SharePoint Saturday Dubai 2016 : Beginning with a Bang !

Ahhhh, It was a day ( 26th November 2015 ) I have been invited to speak at SPS Dubai , and the first thing I found exciting was to meeting all the speakers’ face to face whom I have been following over ONLY social media and presenting the first ever slide of my life ! 🙂 Due to these reasons, SPS Dubai 2016 was really precious to me ! Certainly a dream came true and why not as I was supposed to mark myself as first Indian SPS Speaker while being in India in the beginning of the year 2016.

Event Organizors, Salaman and Sohail were great supporter to make it possible for me and I am heartily thankful to these guys to invite me to speak there !

Then spirit has begun by working on my slide and gathering information as much as possible , Bjoern Rapp, a great friend of mine and well wisher helped me to clear my doubts in order to convey correct information to the audience.Not only this but another favorable thing was to meet him first time after continuous great friendship with him about 3 years ! Now, with all these excitements, I have booked the flight ticket and hotel to stay in “High” country DUBAI and I landed there on 28th January 2016.Though, I will never forget the difficulties I faced when It was check in time at Mumbai Airport, due to missing visa documents,I had to cancel the current ticket and booked another flight on the spot with two times higher rate than previous booking ( quite tough to decide ) as only one thing was in my mind, I WANT TO LAND IN DUBAI TOMORROW ! 🙂

After landing to Dubai, I travelled via metro to reach to my hotel and yeah, yet my troubles were not over, I could not manage with food and climate over there on initial days and unfortunetly, I got fever just before a presentation day, but again one thing was in my mind – I need to convey the information I worked upon my slides.Despite of that I didn’t miss visting “Jumeirah Beach” and “Malls of The Emirates” with Bjoern Rapp as very less time left now !

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Then, I was being prepared with my slides as soon as I get over from fever and Bjoern and I were ready to reach with all the stuffs required at Event Day ! And What I saw was cool and clean climate at Microsoft Office at first place followed by all the speaker banners.

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Then, I attended the keynote session by Salman and the first session presented by Goken and by chance Jussi Roine was sitting besides me and how come I forget to get selfie with him who is one of the MCSM certified 🙂 And then my route started to capture the selfie with all great speakers out there ! Pronouncing Benoit Jester‘s name was fun time with him,Bjoern and Etienne Bailly during the lunch break 🙂 Well, I missed attending the Maarten’s session about “Securing data in O365” but hopefully I got the picture with him 🙂 after his session.

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Moreover, Meeting Joel and Noel was one of the items in my prioritized goals ! 🙂 and It was rewarding to see and meet them personally ! I consider them “Shahrukh and Salman” of SharePointWood 🙂 They have certainly sparked the event with full of fun by dressing up in “Kandura” 🙂

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My session was about to start by 12:00 PM and Usama helped me to set up my laptop with projector and slides.A great sporty buddy 🙂 ! And I was all ready for the session,however Patrick listed before me who found the trouble setting up with his laptop and projector,though he conveyed about “Office 365 groups” awesomely within the time limit and then it was my turn while other sessions going on in other training room.2016-02-07_18.16.57

After my session completion, I have distributed the colorful gifts I brought from India to 3 attendees who could give the right answer for the questions in my “Give and Get” section of the presentation and I was very happy with the answers they given and won the gift 🙂 Happy Ending ! By the way gift contained 1 sweet box from famous Indian sweet manufacturer Haldiram’s with one pouch containing a mermaid , not a techie gift of course – Otherwise it wouldn’t end up in colorful way !! 😛

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After my session, I had to move to hotel as there was a plan with Bjoern to meet his relatives and we spent really great time together while roaming around Dubai Mall !

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And then it was the time for “Speakers Dinner” – A last ritual of SPSEvent where all speakers invited to have dinner together and gets apart 🙂 where I get a chance to must awaited selfie with Franseco and the delicious food of famous Dubai Restaurant LAL QUILA ! I have really enjoyed time with speakers there and having tasty food together where I spread Indian Sweet on the table called “Gulab Jamun” I brought from India for all the speakers and organizers and they really loved it 🙂

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Hang on, This is not the end yet, after saying bye bye to all Bjoern and me headed for the “Burj Khalifa” by 9:30 PM for which we reserved the ticket 1 day back.We had very less time and we were not sure whether we could reach on time as we were struggling to get the right direction for the “Burj Khalifa” with taxi driver.We reached exactly at 10:00 clock there and we were still remained to finding the entry to reach to top floor “148” – Yes,I was about to get the life time experience here being at TOP OF THE WORLD !!! We moved from ground floor to 148th floor and then 125 to 124 floor and then back to the ground floor.Lift over there was so high speed which took only 40-50 seconds to reach top floor !!! OMG – Background Music over there was adding the feeling of heaven 🙂 See the pictures below we managed capturing the view 🙂 bit blurry though !

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After visiting the Burj Khalifa , I was all tired and tried to get a taxi as quickly as possible to go to the hotel back and recharge my self for the next day.As my return ticket was on 1st February 2016, I was having the whole one day to roam around,however I preferred to stay and rest in the hotel.Next morning It was a time to leave Dubai and I felt Dubai is all about High Buildings,Wide Roads,Expensive Cars and Rich People 🙂

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It was a great learning experience for me in all area I would say from traveling to meeting people and giving and getting the SharePoint knowledge ! Hoping for the SPSMumbai this year – I remember what Goken has wished 🙂 I returned back with great memories and learning experience to Mumbai and then another day started as usual 🙂 Hope to see all of them again !

Happy SharePointing !
Stay Gifted, Stay Young.

Dipti Chhatrapati

Dipti Chhatrapati is a SharePoint specialist currently working as a Senior Consultant for CapGemini in Mumbai, India. She has more than 9 years of experience in application development, design, maintenance, administration and is continuously working with improving her skills and keeping them up to date. As a developer, project leader and SharePoint Business Analyst, she has been an extensive user of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server throughout her career. Dipti is very passionate about music, sports, and arts and loves to spend her free time learning new things, socializing with friends and family, cooking, exercising and singing.

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