One of the tasks I had to do a few weeks back was cover the Idex exhibition where drones, weapons and military defense systems would be showcased.
The first thing I was worried about was how I would be able to file so many stories each day. For five days a group of us had to write six to eight articles daily. I was put under pressure before, but this was new to me! As soon as I got closer to the exhibition centre where Idex was held, I noticed how crowded it was. It took me an hour to get into the parking area, another 15 minutes to find a parking space, and then another wasted hour to register – which I had already done online. All I needed was a media pass card that was given to me in less than 5 seconds, and to think the wait took an hour!
That was more than two hours of my day wasted when I could have been out fishing for stories. After that, I had to brainstorm and see what I wanted to cover. I was aiming for something new and special, and noticed many Emirati production companies. So I decided to focus on how Emirati design and production of weapons, vehicles and systems was booming. Some of the companies that I had approached had already been approached by other collegues so I had to find some other companies. And the search went on. Writing that article, I had to find many other ideas. Good thing I was not alone, and had Awad around to help.
On the third day though, a new addition to our team was introduced, and he was not just new to the newspaper, he was actually new to the country! Poor Kyle had to do all this work on his first week on the job, but he managed to get many stories published.
We also had to cover the naval defense systems, since Navdex was also part of the exhibition. Awad and I were asked to go on a British warship, and we were given a tour. I also got to see the 90-metre "Abu Dhabi Class" ship that broke the world record for being built in less than two years.
Five days later, we had published enough stories on drones, weapons, vehicles and robots! After the hectic week at Idex, I couldn't wait to get back to my normal work routine.