I had three New Year resolutions for 2012, and find myself approaching the end of the year with mixed success.
The first was to give up smoking the small cigars. Absolute and abject failure, by any standard. I've just found it impossible to resist the allure of a relaxing cheroot on the balcony after a hard day's work - or indeed at any other time. Must do better in 2013.
The second was to spend more time with my youngest daughter, four-year-old Amira. In the turbulence of a busy professional life, it's not always possible to do the things you really enjoy most. But I think I got a fair amount of quality time with my "babe", as I still call her even though she now insists, "I'm not a baby, I'm a big girl".
A summer holiday in Malaysia was the highlight, and the top experience of that was parasailing off a beach in Penang. The memory of her cries as we soared over the sea behind a speed boat - "We're flying, Daddy!" - will brighten any depressing day for years to come.
My third vow was to get to know Emirati businessmen and women better, and I think I've done quite well on that score. Not well enough to be complacent, and the same resolution will figure this coming new year. But good progress, I reckon.
The year got off to a good start when I ran into Mohammed Al Shaibani at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In Dubai it always seems impossible to find a slot in the diary of the director of the Ruler's court, so I was grateful for the longish chat over coffee in the lobby of the forum's conference hall.
Obviously the alpine air agrees with him: he was relaxed and talkative and we could have gone on longer were it not for the endless intellectual distractions of the town.
I had the chance to spend some time in the company of Khamis Buamim, the chairman of the board of Dry Docks World, during his company's successful debt restructuring, and found him candid and voluble. "You asked very tough questions," he said as we walked out of a press conference, which I took as a compliment.
I was surprised at the end of the meeting when he threw in his congratulations on the achievement of my football team, Tottenham Hotspur, in beating his bitter rivals Manchester United the week before.
Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, nephew of the Ruler of Dubai and chairman of Shuaa Capital, was another notable encounter. I had met him before several times, but a one-on-one conversation lasting a couple of hours provided excellent interview material. The off-the-record moments were even better, but a journalist's word is his bond.
For sheer fun, a night as the guest of Ahmed bin Sulayem, the head of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, was unrivalled. The exciting Club Cash, in the Ibn Battuta Gate hotel, was the venue, but again etiquette prevents me from telling all.
Full disclosure will have to await my memoirs, which I aim to further enhance in the course of 2013.