What I think about… Etihad Airways

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August 1, 2011 at 2:04 pmCategory:Rants | What I think About

Etihad Airways Logo

When my first choice carrier to Australia – Emirates – was fully booked, and my second best option was Etihad Airways, I was actually quite optimistic. From what I heard, and read, the hype was that Etihad was amongst the better airlines.

Boy was I in for a surprise. This is not a case of a bad experience, or a single really bad incident. I really could not find what it is that people were raving about. Now, I am not saying that it is a horrible airline, not by any stretch of the imagination. It is at best, in my opinion, an OK airline.
Probably the really good thing about Etihad is that they codeshare with Virgin Airlines! Now that is a truly great airline! Read More…

Social Media and Business in Saudi Arabia

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August 23, 2010 at 5:52 pmCategory:Business | Saudi Arabia | Social Media

I’ve been a long time web enthusiast. I taught myself HTML coding in ’94, started a web design company targeting the Saudi market with a couple of friends in ’98, and have generally continued to follow the developments in that space moving across from the more technical part of it to the “social” end in what is now commonly called “social media”.  I believe core to my enjoyment of this evolution was the reach and connectivity it offered; as well as the seemingly large business opportunity it presented when captured and directed the right way.

I acknowledge that living, and studying in the States have shaped my perception of the power of such tools to a large degree, but cannot stop thinking about what that means to the country I’m in – Saudi Arabia. All of those social media tools being used today, are in reality an extension to the customer centric mentality that have existed in various forms in the US from the early stages of business. A customer centric mentality that I don’t believe is matched anywhere in the world, despite the various examples that people may site from time to time.

Saudi Arabia’s business culture has not really been about customer service, although you will find it as a core strategy in many of the larger organizations. If you speak with the average Joe (or Moe as the case my be!) on the street in Saudi you will find that proper customer service from a local business is a surprise rather than an expectation.

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