Procurement in the Emirates – greetings from Dubai

This week I'm in the United Arab Emirates, running Real World Sourcing briefing sessions for Tejari, the BravoSolution joint venture in the region.

Did they have to make them quite so tall?

Did they have to make them quite so tall?

I continue to be impressed by many aspects of Dubai rather than loving it - I miss being able to go for a quick stroll from my hotel or office, simply impossible when it is 40 degrees C outside. My colleague in these events, Guy Allen, suggested I should make an effort to get out to do or see something other than purely the business side of things. So I did a search and look what was on this week. Yes, it's Boyzone! Maybe not. And I have yet to discover the Dubai equivalent of the Borderline or the Wedgewood Rooms, hosting a dynamic indie music sub-culture. I did have a quick trip to the biggest shopping mall in the world though. Shopping, my favourite thing ...

The session in Dubai, on Evaluating Bids and Tenders,  was very well attended and lively. I thought we would finish ahead of schedule, but after over 20 minutes of questions, the debate was still going strong - how can you incorporate preferences for local suppliers into formal tender evaluation schemes? being one of the more challenging to answer.

Our event in Dubai

Our event in Dubai

Not surprisingly, there is a lot of focus on large construction and capital projects, so the topic of prime contractors and how they manage their suppliers came up several times in the context of choosing the best suppliers (which is of course the whole aim of tender and bid evaluation).

And yesterday, we took the series to Abu Dhabi, my first time there, for a session titled "Benchmarking the Procurement Function". It is much less high-rise and more traditional than Dubai, and a greater focus on public sector procurement perhaps. The government has been looking for some years now to develop improved procurement performance and encourage local capability amongst procurement staff, and I have to say the level of delegates was very impressive -  quite a few CPO level people, and that was reflected in very good and informed discussions.

It was also interesting to see how strong CIPS is becoming in the region - they partner with Tejari for these events and there is obviously a serious appetite for CIPS products and services, both individuals wanting to be qualified and corporates looking for support and validation as they look to improve procurement performance.

Anyway, this trip is not all glamour though - here is a picture taken from my hotel window. Great view of the aluminium plant ...

Dubai view from hotel

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