Friday, January 08, 2010

Still in the pre-internet age

There's a huge gulf between the claim that Dubai is an ultra-modern commercial/financial centre and the out-of-date thinking of so many of the companies operating here.

We're still in the age when to get anything sorted out people are expected to visit companies personally and wait in endless queues. In an age when e-mails aren't even read let alone replied to. In an age when material needs to be sent to companies by fax.

Companies got as far as understanding that a website was a good idea - but having set them up they simply left them. Huge numbers of them are several years out of date, making them useless.

On various forums there are regular complaints from people overseas that they get no response to e-mails to hotels, tour companies and others.

There are a couple of reports in Gulf News today that continue the story, relating to the ultra-modern tallest structure in the world, Burj Khalifa.

The first is headed "Confusion over Burj website owner persists" and talks about the people involved in registering burjkhalifa domain names.

How could it be allowed to get to this? When the name Burj Khalifa was decided on it should have immediately been protected. It's very basic stuff that the domain names such as and .ae and .org and .info and the others should have been registered.

They weren't, so we have the free-for-all that's now going on.

The official website is all over the place too.

That Emaar site is still and that's what the tower is still called on the site.

The second report is about the queues for Observation Deck tickets, in which the final para says "The announced online ticket booking on the tower's website was not yet active at the time of going to press."

I went to check it. If you browse through the Observation Deck section you'll find the valuable information: "At The Top will open in January 2010." Will open. How long ago was that put on the site?

A pop-up tells you to: "Purchase your tickets online for the date and time of your choice" but nothing happens if you click on it.

The Observation Deck was obviously planned years ago, everything's now in place, it's up and running - but no-one thought to have the website ready.

What's going on with management and IT people here?

The stories are here and here.


the real nick said...

I tell you what's going with them: they don't give a shit what people like you or I think.

Mazhar Mohad said...

Mr. The Real Nick, I am not sure about your comment. People like us give comments and I have experiences of things being changed. Feedback is vital, let alone if they imply it or not. I have had few feedbacks to RTA via email whereby they did call back and apologize or to inform that its been fixed.

Feedback is very important to uplift a society. The attitude of "they don't give a shit what people like you or I think" is completely wrong.

Life in Dubai, keep up the good job.

Anonymous said...

Its a bit difficult to give feedback, when half the times, the reply is ot the tune of "If you dont like it, dont take it"

Mohammad said...

Seabee, I have news for you. You always complaing about why people dont plan things properly, and why so many things are uncoordinated?
One of Dubai's businessmen has the answer:

In the session, Mishal Kanoo, Chairman of the Kanoo Group, one of the largest independent groups of companies in the Gulf, attacked the motion, saying Dubai was where every Arab wanted to be, reported.

Rebutting suggestions that Dubai's rulers should have been more circumspect in the way they ran the economy during the boom years, he asked: "When you are in a speeding train, do you stop and ask whether everything is OK?"

That should tell you all you need to know. If an economy is growing (speeding train),it is stupidity to slow things down and coordinate and plan properly.
No wonder you see things from overflowing sewage to nonexistent webpages.

After all, what matters is getting things quickly and bragging about it, God forbid we "slow down" and check if "everything is ok"

Seabee said...

Mohammad, that sums up the thinking fairly well!

filipe said...

I agree with the real nick.
They don´t give a shit