I'm Ammar Hasayen

Husband & Father | Microsoft MVP| I do Office 365 and Azure | Speaker and blogger | I Love music and exploring the world.

Microsoft MEA MVP Connection Event in Dubai Nov 2017

Nov 21, 2017 | Thoughts in my mind | 0 comments

Dubai to host MEA MVPs

Alistair In November 26th, 2017, Microsoft MEA MVPs were invited to attend the MVP connection event in Dubai and connect with fellow MVPs, a yearly event organized by Microsoft.

The event took place on the 17th and 18th November, and we had a welcome dinner on the 16th November. We used Microsoft Dubai conference room to meet and connect during the day, and we stayed at Radisson Blue Media City.

I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in 2017, and this was my first MVP connection event. I did not know what to expect and whom am I going to meet there, so I was looking forward for this event.

I was also nominated to be a speaker in this event to talk about an interesting topic “Digital Transformation & Era of Disruption”. It was an interesting experience to do a presentation in front of fellow MVPs. Each one of them contributed a lot to the community, and I am sure they are expert in presenting in front of big audience. I was concerned that my topic will not be that interesting to them, or that my presentation skills will not impress them. I thought it is an interesting challenge 😊

Welcome Dinner

So here we go, it is the welcome dinner on the 16th of November. I tried to give a good first impression and enjoy my evening. I met couple of MVPs in the elevator while going down to the hotel lobby, and I met others in the lobby. It was a new experience to me to be part of this royalty group of people who share the same passion and willingness to help others in their local communities.

I saw couple of famous and familiar faces when I start meeting fellow MVPs. I start introducing myself, knowing that nobody knows me or ever heard about my name. I was surprised later to know that some people recognized couple of my blog posts about Microsoft Ignite conference. I was so glad to hear that.

Meeting Hande, our MVP program manager was a remarkable moment for me. She helped us all during the MVP nomination and afterwards. She is also a lovely person who is always willing to help.

Day Activities

We started early the first day, as we had to start at 8:30 AM. After having a quick breakfast at the hotel, we start walking to Microsoft Dubai building (10 min walk). We had couple of interesting sessions before we started the community talks. There were five speakers, and I was the last one to talk.


I start observing how each one was delivering his session, and learned from their presentation styles. While all of them are amazing speakers, I liked Alistair Pugin’s style on stage. He literary owned the stage with his strong personality and honesty. His session was about (Personal Branding), a topic that I liked a lot. Alistair delivered his session and opened my eyes on such interesting science of personal branding. Although Alistair made most of his three slides presentation on the same day, his interesting topic and personality made it a really good one 😊

I felt uncomfortable being the last speaker, as people are waiting for lunch, and I am the only thing standing between them and lunch. Also, some speakers did not finish at time, and I was afraid that my session will be canceled or that people will not be willing to listen.
When my presentation time started, I just delivered my idea. I had one simple idea to deliver.

My idea is that businesses need to find their purpose, and focus time and effort there. Anything else can be offloaded to a cloud provider or delivered as a SaaS offering. Here is my full presentation.

I ended my presentation with my own perspective of what digital transformation is all about. It was a quote from Nelson MandelaAction without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world”.

Same in today’s businesses, an action without a vision, and you will be disrupted. Vision without an action, and it is too late already. Vision with action and you will have a digital transformation. Digital Transformation is about focusing on customer digital journey (Vision and Purpose), and then bringing People, Process, Data to create value for your customer and maintain competitive advantage in a digital-first world (Action).

I was so glad when I got a positive feedback from people about my session. Even Dr. Ahmed Bahaa (Microsoft Regional Directory from Egypt), gave me some notes and guidance about my session. His notes and willingness to guide me, worth a lot. It means I delivered something worth his time.

Safari Evening on the 17th

We had the pleasure to go to a safari trip in the middle of Dubai desert. It was my first time to go to a safari trip, and I knew that many fellow MVPs did not had such experience before. We had an exciting time driving through the desert. I am not sure my stomach could handle another Safari driving experience soon.

We had a lovely dinner that night, with some shisha time before heading back to the hotel. It was really a nice touch from Microsoft to invite us to such safari experience. Thank you, Microsoft, Hande and everyone who helped organizing this event.

Elevator or Lift Mirror Selfie

There were some moments where we are all inside the elevator and suddenly, we do a quick Elevator Photo using some random snap-chat filters. It was awkward, but funny at the same time. Thanks for all my Elevator Photo buddies out there. We should do it in Seattle too 😊

Elevator or Lift Mirror Selfie is defined as:

“The awkward act of grouping people in an elevator, and using any camera device to take picture of the elevator’s mirror using the front camera, thus creating a Selfie effect, and using or not using, one of the snap chat filters in the process”

By Ammar Hasayen & Alistair Pugin

Meeting new friends

It is all about meeting new people and having new connections to me. I met new friends from Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, and from many MEA regions. I cannot wait to meet them again in the Microsoft MVP Summit next March 2018.

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