Days in the Desert: The Metrohm Middle East Family Event
In celebration of the Metrohm jubilee, the staff of Metrohm Middle East spent their yearly family getaway in the in the desert, about an hour’s drive from Dubai. I know that the desert, by its very definition, sounds like a boring place. But with a team like that of Metrohm Middle East, a weekend in the desert is guaranteed to be a lot of fun.
When I arrived in Dubai late at night on a Thursday evening, our local Metrohm team and their families had already left for the desert. It took me about an hour to get from the airport to the desert resort that Metrohm Middle East had chosen for their family getaway. By the time I arrived, it was long past midnight, so I went to sleep to recover from my flight from India.
I met the team and their families at breakfast in the morning. Metrohm Middle East has about 25 employees in the UAE, and almost all of them joined the event. It was impossible for me to discern who worked at Metrohm and who was a spouse. Everybody visibly knew each other so well, it seemed as though they all worked together. The whole group was a well-tuned team.
Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the time together and the joint activities. There were games at the pool (which I slept through, still recovering from my two weeks in India) and there were team challenges: a nature walk in the desert followed by a quiz, an archery competition, and a shelter-building challenge (which my team and I failed royally —our shelter was not only unfit to withstand the slightest breeze, but also provided no shade whatsoever).
The desert resort is home to several herds of gazelles and Arabian oryxes, which can be found roaming the paths of the resort once in a while in search for food. Inspite of the dry climate, there’s some green around: the United Arab Emirates’ national tree, the ghaf tree, can grow even in the desert. It can tap the ground water with its roots, which can reach up to 60 meters length.
The official jubilee ceremony took place on Friday afternoon. The team planted 75 ghaf trees to commemorate the event while also doing something for the environment. The kids jumped in excitement over the cutting of the jubilee cake and the tree planting activity, and the 75 saplings were planted in no time.
But what got the whole team really excited was Housie (which is what they call Bingo). When Managing Director Anil announced there was going to be some rounds of Housie after dinner, that’s when the group went crazy. Playful rivalries came up and there was cheering and applause for the winners—except if they won too often! Even on the bus back to Dubai, the group couldn’t get enough of Housie.