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GIM Turkey/Dubai
Kellogg GIM students in Dubai with tour guides after a visit to the Burj Al Arab hotel

Turkey, Dubai added as GIM destinations

Contrasts between locales extend Kellogg global perspective and offer students new business insights

Turkey and Dubai are relatively close on the world map, but in some ways they could be worlds away: One is a country rich in history and culture spanning centuries; the other is emerging as a world-class city developing at breakneck speed.

Kellogg students experienced these extremes while traveling on the first Global Initiatives in Management trip to these locales.

"With Istanbul being one of the oldest cities in the world and Dubai one of the newer emerging cities, we created this trip to be a contrast between the two," said Zoravar Dhaliwal '08, co-leader for the excursion.

These destinations were chosen when Dhaliwal and Raz Malik '08 were independently planning trips to the region. Malik said he wanted to share the positive experiences he had in Turkey and Dubai with other Kellogg students. "Being a Muslim, I wanted my colleagues to see that not all Muslim countries are unadvisable to visit," he said.

GIM Turkey/Dubai  
Craig Koester and Zoravar Dhaliwal (both '08) thank the Dubai Ports Authority representative after a presentation.  
GIM Turkey/Dubai  
Zain Koita, Ben Hockenberg (both '08) and GIM Program Assistant Laura Bunch listen to Malcolm Walker, senior executive officer, Standard Chartered, discuss Dubai International Financial Centre's growth plans.  

Dhaliwal's motivation was similar. "The media had [negatively] highlighted that part of the world, but I knew there were positive experiences there, too."

When Malik and Dhaliwal connected, they recruited other committee leaders for the trip. With marketing and the assistance of faculty adviser Edmund Wilson '84, associate dean emeritus, they established the course, which quickly attracted 35 students.

"Dean Wilson passed down the wisdom from his GIM trips and gave us the freedom to operate," Dhaliwal said.

The leaders said they designed a challenging curriculum for Turkey and Dubai, which have been the subject of relatively few business cases.

In addition to studying the region's business, Malik said students gave presentations on cultural topics and practiced Turkish and Arabic during the 10-week GIM course. Before the trip, they participated in a mock debate over whether Turkey should enter the European Union. During the trip, the students' itinerary packed in visits to government officials, finance and development companies, and Kellogg alumni. In Turkey, students met with Abdullah Gul, the country's foreign minister; Ali Babacan '92, finance minister and chief EU negotiator; and Koc Holdings, the country's top industrial conglomerate. A highlight was meeting with Hüsnü Özyegin, founder and chairman of Finansbank and Turkey's wealthiest man.

Sessions in Dubai, meanwhile, included visiting Nakheel, a government-owned real estate developer that is building the famous Palm and World Islands; Istithmar, the government's private equity arm; and DubaiLand, a massive new amusement park.

"The scale of things being planned is just gigantic," Wilson said.

This trip is over, but Malik and Dhaliwal are seeking to make Turkey-Dubai a permanent GIM offering. –AM

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