When Ahmad Hindawi needs to relax at the end of a long day in the office, he heads to the basketball court.
Shooting some hoops offers the chance to reflect on the day's highs and lows, says Mr Hindawi, a former minister of industry and trade in his native Jordan and now a consultant based in Dubai.
"The exercise relieves the pressure of work and the health benefits are also well proven," he says. "I am tall and used to be a basketball player for my school and high school. I play not as much as I used to but when I have time I still like to shoot some hoops for 30 minutes or so at the court near my home."
Time for playing his favourite sport is likely to become tighter in the coming months.
Last month, Mr Hindawi entered the running to become the next director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The 47-year-old is the first candidate from the Arab world to be nominated for the highly coveted role.
Starting in three weeks time, Mr Hindawi will spend the next three months campaigning for the position, both at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Jordan and the UAE. He is up against eight other nominees from around the world.
As news of his nomination emerged, a steady flow of emails and Facebook messages have been sent his way from friends and strangers offering their backing for his candidacy. One man has even started a Facebook page to drum up support.
Whoever wins will face the sizeable challenge of pushing through stalled talks on global trade reform and handling a growing tide of disputes from countries ranging from Argentina to China.
"It will be a fierce competition," acknowledges Mr Hindawi. "But I believe I have a good chance of winning as Jordan is a moderate nation and has good relations with a lot of countries."
It was last year that he was approached by a senior official with ties to Jordan's government asking him if he wanted to be the country's choice for the role. He accepted and the wheels of the nomination process were set in motion.
Mr Hindawi still holds sway in Jordan, despite having left to move to Dubai in 2005. Born into a family deeply-rooted in the country's public life, Mr Hindawi had a yearning from an early age to follow his father, Thogan Hindawi, into politics. A former deputy prime minister and minister of education, Thogan Hindawi was an eminent politician between the 1960s and the 1990s and his son credits him with teaching him the values he would later draw upon in public life.
"He taught us to serve the people properly and serve the country well by upholding values of public services, integrity and disciplinary attitude," he remembers.
After graduating from Purdue University in the United States with a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, Mr Hindawi served as a lieutenant in the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
Desiring a career outside of aeronautics, he left and studied for a master's in industrial engineering and management. In 1989, he moved into government, where he quickly progressed up the ranks to his eventual position as minister of industry and trade.
During his time in government he was credited with helping to loosen the stranglehold of government over Jordan's economy and promoting private sector enterprise. He helped to draw up policies to privatise the telecoms sector and improve the quality of manufacturing goods ranging from aluminium to wooden furniture to ensure they reached global standards.
He also spearheaded the signing of Jordan's free trade agreement with the US, making his country the first Arab nation to seal such a deal with one of the region's biggest trading partners.
But he was forced to step down as minister in 2005 after members of the cabinet decided to resign.
Moving to Dubai he set up the Hindawi Excellence Group, a management consultancy aimed at improving competitiveness across the government and private sector.
Now he stands on the brink of re-entering public life once again.
"It's an exciting position to be considered for," he says with a smile. "I have always been driven towards change for the better and the desire for excellence, which are visions I would carry with me."
His nomination is not without significance.
Nobody from an Arab nation has ever occupied the top position at any of the big four multilateral organisations: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations or the World Trade Organization.
Mr Hindawi is keenly aware of the burden of expectations.
"I feel extremely humbled and privileged and feel I have to come up to the level that is expected of me," he says.
He feels it is about time the Arab world took more of a front seat role in steering the global economy.
"The Arab economy is integral to the global system and lies at the centre of the world. The main waterways from Gibraltar to the Strait of Hormuz are in the region, through which a significant portion of total world trade passes," he says.
He also sees his nomination as a step along a path to changing the western mindset about the Arab world.
"We need to reflect that Arabs and the Islamic world are moderate, and extremism is not representative of our people," he says. It's about time this was changed to reflect the true meaning of what Arabs stand for."
Mr Hindawi will find out his fate by May 31 when a successor to the retiring director general Pascal Lamy is announced. Before then, he will doubtless try to squeeze in some more time for shooting hoops to ease the frenzy of the months ahead.