Dubai, Oh my, what a place. I marvelled at Dubai’s beginnings. The city started from wind sweep designer, sand dunes, then a village and today having the world’s tallest structures. Hope springs eternal in this city of imagination to be a global leader in humanity’s quest for new horizons. I was excited to be invited as the Key Note Speaker on Artificial Intelligence and Education. Dubai was a fitting place for the 5th World Machine and Deep Learning Congress to hold a conference at the Blu. There is no history in Dubai, but there is excitement to make history. Dubai has become the future, and people are eager to see it – myself included.
When I checked into the five star Radisson Blu Hotel, in Deira Creek, I was curious with the Blu name of the hotel. I asked Mr. Abhishek Grover, Marketing Executive for Radisson, why the ‘Blu’ moniker. Radisson, it turns out, had sought a word that would symbolize trust, sincerity, tranquillity, friendliness, warmth, assurance, acumen, reliance, certainty and harmony across all cultures and languages. The colour blue, they discovered, is associated with the essence of humanity in our blue skies and waters, and exhibits a positive effect on both the mind and body. Just ask any astronaut who has gazed upon the Earth’s vivid blue visage from space. It’s awe-inspiring.
I believe Radisson marketing got it right. 2019 is being heralded as the year of blue. On September 21, humanity will be surrounded by a harmonious Blu, during the United Nation’s International Peace day events, celebrated around the world. Blue is an auspicious colour, as evidenced by UN, airlines, hotels, companies, fashion, logos and designs. They are all showcasing Blu in their marketing. Toronto Waterfront Magazine hosts the International Film for Peace Festival, as part of the United Nations celebrations on that day.
During my stay at the Deira Creek Radisson Blu, I discovered that at one time it was the tallest building in Dubai. Forty years ago, Queen Elizabeth visited the 8 year old country, to officially open and lay, a commemorative plaque, at the old city hall. It just happened I could see the plaque from my hotel. When the Prime Minister of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, erected a 50-story-high window ‘Frame’, a must see attraction, to frame his harmonious futuristic vision and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa Tower, he highlighted the “Frame”
with blue light. Peaceful ‘blue’ in numerous designs, fashion, tone, energy, attitude and belief, will become the foundation in spreading harmony. For 40 years the Sheikh has been coming to the Radisson Blu hotel. He sits, in the same chair, looking from old Dubai, across its Creek and imagining, as a young boy, the future of his city. I sat in his chair and imagined how he had the vision and courage to make his dream into what we see and visit today.
In my conference, I found myself seeped in Radisson Blu hospitality. There was much to do and see in between my keynotes and workshops. Each day I meandered through the opulent hotel touching and tasting its delightful offerings. In the mornings, the executive floor served a scrumptiously delicious breakfast. Sipping on my second cup of coffee, I gazed across old Dubai’s harbour into its future. At night, you look across the Creek towards the 50 stories Blu “Frame” and the faint outline of the Burj – magical.
The evenings were accented with visiting, dining, dancing and enjoying, the 16 different restaurant cuisines – Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Persian, European, and American – that would tame the palate of any hungry guest. The Radisson Blu is also fortunate enough to have; world-renowned, Lifetime Culinary Achievement Award winner, Chef Uwe Michael, Director of Kitchens. During the day temperatures reached into the 40 Celsius range. I managed to survive at their poolside sipping on happiness and covered by the sun to create natural vitamin D while taking numerous dips into their refreshing pool. What more can I say and want when you got – Blu skies, Blu pool and the Blu Hotel.