Last month, Strathmore University Business School (SBS) organized an educational trip for third and fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce Students. The Dubai trip aimed to increase our international exposure. We were 36 students, accompanied by Dr David Mathuva, Director of Undergraduate Programmes and Mary Weremba, School Manager, Undergraduate Programmes at SBS.
The trip began with a tour of the city of Dubai City, where we visited the Future Museum, the Tech Hub area, the Burj Khalifa, Atlantis and the Palm Beach Hotel. The first day culminated in a dhow cruise, where we had dinner as we sailed through the most talked about waterfront development in the world; the Dubai Marina. The tour provided a night view of the Dubai Marina District which boasts some of the most well-known and iconic developments such as the Ain Dubai (the largest and highest wheel in the world), and countless other eyeball grabbing sky-high towers.
On the next day, we visited Amity University, one of the top universities in Dubai. The university has more than 120,000 alumni worldwide and has a very advanced Incubation Centre which has been the home of 25,000 + startups. We were taken around the campus to view their lecture halls and labs; their civil engineering labs had considerable equipment that was available for the students to use. Their students also have the opportunity to intern and interact with the teams that have built Dubai’s impressive road system with a 100 per cent uptake rate into companies for their internships. Moreover, we also managed to view their fashion labs which had various pieces completed and unfinished ranging from modern to more conservative pieces. The students have the opportunity to showcase their designs in a fashion show that occurs yearly and intern with various fashion houses.
After our tour around the university, we made our way to a lecture hall where we listened to a lecture on Sharia Law, Banking and Finance. Sharia Banking represents two trillion dollars in the world today. There are many differences in Islamic banking, for example, Islamic banks recognize loans as non-commercial and interest-free. This lecture sparked the interest of some students who asked questions and investigated this mode of banking.
After this, we went on a tour of their grounds; our first stop was the sports complex. This complex housed an indoor basketball court which was also equipped with other sporting equipment such as netball, hockey, rounders, badminton and more. The second floor housed an Olympic-size swimming pool, a dance studio and a gym. Outside the sports complex was a track that allowed all sorts of athletic activities from races, discus and shotput and many more.
The expo was the crown jewel of the trip as it was the most anticipated. We had the opportunity of witnessing more than 190 countries all over the globe come together to showcase their products, technologies, and architectures. On arrival, we were blown away by the beauty and grandeur of the hundreds of pavilions and the Al Wasl Plaza which is the main landmark of Expo 2020 Dubai, a stunning dome-shaped piece of architecture, spread across a 438-hectare area. .
We started at the Kenya pavilion where our government invited visitors to “feel the energy” of Kenya and the various opportunities the country has to offer. Thereafter, we were given an entire afternoon to tour the various pavilions. Some of the most remarkable pavilions included those of the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Saudia Arabia and Singapore. The U which were designed to reflect the bird’s agility and strength of the country and its people; the Saudi Arabia Pavilion whose entrance was decorated with a gigantic screen that lit up the entire area at night with its stunning presentation of the country’s plan for a shared future; the Morocco pavilion was a 6-story structure built to look like an earthen village where you will be able to navigate through all its exhibitions via a continuous ramp that reflects the streets of the Moroccan; the Singapore pavilion showcased the country’s urban innovations that seamlessly combine urban planning and nature to create an immersive 3D greenery experience and many more. With the five hours provided for the first day at the expo proving to be extremely overwhelming, we unanimously agreed to return to the expo for a second day.
The entire trip was an eye-opener and challenged us to be thinkers and tap into our intellectual and leadership capabilities to solve the challenges back home and build a sustainable world.
About the Bachelor of Commerce Programme
The Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM) prepares students to work in the area of management, finance, accountancy, banking, micro-finance, administration, marketing and other related fields. This course is structured to reflect the changing world of commerce and to equip its learners with the necessary skills, ethical principles and general knowledge needed for decision-making in a contemporary business environment. Learn more about the Bachelor of Commerce Programme here
Article by Michelle Oguya and Ezra Yego
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