I am just back from the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The conference itself sets terms and work plan for the standardization sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the next four years. This was a political conference, where much jockeying for position ahead of the World Conference on International Telecommunication will occur this week.
There were debates over seemingly innocuous definitions and terms, like ICT or Operating Authority versus Recognized Operating Authority. I was part of the delegation from ISOC as the IETF liaison manager, which meant I mostly observed the proceedings, occasionally speaking with representatives from various countries.
Dubai itself is a lovely city with many activities. While I’m not sure I could get used to its summer temperatures, in November we enjoyed a pleasant 27°C, with a bit of a breeze.
Our hosts were quite generous and made us feel welcome. I didn’t get a chance to do much sight seeing, but what you are looking at below is my colleague Tony with a friend Mahmoud from Oman, in front of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, one of the most beautiful structures I have ever seen. It is rounded and terraced every 10-15 floors. We were by the Dubai fountains which themselves are an enjoyable spectacle.