I always thought that
photography was only for creative people, but I always loved taking pictures. With my age catching up with me, I wanted to start documenting my life’s memorable moments more often. Every picture I take tells a story to my family and friends, giving them a gift to keep and pass along. Photography makes me so much more attentive and aware of the wonderful little things surrounding me.
I notice things like light, shadows, patterns, frames, and colours that I could be using in my pictures. More importantly, I notice subtle things such as people’s expressions, gestures, feelings, and especially the small mundane things that I want to remember. Photography has helped me enjoy things that I didn’t really notice before. In fact, it has made me more appreciative of the creator and his creation.
— Charles Roberts, Senior Manager – Global IT
I create doodle art. At the end of every other day I sit down and draw. I particularly like mandalas. Mandala art in simple terms is an abstract type of art in circular form. The systematic drawing helps me to cut off from all the things going on and allows me to de-stress. I consider it to be my own form of meditation and a great way to spend my ‘me time’. I have also recently started an Instagram page to share my love for art, my username is @doodles_by_pooja. Apart from doodling, I love binge watching shows on various streaming platforms.
— Pooja Shah, Senior Accounts Officer
As a working mom, weekends off are a rare treat! I usually do household chores and help Esher, my son, do his homework on Fridays so we can relax better on Saturdays. I love spending time with my loved ones. My usual weekend activities with Esher include playing games, reading books, role-playing, and watching his favorite movies while munching popcorn.
We also sometimes visit our extended families and dine out with them, or we will watch movies, do shopping, camp out, and beach hop. We all love swimming and it’s fun to see Esher bond with his cousins. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to take care of everything.
However, I always try to have me-time in order to stay energised and prepare for work the following day, which includes taking longer naps, reading, seeing friends, going to spas and massage centres, and of course, doing a little shopping. These feel-good activities make me look forward to work and to spend my off-days with enthusiasm.
— Juliet Mandap, Secretary – Legal
I first started walking to offset the negatives of a sedentary office routine and the stress of my daily commute. These walks slowly progressed to short runs around the parks, and finally graduated to formal running events around the UAE. The rewards of a race include a running T-shirt, a finishers medal, a timing certificate, and bragging rights! Most of all, I appreciate the company of my fellow runners. We bond because we feel we’re a class apart with running as our hobby.
I have since realised running is good for my brain: it releases endorphins, creates positive emotions, prevents depression, and promotes good health. I get withdrawal symptoms if I go too long without running, so I log anywhere between 40-70km of running a week.
— Sagi George, Senior Manager – Global IT
After a long day in the office we usually get back to our accommodation around 5.30pm. We make sure that we get all our chores, such as cooking and laundry, out of the way before we dedicate the rest of our evening to our favourite sport — volleyball. During the week we practice every evening or engage in friendly games. On Fridays we compete in GEMS tournaments.
In February 2019 we won the STS & BBT Annual Volleyball Championship while competing against other service support staff units and teams. This has given us the encouragement to play as part of a team that competes in external competitions by representing GEMS Global & Varkey Group as an entity.
During the off season we also train and play cricket and were runner-up winners in the 2019 STS & BBT Annual Cricket Championship game. We also enjoy listening to music and following the latest bands.
— Kumar Rana & Krishna Khadka – Office Assistants, pictured L-R on either side of their coach
When I am away from my my desk, I like to be active outdoors and I have a keen interest in hiking, off-roading, overlanding, camping, and related adventure activities. I have been leading off-road and hiking expeditions, and I have been a marshal for motorsports events for the past 15 years.
Recently, I have successfully led hiking expeditions for ‘Adventure Emarat’ and ‘Adventure Oman’, two not-for-profit adventure groups I founded in order to train to hike to Everest Base Camp (about 5,500 metres) and Annapurna Base Camp (about 4,400 metres) in Nepal.
— Ajay Sikri, Director – Compliance and Risk Management