Dubai Team Building: The Quest for Black Gold


It’s no secret that companies around the globe have experienced an unprecedented rate of turbulence since February, 2001. This greatly intensified in September, 2008 and it has had a dramatic impact on every sector of the economy. With the ripple effect of the U.S. election and Brexit on the horizon, we are in a period of uncertainty. Companies around the world are searching for untapped and emerging market niches to replace areas of decline. They are also attempting to uncover hidden opportunities where there appear to be few or none.

The desert with its towering sand dunes and intermittent sandstorms is a perfect metaphor for the fluctuations in our economy  and the turbulence that many companies  and industries are experiencing. Against the backdrop of the desert, The Quest for Black Gold, a powerful team building simulation offered in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman, helps executive teams in their quest for solutions.


For best results, so that the teams are not rushed and content can be covered in depth, a full 1  1/2 day is highly recommended for this simulation. A brief business meeting or teleconference with the CEO is essential to ensure that team building is a laser beam focused on corporate goals, objectives, and challenges.


Getting Ready

Prior to the team building retreat, groups will complete participant profiles to ensure that content with which team members are familiar is not re-hashed. Mini-interaction style inventories ensure that the session is tailored in terms of approach.

Digging Deep

Prior to the desert portion of the simulation, the entire group participates in a desert themed briefing with team building exercises on-site at the company’s premises or at the selected venue. It’s best to start right after lunch For companies outside Dubai, a desert-themed resort would be ideal. We can assist your team in identifying options and the dates that are most affordable.

In preparation for the oil prospecting hunt, teams complete a desert survival case that highlights the perils of Groupthink and pre-mature consensus. Connecting the dots during periods of economic turbulence, barriers to innovation, and rich examples of corporate success and failure are explored.

Off to the Desert

The next morning, you’ll be on your way. If you like, we can provide clues to help teams locate the rendez-vous point where tires will be adjusted.Teams will even get a practice run assembling a miniature replica of the oil rig.

Then, it’s a mad roller coaster like experience up and down the sand dunes, enroute to the first checkpoint.

The hunt begins. At first, the desert appears to be an inhospitable environment in which little grows and there appears to be nothing but sand and small shrubs.
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By following the clues given by an old Bedouin man who they will meet along the way and using the navigation  tools he provides (GPS, compass. and map), teams will come across an oil rig in a state of disrepair.

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This discovery is at the very site where they will tap into the hidden oil supply. The challenge is to be the first team to assemble the oil rig, use it to tap into the oil field, and fill a container with the precious commodity. The first team to light a torch to signal their success in meeting this challenge wins.

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Unpacking the Experience

The teams head to a luxury desert camp for lunch and relaxation. They spend the next few hours gleaning valuable lessons about uncovering hidden business opportunities and applying what they have learned to the realities they face at work.

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A Sultan’s Feast

Groups can head back to the resort and rest before dinner or spend a couple of hours in the desert enjoying recreational activities, taking in the breathtaking sunset, and  celebrating under the stars with a hard earned feast that is fit for a sultan.

The Quest for Black Gold is the perfect way for teams to explore Dubai, have fun and discover strategies to take your team to the next level.


Contact Executive Oasis International to

Book The Quest for Black Gold Today!

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Available from mid-October to mid-April

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11 thoughts on “Dubai Team Building: The Quest for Black Gold

  1. Wow. Sounds like an awesome team building exercise. I’ve always loved team building games. This one rocks in a great locale, with the members of the team sharing a common goal. I’m sure you folks, while on the mission, bonded so well and that continued very well into your workplace practices.

  2. Shane and Kate, Dubai is an incredible destination. I am based in Toronto, Canada. I first visited in December 2000 at the suggestion of my travel agent. I was immediately struck by the possibilities the surrounding environment and the traditional Bedouin culture offered for team building. The desert environment offers so many rich parallels to a turbulent business environment. I have had the privilege of witnessing the dramatic transformation first hand. Here is my story:

    Watching the new Dubai take shape:
    https://executiveoasis.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/incentive-travel-to-dubai

    This transformation also offers many valuable lessons for business. When you’re ready let me know. I will happily speak to the decision makers where you work about what we can offer for your team in Dubai and the many other places we offer team building.

  3. I would LOVE to partake in the desert safari experience if I ever got to visit Dubai. It looks like a magnificent experience and that would be an awesome way to spend my first time camping.

  4. Thank you for sharing this amazing post. I’ve never seen before how looks like training for black gold. It’s so interesting. Nice photos. Thank you for sharing this with us

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