THINK BIG AND INNOVATE

THE PHONE CALL

I didn’t believe it at first.  When I received the initial call late at night from an Indian speaking person in Dubai I thought it was a joke.  After the second phone call I thought ok not a joke but maybe just someone trying to extract information for their own pursuits.

A few phone calls later I started to come to the realisation that the Ruler of Dubai (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum) really did want a salt chamber from us!  Indians, by the way, form over 30% of the total population of the UAE and Jino, our late night caller, by the way, has been amazing!

When we first started this business 4.5 years ago it has been our ultimate goal to treat horses (and camels) in the UAE who are exposed to extreme conditions pretty much all year round.  With temperatures reaching above 50 degrees Celsius or 122 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest months of July and August it made sense that these animals would benefit from out Salt Therapy Treatments.

Ready for work in the desert.

Ready for work in the desert.

The process that ensued to allow a couple of Aussies to conduct business with a government department in Dubai proved quite lengthy but speedy.  Within a couple of days of completing all sorts of paperwork of  we were advised we had been approved as a vendor in the UAE.

WORKING IN THE DESERT

We arrived in Dubai recently on a Sunday and the heat had hit us this time.  We have been to Dubai on a few occasions previously and managed to withstand the conditions but this time, being summer, physically working and sourcing materials, meeting people in various parts of the emirate, we felt spent!  Early nights and plenty of water seemed to be the requirement to get through each day in these sweltering temperatures.

Our Salt Chamber that left Australia on the 4th August 2016 arrived safely into Jebel Ali and was then transported to a warehouse in Dubai on Wednesday night.  We completed the fitout the next morning and were told to be on “standby” for instructions of which stable the Mobile salt chamber was to be sent to.  The entire process has been shrouded in secrecy.  No one knows anything and has to await instruction on a piecemeal basis.  We waited for what seemed forever, being well looked after with water, coffee and food until word came through as to which stable and then it was all systems go! People were madly running around everywhere trying to find the right vehicle to tow the chamber, in the meantime we were meeting with key people within management and having to show and discuss the benefits this chamber was going to bring.

Our delivery has arrived!

Our delivery has arrived!

MEETING SHEIKH MOHAMMED

If this wasn’t crazy enough we then got word that H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum himself wanted to see the chamber and would be meeting us at the chosen stable sometime in the afternoon.  Everyone was on tenterhooks, as this, as we’ve been told, is quite a rare occurrence.

We arrived at the stable and the temperature was a searing 46 degrees.   We landed the salt chamber in the desired location and started the training for technicians, engineers and trainers.  Thankfully the chamber is air conditioned as the heat outside was unbearable.

Our completed salt chamber.

Our completed salt chamber.

We met the personal assistant and stable advisor to Sheikh Mohammed who both seemed cool, calm and collected compared to our red faced, sweaty, dusty and salty appearances!

We treated horses, beautiful Arabian horses that are immaculately cared for.

Horse and Handler

Horse and Handler

The pressure of working with elite in horseracing is intense but is soon alleviated when the first horse comes into a brand new high performance salt chamber that we have patented. The P.A. informed us that Sheikh Mohammed would possibly come out this afternoon but couldn’t confirm a time but we had to wait here until 5.00pm just in case.  This was at 3.00pm so we had 2 more hours to endure the heat.  Thankfully we were invited into the offices for refreshments and that seemed to give us the energy to keep going.

More operational training was conducted and then we received word that Sheikh Mohammed was at the stable and will be here shortly.  Up until this point I didn’t really believe that we would get to meet Dubai royalty.  I had spent many hours researching him, learnt about his love of horses, his passion for innovation and his strong focus on equality.  Surely he has staff who can relay information about the chamber and how it works. But he insisted.  He wanted to see our equine salt therapy chamber first hand.  He requested that he only wanted a certain number of people present on his arrival.  This meant about 6 people had to leave and we were left eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Sheikh Mohammed arrived in is Mercedes Benz under escort and as he slowly walked over to us I was trying to take it all in.  It was surreal.  He shook our hands welcoming us to Dubai.  He commented on the heat and asked how we were handling it, clearly we showed signs of heat exhaustion at this point!  He stayed and watched and listened. He asked questions, was complimentary and after about 20 minutes he was gone. Aside from attaining a distinct understanding of his commitment to embrace technology two words kept ringing in my ears “well done”

AWAITING RESULTS

Like expectant parents our system awaits the scrutiny of the world’s finest equine professionals. Thankfully the call came through this week that serval endurance horses with thick wind and coughs have completely stopped coughing after 3 treatments and no other medications. We have scoped 1000’s of horses and are very confident in our system but there are so many variables it is a huge relief to get this endorsement from the highest level. Skin trials are underway this week and great results are expected as meetings with regulatory vets at Meydan and Dubai clinic reassure me that we are definitely meant to be in the UAE.

Victorian Trade missions have been invaluable with Sue Lloyd Williams at the helm. Meeting people such as Kassem Younis, a Dubai based Vic Govt Trade representative, who has guided us through the sometimes tricky cultural barriers, has been invaluable.  It would be great to see continued funding support for Sports technology innovators as the value of connections in other countries shouldn’t be underestimated.

Aust Govt Trade Mission

Aust Govt Trade Mission

 

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