Updated: Jul 1, 2020
All of us are locked down somewhere in the world.
As the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic handcuffs nations and borders, I'm serving my sentence in Melbourne. All this while, I've been receiving and exchanging stories of lockdown with friends from all over. I spoke previously with Cristina Vigilante who leads sales and industry practices as Managing Director for Marsh in Asia.
The COVID-19 Lockdown Series is a cumulation of stories shared with Affluent Society by its members and members of Platinum Circle.
Mohamed Nasser Hamdan Alzaabi is the Director of Trade Promotions for the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy. In addition to maintaining the Ministry’s strategic and operational plans for trade promotions, strategic partnerships and exports, He is the Honorary Ambassador of Foreign Investment Promotion for Korea, a UAE National Export Committee Member and serves as a representative of the Customer Advisory Board for Etihad Airways.
Affluent Society (AS) spoke to him about his experience with the COVID-19 pandemic in UAE.
AS: What is the lockdown like in Abu Dhabi?
The lockdown has been an interesting experience. Abu Dhabi, where I live, has been in a national sterilization program where citizens must remain at home from 8pm until 6am. Looking into the empty streets at night showed how weak humans can be. A tiny thing kept us locked away from each other! However, this gave me time to stay home, spend time with family, read, play sports and have a stronger connection with god. It was time for the earth to breath and take a break from some of the wrong human habits.
AS: What challenges did you face when the lockdown started?
As a dynamic person who travels throughout the year, it was hard to stay in one place without movement. Fortunately with time I got used to it.
AS: How are you coping with the lockdown?
It was easy to cope as I have no other option. Positivity is a key to survival. A daily workout routine helped me to pass the time, along with reading and following global news.
AS: Anything positive came out of staying and working from home?
Maximizing productivity via virtual meetings; connecting with others all around the globe; planning for the future and post COVID era; less traffic and more time with family. These are all positive outcomes.
AS: What's happening to return to normalcy?
We are starting to operate our offices at 50% capacity. This will include keeping distance at work and use of masks. People need time to get back to normalcy. However we need to learn from this, maintain distance and conduct virtual meetings when needed. We need to focus on results and take the needed safety measures.
Next up: We speak with Ritesh Kumar Singh about his COVID-19 lockdown experience in India.
The COVID-19 Lockdown Series is brought to you by the Partners of Affluent Society including InvesUnited, a global investment firm and asset owner with interests in real estate, equities and fixed income.