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The 2022 UCLan Cyprus MBA International Field Trip! A unique experience in the Expo 2020, Dubai and a legacy of lasting memories

The International Field Trip (IFT) took place at Expo 2020, Dubai, during 25-30 March 2022 and was an initiative led by Dr Panayiotis Kontakos. Participants included UCLan Cyprus MBAs, MBA Alumni and friends, all seeking to gain experience-based market insights and explore new development horizons.

We all had the opportunity to harmonize themselves with the Middle East business environment, primarily through our visit to the Expo 2020, Dubai. For the first time in Word Expo history, each of the 192 participant countries had its own pavilion, facilitating immersive cultural experiences and discovering what makes each country unique. Our participation in the thematic pavilions facilitated embarking in experiences merging education, entertainment and excitement. They showcased the future through innovation and world expertise.

In the DP World Pavilion, at the Business & Entrepreneurship district, we had the opportunity to discover the future of logistics. We learned about the transformative powers of data and explored the Cargospeed, the ultra-fast transportation system for palletised cargo powered by hyperloop technology.

The Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion was like an exploration of humankind’s relationship with nature, our obsession with excessive consumerism, on how we can change our everyday choices to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact or fight climate change.

Walking down the road to the Innovation and technology Pavilion, countless technological advances awaited. We faced the challenge to unleash our inner techie, discover life-changing innovations and experience a truly connected high-tech world.

At the ‘Future Banking’ space, representatives of Emirates NBD, one of the top banks in UAE, unveiled to our MBAs their pioneering vision for the future of global banking, comprising various distinct pods, such as: the future of investing in new asset classes by leveraging Blockchain tokenization mechanisms; the Personal Data Economy concept and how digitally active individuals can control and monetise their personal data; and the computational power of Quantum Computing (QC) in countering Cybersecurity threats.

Almost half million visitors, mainly from Asian countries, were present at the Expo site during our visit, whereas 24 million people visited the Expo within 6 months. Peru’s pavilion won the Gold Award of Self-built pavilions, counting 1,8 million visitors.

As delightedly noted by our MBAs, “The International Filed Trip has provided us with the opportunity to look into the future business trends in terms of technology as well as the UN Sustainable Goals being high in their agenda. High emphasis in the Expo was placed on ESG-Environmental Social Governance programs, to make the world a better place.”, according to Nicos Paradisiotis, IT Engineer in Cyprus.

“Connecting minds, seeing future creations and seeing the world in one place was exciting. The Expo gave me a better understanding of some of the topics in international strategic management such as the  global investment trends in 2022 which I was able to mirror as we toured different pavilions”, according to Sitwala Imasiku, Zambia.

Among other attractions we visited during our trip were included: the Dubai Marina, one of Dubai’s most exclusive neighborhoods, which is set on a two-mile stretch of pristine sand facing the Arabian Gulf; the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest tower in the world with a total height of 830 meters; the Dubai Fountain, a captivating water, music and light spectacle in Downtown Dubai; the Dubai Miracle Garden, which occupies over 72,000 square meters, making it the world’s largest natural flower garden, featuring over 50 million flowers and 250 million plants; the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo; and finally we embarked for an experiential journey on the Palm Jumeirah Monorail, a monorail running down across 3 miles the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai’s first artificial island.

Experiential educational travel refers to “learning from experience”. Discovering bustling business hubs across Europe and Asia, balancing cultural experiences, business insights and academic rigor has already been a precious legacy for our MBA program at UCLan Cyprus and a great memory for the future.

We are gearing up for our 2023 IFT…