Category Archives: Travel

HOFEX Day Three

This morning I had the usual hot chocolate and a plain croissant for breakfast. We had breakfast at the exhibition centre cafeteria. Then we went straight to Hall 2. It was also food items like the Grand Hall and Hall 3.
Today we went to yet another gingseng stall and some more wine stalls. We found two Thai companies who were willing to pack Munna’s rice for us. Ahmed Didi said that the prices were compatible. We bumped into Ali Bushree in Hall Two.
In the afternoon we went again to visit Pino in his stall and had a chat with him and that visited Mahomet in the Otzy stall before we finished for the day. We finally decided not to take the items from Otzy stall as just the handling charge in Hong Kong would cost 3000 Dollars.
In the morning Ahmed tried to see whether we could change our travel to Singapore in the afternoon instead of in the night. It was not possible.
Mohamed Shihab | Smile and Let Smile
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Posted by on May 15, 2007 in Travel



We have just come back from a dinner given to us by Pino, our coffee supplier ( at HOFEX. We went to an Italian restaurant and enjoyed a most Italian dinner chosen by Pino. We were accompanied by his colleague who works out of Shanghai helping him with marketing the product in China.
This morning we started with Gingseng products from Korea. We did speak with two Korean parties, who explained about red gingseng and its nutritional value. It would be interesting to see how we are able to convice the folks back home to add gingseng to our product portfolio.
In addition, we also had a serious discussion with an Italian energy drink company who was ready to give us one of the best offers in the exhibition. But then later we came across a German energy drink producer who gave us a still better deal; not only that – he had a larger variety including stimulation "love" drink which the owners promised will be a hit.
Later in the day, we also came across a very intereting premium Italian wine range; Marco and Giovanni. Then we also took an interest in Australian frozen eggs and Belgian pasta among other things. I feel we will have a good addition to our General Store product portfolio.
Hussain from Yatch Tours sent me an sms to say that he was in the exhibition with Gaboa. But we never got to meet with them. And very interestingly we met the guy who was supplying to Sea Gull from Australia.
Almost everyone we approached seemed to supply something to a Maldivian party including Fragata olives from Belgium, who have been in Maldives for over ten years with STO. I took a business card and a catalogue from him for Shaheer.
Interesting joke from Pino: "Fifty years ago you had to remove a x’s … to see … but today you had to open a x’s … to see the …"
Mohamed Shihab | Smile and Let Smile
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Posted by on May 14, 2007 in Travel



Today was our first day at HOFEX ( 2007. We were supposed to be four but we are two. Our chairman cuold not join us because the second session of the first MTDC annual general meeting is to be held on the 16th. Joy was also to join us, but at the last minute we came to know that he requires a visa to come to Hong Kong. So now we are Ahmed Didi and myself.
The first day of the exhibition, we went to Hall One. We spend from ten thirty till six thirty in Hall One. Hall One was for hotel equipments Hotel, Restaurant & Foodservice Equipment, Supplies and Services. We started the exhibition with Bon Cafe coffee, after collecting our pre-registration visitor cards in the queue.
We mainly looked for glassware, cutlery, linen, industrial kitchen equipment and housekeeping equipment. We also met with Mr. Mahomet and Mr. Murad and Mr. Ibrahim from Ozty which is our kitchen equipment supplier from Turkey. Mahomet who is the Area Export Manager is to visit us in August for the Maldives Hotel and Trade Fair in August.
HOFEX has been a good experience, but I am sure it would have been so much better if Joy had been around. We came back to the hotel and went through the contacts we had gathered including for kitchen knives from Portugal, cutlery from ONEIDA which is a US brand. We also have a good contact for pop-corn machines and a previouly know ice-cream machine vendor. And ofcourse, the food processing equipment from a US company!
Mohamed Shihab | Smile and Let Smile
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Posted by on May 13, 2007 in Travel


In Hong Kong

It is half past midnight! I am staying at the Harbour View International House on Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Ahmed Didi and I arrived in Hong Kong in the late evening yesterday to attend HOFEX. Our hotel is just a few minutes walk from the exhibition centre. And very luckily we have also got a harbour view room. Our room is 1110. The room is small but deluxe.
We walked across and over to the landside in search of food yesterday. We had dinner at a Turkish outfit amongst the pubs and the night clubs. And this evening we had dinner at an Indian outfit alongside the same road. I had a biryani, ofcourse!
This is a 21 storey hotel building. We had breakfast this morning at a small outfit just two blocks from the hotel. We paid over HK$50 for just two scrambled eggs with a thick half loaf of bread and just butter [no jam!]; and a coffee and tea. Food is very expensive, so I have to wonder twice before ordering something.
Hopefully I will have more to say about Harbour View and HOFEX and Hong Kong before I leave!
Mohamed Shihab | Smile and Let Smile
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Posted by on May 13, 2007 in Travel


On My Way to Colombo

I will be shortly leaving to go to Colombo. This is a trip to sign the Caltex Distributor Agreement for Maldives. The agreement will be signed between Damas Company Private Limited and Caltex Lanka Lubricants Limited.
It has been a long time now since I last visited Colombo. There has always been plans to go and visit friends. But again, this visit will also not allow time for me to visit my friends. I have amassed a lot of friends from Colombo itself, as well as Maldivians who are living there or on short stay.
Colombo is a second home for Maldivians. That is the way I see it. Trivandrum was a favorite destination for medical purposes and entertainment. However, now Bangalore is set to take over both in a single destination. My conviction is from a few people I have come across and the changing dynamics in Maldivian society.
Any way, this is just to let you know that I am on my way, will be in Male, insha Allah!
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Posted by on April 19, 2007 in Travel


On the Way from Nepal

On the way from Nepal, after attending a two day workshop on establishing a SAARC Information Network for SMEs within the region, supported by GTZ-SAARC:
  • The other two participants were – Abdulla Ziyath from Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Fathmath Leena from the Ministry of Atolls Development. There were three representatives from each country.
  • Stayed at Malla Hotel. The food was very bad, almost unbearable. International calls were not possible from the room. Internet was on dial-up and very slow.
  • We had to stay back two days after the workshop. The trip took us 26 hours to reach Kathmandu from Male’. And the first of the two days after, was a strike day. So we went to a Hinid movie – Salaame-Ishq. A nice movie.
  • The following day, did shopping and also visit the "Garden of Dreams". This is an award winning garden build by "Kaiser" starting from 1920. It was a very pleasant place.
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Posted by on February 17, 2007 in Travel

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