PAARL has been conducting international benchmarking tours of notable academic and research libraries in Southeast Asia. Recently, it was in Japan and Taiwan, respectively, For the first time, PAARL’s benchmarking tour was held outside of the Asia-Pacific region. For 2017, PAARL’s Board of Directors decided to have the library benchmarking trip in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai was chosen to be the event’s destination since it has modern libraries which are at par with the best libraries in the world.
For 2017, the international benchmarking was held together with a conference. The call for papers for the conference was made months before the actual benchmarking tour. The theme for the 2017 international benchmarking tour was: “Definitely Dubai Benchmarking Tour and International Conference on Cross-Institutional Collaborations: Challenges and Opportunities.” Both events were held from 22nd to 27th October 2017.
The objectives of the international conference are: to promote the concept of cross-institutional collaboration; to provide a venue for libraries or librarians to network; to establish international partnerships/linkages; to learn from best practices and experiences from other institutions, and; to learn how to further develop, nurture, and expand existing partnerships and/or collaborative projects/programs. The international conference took place in Arabian Park Hotel, Al Jadaf St., Dubai.
PAARL prepared informative and exciting activities for the participants of the said tour and conference. Upon arrival in Dubai, the participants were billeted in Fortune Pearl Hotel in Omar Bin Al Khatab Road, Dubai.
The Filipino librarians visited academic libraries in UAE like the Canadian University-Dubai, American University-Dubai, and University of Wollongong-Dubai.
The participants also visited the following key attractions in UAE:
- Dubai Miracle Garden
- Dhow Dinner Cruise
- Desert Safari
- Camel Breeding Farm
- Abu Dhabi’s Women’s Handicraft Center
- Al Husn Palace’s Petroleum Exhibition Center
- Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah, and Al Fahidi Port
- Observation Deck of the Burj Al Khalifa.
Participants of this activity certainly gained memorable experiences and new knowledge that that would make them more effective and efficient as they perform their tasks and responsibilities in their respective libraries.