Monday, June 14, 2010

Khalid Al Walid in Dubai_Nov 08

This was actually Part 2 of my due diligence on the same company owned by a wealthy Arab businessman that we had performed in Newcastle but has another factory in Dubai, UAE.

From London, we flew with 777 Emirates landed at Terminal 3 Dubai International Airport, a brand new airport dedicated exclusively to Dubai National Airline, Emirates. This airport has 5 gates capable of handling the Giant Airbus A380 airliner and is the 6th busiest airport in the world handling international passenger.

Dubai Terminal 3 Luxury airport

Dubai International Airport, newly built, very elegant, warm and comfortable. You can feel the luxurious of the environment inside the airport.

We took a free limo courtesy of Emirates Air lines to our hotel, a beautiful four-star hotel which overlooks Khalid Al Walid Street.

Khalid Al Walid Street

Khalid Al Walid aka “Sword Of God”. He was the General of the Rashidun Army during the era of Muslims conquer the world of the 7th century. He was a legend, a warrior, a fighter and a Muslim hero. Actually before he was converted to Islam he lead the tribe of Quraish to defeat Islam in the Battle of Uhud, where theMuslim was defeated. Khalid was converted to Islam after Perjanjian Hudaibiyah. Khalid Al Walid was undefeated in over a hundred battles – against Roman Empire, Persian Empire and their allies which was one of his greatest achievement.

After the era of Abu Bakar As Siddiq then come Umar Al Khattab. Umar's first move was to relieve Khalid from commanding the army and appointed Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah as the new commander in chief of the Islamic army. Umar explained that he had not dismissed Khalid because of his anger or because of any dishonesty on his part, but because people glorified him and were misled. He feared that people would rely on him. He wanted them to know that it is Allah who does all things; and there should be no mischief in the land.” OMG this one of the toughest executive decision Umar Al Khattab has to make and only who has the faith and guts was able to make such decision.

Khalid died and was buried in 642 in Syria. He had wanted to die a martyr in the field of battle, and was apparently disappointed when he knew that he would die in bed. Khalid put all the torment of his soul into one last, anguished sentence:

“I fought in so many battles seeking martyrdom that there is no place in my body but have a stabbing mark by a spear , a sword or a dagger, and yet here I am, dying on my bed like an old camel dies. May the eyes of the cowards never sleep”

Al Fatihah to Khalid Al Walid

Ok back to present, the hotel room – elegant, well decorated and full of comfort and perfect place for regenerate from the hot city and the fatigue of travel. We spent the next whole day to carry out our due diligence process

Dubai the name that usually appears in Discovery or National Geographic Channel for being the largest and biggest in the world. It is now the largest construction site in the world, the biggest no of overhead cranes, the highest building in the world, the largest indoor ski, the largest mall in the world, the largest aquarium in the world and soon the biggest theme park in the world and more attraction are coming.

First look of Dubai – it’s a Toyota Land, Lexus taxis were driven mostly by the Indians or Pakistanis. In fact 80% of UAE or majority is expatriates who stay in Dubai and other count. Another 20% is the Arabs who stay lavishly in Abu Dhabi. I can say the last time I met the Arab was at the Dubai airport, after that was like being in the modern city of Mumbai.

Air conditioner bus stop

On the way to our Hotel we passed through Dubai Mall, the World Largest Mall. How big is big? It is equivalent to 50 football field and it has the biggest Indoor Ski in the world and the biggest aquarium (including whale shark). Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to check it out since we decided to snap photo of Burj Al Dubai before it’s getting dark.

We dropped by at Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Souk is like bazaar. The souk provide authentic Arabian atmosphere in which open fronted shops and intimate galleries. It consists of boutique shops, waterfront caf├ęs, bars and restaurants. This reminds me of the Ali Baba and 40 thieves and 1001 nights tale

Souk Madinat Jumeirat

Sindbad the sailor

Assorted dates ,almond , kismis and Turkish Delight

Of course you don’t expect a woman wearing jubah with face covered actually being the sales girl. They are either Philippines, Indonesian or Indian, mostly Philippines

This Souk is the nearest spot to take photo Burj Al Arab, the famous 7-star hotel
Burj Al Arab hotel - view from Souk Al Madinah..

We were informed that the hotel is running at lost. Well not many people can afford to pay USD2K per night. However they have to maintain it since it is the icon of Dubai.

The souk is just a stone throw from the adjacent hotels, Mina A' Salam, Al Qasr and Dar Al Masyaf together comprise 867 guest rooms and suites belongs to Jumeirah Resort.It is a luxurious oasis link by water ways it is like Venice in the desert with 1 km of private beach which connects with neighboring Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Wild Wadi Water Park they also provide water taxis 3.7 km which transport guests from their rooms to the restaurants and beach.

Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower") which is a supertall skyscraper under construction in the Business Bay district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and currently is the world tallest man-made structure ever built, despite being incomplete.

So who build this tallest building in the world? The primary builders are Samsung Engineering & Construction and Besix along with Arabtec. Yes the same Samsung E&C who was the main contractor on the west tower of the Petronas Towers. The thing is there is there any famous high skycrapper in Korea? When it is completed it will be like 818 m height with 160 floors. OK now let us compare with Taipei 101 and Petronas
Burj Dubai – 818 m – 160 floors - US 4.1 billion
Taipei 101 - 509.2 m - 101 floors – US 1.76 billion
Petronas Twin Tower – 452 m - 88 floors

Another super dooper project here is the Palm Jumeira, The World , which they have to build from the reclaimed land in the Gulf ! and alter the world map. The scale of these projects is tremendous. Each has over 5,000 new residential houses and apartments. If you plan to have neighbor like David Beckham, you can rent a house/apartment there. How much? Around AED 30K per week, about RM120K per month …

Palm Jumeira, an artificial island created using land reclamation. Dubai Sheikh declared it as 'Eighth Wonder of the World'. Among the famous hotel that will be there is You are fired ! What else ? Trump International Hotel and Atlantis Palm.

Despite all the amazing stories, Dubai still has it's issues though, road traffic being one of the biggest ones. I think that is caused by the fact that the city's population is growing quicker than the surrounding infrastructure. They have the largest shopping mall, biggest aquarium, biggest indoor ski, largest theme park and the tallest building in the world, what’s next?

Trip to Newcastle Upon Tyne and London _Nov 08

This is a belated post. Back in Nov 2008, I was assigned to perform a technical due diligence for two companies - in Durham and Cramlington located in Newcastle, UK and in Dubai, UAE. We touched down Heathrow Terminal 1 and transit to Terminal 5 for connecting flight to Newcastle. My last visit to London was in 2007.

Since it was a day flight, my eyes still wide opened after took off from KLIA. I had been toying with the 10.4 inch LCD touch screen multimedia based in flight entertainment. For the first 6 hours I kept myself busy watching on board in flight movies, back to back Angelina Jolie’s such as Wanted, Mr. & Mrs. Smith,not to mention that I had actually watched both movies, In fact I had the DVD 9 & Blue Ray copies of the movies in my collection. After being entertained by Jolie, I slowly felt asleep in my comfy almost flat seat until my boss woke me up for 2 in 1 qasar/jamak solat in the plane and this is one of the reason the boss is the role model.

London Terminal 5 is a modern and quitter terminal, less chaos than Terminal 1. There was still fear among the passenger during T5 “big bang turmoil” last time when the airport was opened for business and everything was not in place.

KPI Board in London Terminal 5. Can KLIA display the same or better info?

We touched down in Newcastle about 10PM. This was my second visit to Newcastle. The last time was in 1996 which I had 2 weeks industrial training with Rolls Royce during my student era. I can only remember the famous Newcastle landmark, the Tyne Bridge which link Newcastle to Gateshead. When it was completed, in 1928, it was the largest single span bridge in the world. It was the model for Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was completed four years later. After 2 weeks orientation, I was transferred to Leeds to have experience with another Rolls Royce Company, Clark Chapman Limited. We had dinner just besides the new Millennium Bridge where we had been served with salmon and tomato soup.

Newcastle's Millenium Bridge is a beautiful footbridge over the Tyne.
It cost £22 million and opened to the public in 2001. It is 50m high and 122m wide, and has won architectural awards, including the 2002 Royal British Institute of Architects' Stirling Prize.

We stayed in Hilton Newcastle, a lovely and great hotel, good ambiance with wonderful view build right on the River Tyne.

Newcastle Tyne Bridge- view from Hilton Newcastle Gateshead

The Due Diligence were carried out for 2 companies, one company, a family business, fully owned by an English Professor, the other company was owned by a multi-millionaire Arab, both are capable but in different leagues.

Our next Due Diligence was in Dubai and our flight was from London. Staying in Hilton along Piccadilly Line give us nearer access to Edgware Road and Oxford Street, Marble Arch

London Marble Arc

As usual, I’ve a list of wanted item to hunt around Oxford Street. I’ve a bunch of chocolate list given by my wife, an ex-Londoner here for 2 years doing her ACCA that claimed the chocolate taste here were much better that the one in M’sia. As for me, 2 pair of Clark shoes were enough.

These shops just bring back all the sweet memories during my student time, when I fell in love with my first and second wife, the second being of course the Estima, yes the Previa that we had rented for £75/ day during our graduation day in Cardiff when I first met my in-laws. We drove the Previa all the way from Cardiff, Bristol and to the metropolitan city of London and rented studio suite there. From that moment I planted a vision that Insya Allah one fine day, I’m going to drive this baby in KL and bam! it took me 10 years before it become reality.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Congratulations Little Caliph

When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I always pray to Allah that preferably let the first one be a boy , I’ve my own reasons, we continuously recited Surah Yusuf and Surah Luqman as taught by Islam.

Nabi Yusuf was the most handsome man on earth...everybody knows the story of Siti Zulaikha who was attracted to Nabi Yusuf and then managed to frame Nabi Yusuf until Nabi Yusuf went to jail. Luqman Hakim has been mentioned in the Quran as an intelligent and wise man. Some of his famous reminder to his son:

"Hai anakku! ketahuilah sesungguhnya dunia laksana lautan yang dalam, banyak manusia yang karam kedalamnya. Kalau engkau ingin selamat, supaya jangan karam, layarilah dia dengan sampan yang bernama taqwa, isinya ialah iman dan layarnya ialah tawakal kepada Allah"

"Makanlah makananmu bersama-sama dengan orang-orang yang bertaqwa kepada Allah,rundingkanlah urusanmu kepada alim ulama' (dengan cara minta nasihat kepadanya)"

Alhamdulillah, on 21/03/02, my son was born weighing 3.64 kg via operation due to his full breach position…obviously that moment was one of the happiest moment in my life....he came out from his mother’ in perfect condition....We wished that our newly born grow up as a leader …..and thus be named Amirul ….like the one called Amirul Mukminin – The Leader of Kaum Mukminin… wife who likes the alphabet Z so we managed to find Zharif in arabic means cerdik……. Hakimi – means bijaksana…So bammm !!! there you are “Pemimpin yg. Cerdik dan bijaksana “

Zharif 8 months old

After Zharif was born, we nurtured him, and taught him the best of our abilities…. We exposed him to the knowledge of this world and thereafter…we let his ear to be familiar with zikrullah , Asmaul Husna, Sifat 20 , Solawat and etc…. however I knew that he is going to stay with his mummy in JB and I’m struggling in Cameron Highlands alone…..I have no choice….I’ve been a weekend husband for 3.5 years…normally on Friday after work, I will depart from Tapah and joined PLUS highway to drive for another 515 km towards Johor Bahru ….Sunday night I’ll be rushing back with another 515 km…..sometimes I used the service of a pilot….Konsortium Express or Langkawi Express that travels daily from Ipoh to Singapore and stop in Tapah….. but when Zhariff started to talk and Qistina was born I told myself …what am I doing all this while....we work for what ? for family ..I must do something to stay as a proper family....

We’ve sent him to Tadika Mayang at the age of 3, this Tadika was just behind our house, it is a Chinese Tadika, Yes he learnt a liite bit of Mandarin,their homework also quite heavy....other than that he also attended the annual concert...

3 Yrs old at Tadika Mayang

Back stage_Preparation for the annual concert

Prince...I would like to dance with you.....

Princess : Ok...This's my Prince Charming...nobody disturb..

Just pretend nothing happen between us...

When we moved to Subang Bestari, he’s off to Little Khalifah when he was 4….and now at the age of 6 he has already graduated......I was thinking the other day how fast these past 6 years had gone and in the blink of an eye…..bammmm !!! he’s a mini graduate…..ready and qualified to go to primary school……Congratulations my son,Little Caliph....The sad thing is I was in Dubai when Zhariff graduated from the kindergarten.

Doesn’t he look so adorable in this picture?

The inherit talent_Aug 08

Entering the time tunnel ......
Grandpa (Wan) was then the former hockey,table tennis and tennis player for Sekolah Tunku Abdul Rahman (STAR), Ipoh Perak...
Grandma (Atuk) was then the former hockey player and sprinter (100m,200m, 4 x 100m, 100 m hurdles) represented Sekolah Tun Fatimah and state of Malacca...until she became hockey coach for her school....
Pak Long was playing as a right winger in football and a killer in sepaktakraw also a sprinter (100m, 200m, 4 x 100m for long and triple jump) for Science Kedah and Kuala Muda district....
Pak Lang was then a former long distance runner for Kulim district...800m and 1500m are his favourites...
Pak Ude was then a former rugby player for Science Perlis (ala Perlis tu kochik jer Pak Ude)
Pak Andak was then a former tennis player for Kulim district....
Papa was then a former sprinter (100m, 4 x 100m, 110m hurdles, triple jump) represented secondary school and badminton player for Cardiff University….
Mama was a "shooter" in netball team playing for Convent JB..

Now the question is the DNA in the kids blood stream inherited from their grandma, grandpa, uncles, father and mother enough for them to excel in their sport ? ....Yes maybe 15%...we need to provide suitable environment for them....we need to dig out the talent, polish it so that it will shine ..shine like a is fun to it and it is quite a challenging task

Now time has changed, environment has changed...we are in digital nowadays play football with PS2 or PS3, PSP, XBox and Nintendo Wii...Another thing is the place for sports, park for jogging are getting smaller and sometimes far from residential area...not to mention some township does not even has any park.....when is the last time u heard a new park open near your vicinity ? Every inch of soil are use to build house make money...another factor sports in Malaysia are sucks is because politics..just look at our football politics...where are we? ranking 146 in FIFA ....even Euthopia also beat us ..Euthopia man of the poorest country in the world !!

Ok ok that's enough....i think the relevant authorities should do something....
Just to share with you..the place where I stay we've our private park with kids it's okay...there was an open space not far away from my's a public area but use by Vietnamese youth to play football, sepaktakraw and volleyball...where are all the local youth? How do they spend their time? Merempit, melepak, movies, teh tarik ....Yet we still wondering why we lost football to this Vietnamese ?

I still remember how enthusiastic Atuk will act when she supported her favorite athletes in the 100m event during Olympic Games….

In Little Caliph Sports event held in mini Stadium Shah Alam recently,
Zharif won 1 silver medal in “ Makan Biskut atas pinggan’’ and 1 bronze medal in "Lari ikat kaki"

Qistina won 1 silver medal in "Lari letak pouch atas kepala” and 1 bronze medal in "Lari and isi air dlm botol"....The sport events combined 4 Little Caliph Kindergartens from TTDI, Subang Bestari, Kota Damansara and Shah Alam Sek 7 ..Each Kindergarten will come out with their own performance …..those were the kind of sports that focuses on fun rather than competition....

Okay it’s good start, kiddos....

Eid Mubarak - Oct 2008

It has been 4 months since I wrote in my blog...the last time was in Aug 2008. Wah why busy mehhh malas ...all those excuses lah...The thing is there were quite a no. of events worth remembering ...

This is a belated entry. ...Eid Mubarak 2008 ...this yr's family gathering was in family protocol states that everyone must check in at least during raya eve and get together on the very morning of hari family decided to experience the last 2 days fasting moments in Kulim…so there we go, we hit the road from KL after 12 midnight in order to catch sahur in Kulim….alhamdulillah the road was clear thus allowing Sepet to cruise smoothly....we reached Kulim on time for our Sahur…..the next day Pak Long invited us to buka puasa at Bandar Lagumana ? Bandar Laguna,Sg. Petani....they served us with their family specialty… curry ……memang terangkat !!!

Rumah Pak Long at Bandar Laguna, Sg. Merbok

Firecrackers is a compulsory event for mlm raya….the kids enjoyed themselves, the father...hehehehhe jgn cakap ler...nevertheless we’ve all the safety aspects covered..this'is our utmost priority and very important... kids must be supervised by their parents at all time… excuse....rockets blasting in the dark night...mercun lada exploded in the air.....sometimes disturbing the oversensitive Perdana V6 alarm... parked nearby...Mercun katak continously jumping on the ground……celebration was like 0.01% of 4th of July...

All time favourite dish …Nasi himpit with kuah kacang ordered from Mak Abu…Salute to Atuk and Wan who have never missed making serunding daging for us every year… is the best serunding daging in the world…...Apart from the nasi terhimpit, we were served gracefully from the chef in the other than my lovely wife...rendang chicken...ya ampun...very delicious...

Agenda remains the same….solat Aidilfitri, sessi bermaaf – maafan, bergambo ikut hierarchy… and of course soru ramai – date Wan and Atok have 12 grandchild...we can see the happiness and smiles from their face when all the children are around them....then we went to the most Otai in our family our Pak Ngah house in Kepala Batas...

Family members Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2008...

Abg n Adik - this year green.......

On the 2nd and 3rd Hari Raya with have our Auntie…..Mak Anjang visited us from Pahang with his children, all our 4 cousins with their kids came too.

On the 4th Hari Raya… We had BBQ organized by Pak Su and Mak Su....Cayala buat lagi tahun tahun depan no...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Geng Malibu strike again - BBQ di PD

Geng Malibu strike again...Yes !! this time we invaded Port Dickson..The last time we had gathering was in Bamboo River when we visited Pak Rani, that was classified under DDO (Daddy Days Out)..this time we decided to take it to the next level...with our family...with normal crew members of Geng Malibu - Aku, Joebuck, Pailang, Isan, Pajri but this time included sorang from Honda Choke punya geng ....Mando...Main activity what else....BBQ, BBQ and BBQ....We stayed overnight in an exclusive 2 double storey Penthouse at Glory Beach Resort, Port Dickson...facing the ocean....

Waiting for member paling "jauh"...Joebuck all the way from Seremban...Make new friends...Alyssa (anak Pailang) and my daughter ..Qistina...girl n girl posing...

Geng Malibu Home Minister meeting....main agenda- what's the next activities at the beach ..

Pajeri - "Confirmed !!! aku dah kata semut tu buat kenduri"

You're looking at future generation leaders....May God give us enough time and health to see our kids grow up...

Preparation for BBQ and lunch... bukak port luck semua....Pajri bawak bihun and aku bawak nasi lemak...alhamdulillah nasi lemak tahan sampai ke malam...

Home made sup kambing from Pailang...memang ngancam giler...cuma aku jer tak boleh nak balun lebih lebih ....

Abg and adik destroying the sand castles....

"Adik, according to abg calculation, we will discover the bones if we continue digging for another 257 hours...."

Fresh XXXL Calamarez from Tg. Karang Selangor specially brought over from Taiko Pailang...

XXL Udang...bakar jgn tak bakar....

View of Pantai Cermin at Teluk Kemang...air dia okay ,redup gak kawasan dia..

Thumbs up from destination Carribean beach pulak okay...

Let's go berkubang dlm pool beramai -ramai..Geng Malibu bersama junior masing masing..

Adik posing atas pool..janji adik tak gaduh tarik rambut tepi pool..

Geng Malibu prepare for lumba biawak dlm air.....pemenangnya tak pyah cakap la siapa...

The best of God 2 kids...I'm still amazed of the way my child developing day by day...

A snapshot of the penthouse...aku stay downstairs with Isan...Pailang 2nd floor..

New group ....Geng Malibu..handsome fathers on the block...stop kejap to rasa durian PD...

Lunch..Joebuck suggested Nasi Ayam yg masuk JJCM at Seremban....

Lalatless..that's their motto...

It was evident when u cannot see not a single fly at the chicken...

Ni la nasi ayam dia 3 type... nasi ayam goreng, nasi ayam cantonis..nasi ayam