and giveaways. Students were able to experience the everyday business practices of Doha. In addition to meeting and interacting with local students, this was one of the highlights of this study trip.
Another very special event was a dinner hosted by His Excellency, the Swiss Ambassador to Qatar, Etienne Thévoz. While enjoying delicious Lebanese dishes, students were welcome to ask questions and share their insights with the ambassador, members of the Swiss business community in Qatar, and representatives of SGE (Switzerland Global Enterprise).
National Sports Day (an official holiday) took place during the group’s stay in Qatar. Its main objective is to promote a healthy lifestyle, so the whole population, including the students, engaged in sports that day. A visit to the Museum of Islamic Arts (focusing on the unique culture and history of the Middle East) and a tour of the Fanar Qatar Islamic Cultural Center with a guide who was both knowledgeable and charismatic helped students to understand specific issues of Middle East culture and religion. A visit to Doha’s beautiful souk was a perfect ending to a great day.
On the last day, a safari was an entertaining extracurricular option to round off this unforgettable week, which ended far too soon.
Contact: Maya Gadgil, Center for Middle East and Africa Business