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Camel saddles, coffee pots and couscous

Participating in Saudi week
Our employees swapped lamb hotpot for lamb kofta and met Saudi colleagues and customers for a week of stories and activities all providing an insight into Saudi Arabian culture.

With over four decades of established business, 5000 employees in country and a growing economy Saudia Arabia is an extremely valued market for our Company and the second biggest customer after the US.  Operating a range of our aircraft including Tornado, Hawk and Typhoon we are a business that has the potential to increase, done the right way.

That’s where Saudi Arabia week comes in.  In the first of a series of international themed weeks, Alison Ramsay, Communications Director for Military Air and Information (MAI) explained “We wanted to do something different for employees and themed weeks gave us the chance to do lots of things to appeal to lots of people.

“Steps like changing the menu in the restaurant have had a great take-up.  It’s not just lunch as usual, it’s feeding a genuine appetite to know more about other countries and how we can all influence success in the international market.  I think a lot of employees are looking forward to the next one already, it’s created a level of excitement and intrigue.  In my mind, that’s where the best learning starts.”

She added “At the heart of good business is trust and understanding.  Trust and understanding between people, between cultures and between allies.”  Alison urged employees to make the most of the week’s offerings including:

  • Saudi Arabian themed menu at site restaurants and outlets
  • Listening forums – hosted by Saudi nationals and business leaders with a Saudi inspired lunch and various artefacts to look at including camel saddles, prayer mats and coffee pots
  • An intranet site revamped and dedicated to Saudi stories and features covering a range of topics including culture, business and lifestyle
  • Interviews with employees working on Saudi Arabian projects
  • Promotional material around the MAI sites – including Warton, Samlesbury, Christchurch, Farnborough, Frimley, Hillend, Brough ad Yeovil  

The only thing missing for a truly Saudi inspired week was the sun.