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“What you find, especially in times of challenge, is that its TEAMWORK that makes it happen.”

Stuart Birkwood - Radisson RED Hotel Dubai
Dear me,

Dear me,

Here I am in sunny Dubai, well into my 13th year here in the Middle East – a truly wonderful + enriching place to live!

I work in the hotel business…and there are 100’s of hotels in Dubai – big, small, tall and flat!

In fact during COVID I’ve been opening a hotel…the Radisson RED….the first of its kind in this region of the world – so an exciting time but also little bit scary! BUT what you find, especially in times of challenge, is that its TEAMWORK that makes it happen and with our incREDible crew we’ve really made a splash here!

I’m here in Dubai with my family, my wife Claire and boys, Josh + Zach (16 and 12) and what we’ve learnt in these COVID times is to slooooow down and breath! Before we used to rush here, there and everywhere…no more. Now we take stock and actually enjoy our time together. We’ve all learnt new skills – especially gardening…which isn’t easy in 40+ degree heat! The pleasure of growing stuff – herbs, plants, trees, flowers – even grass (!) – has been wonderful – I wish I had started this many, many years ago.

We’ve also fostered two tortoises, which is amazing if you knew us cos’ we’re just not pet folks – never have been but in these 4 months we’ve added two new very important members to our family…Esio & Trott. We’ve learned how to care for them, watch them adapt to our garden, found out what they like to eat + where they prefer to sleep. We wold never have had the time before COVID.

Whats important now is not to go back to our old ways but to remember what we’ve learnt, what we’ve gained during COVID. That main gain for me is….TIME. TIME to think, TIME to care, TIME to relax, TIME to feel thankful and TIME to be happy.

Future me – make sure you take care & enjoy the TIME you have every day of every hour of every week of every year. Don’t be ruled by TIME – you can ensure it works for you and not against you.

From Sunny Dubai on July 22nd 2020