Impact of Icelandic Volcanic Ash Cloud on Companies

A survey by the NBTA Foundation – the research arm of the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) reports that corporate travel managers at major corporations across the globe found that the volcanic ash cloud over Iceland and much of Europe negatively impacted travel for 80 percent of companies, at an average cost of nearly $200,000 per affected company, and highlighted the importance of effectively managing corporate travel.

Passengers Stranded
The 234 survey respondents indicated that on average, more than 160 travelers from each company were stranded away from their homes, costing the company more than $197,000 in unexpected travel expenses. Across the roughly 2,000 companies represented in the survey, the data indicates more than 310,000 travelers experienced travel disruptions, costing the surveyed companies more than $367 million collectively.

Trips Cancelled
The closure of European air space also forced the cancellation of many business trips and meetings before they began. NBTA found that NBTA-affiliated companies cancelled nearly 5,600 scheduled corporate meetings and more than 165,000 total trips that had not yet taken place.

To download the full report for free from the NBTA website  click here.

Go Native Comments

Go Native’s Head of Property Management, Samantha McKnight, had this to say about the impact of the ash cloud on our business “we saw an increase in the volume of enquiries particularly from Business Travellers trapped in the Capital unable to get flights home.  Hotels either increased their prices or became full so business travellers turned to alternative options such as our Serviced Apartments”.

Bank Holiday

Bank Holidays

A bank holiday is a public holiday in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population not employed in essential services (e.g. utilities, fire, ambulance, police, health-care, public transport workers) receive them as holidays; those employed in essential services usually receive extra pay for working on these days.

History of the Bank Holiday

The first official bank holidays were the four days named in the Bank Holidays Act 1871, but today the term is colloquially used for public holidays which are not officially bank holidays, for example Good Friday and Christmas Day. Large supermarkets are usually closed entirely on the Sunday before a Monday Bank Holiday, but open on the Saturday and the Monday itself.

Prior to 1834, the Bank of England observed about thirty-three saints’ days and religious festivals as holidays, but in 1834, this was reduced to just four: 1 May, 1 November, Good Friday, and Christmas Day. In 1871, the first legislation relating to bank holidays was passed when Liberal Politician and Banker, Sir John Lubbock introduced the Bank Holidays Act 1871 which specified the days in the table set out below.  Sir John was an enthusiastic supporter of cricket and was firmly of the belief that bank employees should have the opportunity to participate in and attend matches when they were scheduled. Included in the dates of bank holidays are therefore dates when cricket games were traditionally played between the villages in the region where Sir John was raised. The English people were so thankful that they called the first Bank Holidays ‘St. Lubbock’s Days’ for a while.  Scotland was treated separately because of its separate traditions; for example, New Year is a more important holiday there.

The act did not specify Good Friday and Christmas Day as bank holidays in England, Wales and Ireland because they were already recognised as common law holidays, and because of common observance, they became customary holidays since before records began

Go Native – would like to wish everyone a very happy bank holiday weekend and for those staying in one of our Serviced Apartments enjoy your stay.

Notting Hill Carnival

Held each August Bank Holiday since 1966, the Notting Hill Carnival is the largest festival celebration of its kind in Europe. Every year the streets of West London come alive, with the sounds and smells of Europe’s biggest street festival. Twenty miles of vibrant colourful costumes surround over 40 static sound systems, hundreds of Caribbean food stalls, over 40,000 volunteers and over 1 million Notting Hill carnival revellers.

Starting its life as a local festival set up by the West Indian community of the Notting Hill area, it has now become a full-blooded Caribbean carnival, attracting millions of visitors from all over the globe. With many astonishing floats and the sounds of the traditional steel drum bands, scores of massive sound systems plus not forgetting the hundreds of stalls that line the streets of Notting Hill. The Notting Hill Carnival is arguably London’s most exciting annual event.

The Notting Hill Carnival usually gets under way on the Saturday with the steel band competition. Sunday is Kids’ Day, when the costume prizes are awarded. On Bank Holiday Monday, the main parade takes place. It generally begins on Great Western Road, then winds its way along Chepstow Road, on to Westbourne Grove, and then Ladbroke Grove. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession, and people carry continue partying at the many Notting Hill Carnival after parties.

The Notting Hill Carnival dates for 2010 are August 29th and 30th.

More details here –

Go Native’s Corporate Brochure

We are very excited to announce our Corporate Brochure is now complete.  We feel it gives our clients and customers a solid overview of our business and clearly explains how we can help Corporates, SMEs and Individual Business Travellers with any short and long term housing requirements they may have.

We also hope you get a good feel for who Go Native are and what we are all about – our values, our brand and most of all the unique solutions and services we provide.

There are some great shots of our Serviced Apartments too.

To download the pdf version of our Corporate Brochure click on the image.

Business Travel Tips – iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adaptor

Business Travel Tips

Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA adaptor – Cost £25

Seemlessly attaches your iPad to a projector for big-screen keynote presentations.  For Business Travellers with an iPad this accessory may prove very useful if you need to conduct a presentation. When you are travelling away on Business the lighter you travel the better, this way you are not having to transport lots of equipment from your Serviced Apartment or hotel to your place of business.


Use the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter to connect an iPad to your television, projector, or VGA display. Then see your videos and slideshows on the big screen.

The iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter connects to your iPad or iPad Dock via the dock connector and to your projector or display using the VGA adapter.

Some Reviews

The connector to VGA Adapter is a simple accessory that I have found indispensible when presenting from my iPad. Just plug and go. My only advice is to pack a VGA extender cable when taking your iPad to presentations as the accessory doesn’t have much cable and sometimes venues don’t provide long enough cables.

Take note of the reviews that point out that you cannot watch download movies over the VGA connection. You can watch some TV shows though. Apple really should point this out in the product description as this is obviously one of the most likley reasons for buying this connector.

It’s also worth pointing out that the VGA connector only allows the picture to be shown on a screen so you need a separate connection to be able to play the sound at normal TV volumes. This is fiddly and you end up with a pile of wires from your ipad to the big screen you wanted to use for viewing….

UAE Economy – Key Facts

Key facts: UAE Economy

Go Native has expanded into the UAE.  For any companies or individuals looking at doing business in the UAE this selection of key facts may prove a useful snapshot.  All figures are in US dollars.

Monetary unit: 1 Dirham = 100 fils

Credit rating:
Abu Dubai: AA (S&P)
Dubai: not currently rated

GDP (Purchasing power parity): $206.3 billion (2008)

GDP per capita (PPP): $44,600 (2008)

GDP – real growth rate:

  • 7.4% (2008)
  • 6% (2007)
  • 14.9% (2006)

GDP – breakdown by sector:

  • agriculture: 1.5%
  • industry: 62.7%
  • services: 35.7% (2008)

Employment – by sector:

  • agriculture: 7%
  • industry: 15%
  • services: 78% (2000)

Unemployment rate: 4.0% (2008)

Population below poverty line: 19.5% (2003)


  • revenues: $78.74 billion
  • expenditures: $48.31 billion (2008)

Public debt: 40.7% of GDP (2008)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15.8% (2008)

Exports: $239.2 billion (2008)

Japan 23%, South Korea 9.4%, India 7.9%, Iran 6.5%, Thailand 5.3% (2008)

Imports: $176.3 billion (2008)

China 13.2%, India 10.4%, US 8.8%, Germany 6.5%, Japan 6.1%, Turkey 4.5%, Italy 4.3% (2008)

Direct foreign investment: $62.69 billion (2008)

Number of annual tourists: 6.195 million (2008)

Internet users: 2.922 million (2008)

International airports: Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport

Major Companies:

  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
  • Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
  • Dubai World
  • Al Habtoor Group
  • Al Ghurair Group
  • Etisalat
  • Dubai Holding
  • Al Futtaim Group
  • Galadari Brothers Group

Main exports: crude oil (45%), natural gas, re-exports, dried fish, dates

Major Industries: petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminium, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, textiles

Agricultural products: dates, vegetables, watermelons; poultry, eggs, dairy products; fish

About Go Native

Established in 1997, Go Native is an award winning provider of short and long term Corporate Housing Solutions, operating across the UK, Europe, the Middle East & India.

We provide companies with an outsourced corporate housing management service and individual travellers with access to a comprehensive network of over 25,000 Serviced Apartments, all available on a flexible basis. In addition to our own Serviced Apartments, we have established a network of suppliers across the UK, Europe, the Middle East & India which enables us to deliver bespoke supporting services for both short and longer term housing requirements.

Pop Up Beach in London

Calling all business and leisure travellers in London this weekend – if you are looking for something different to do then  check out the Pop Up Beach in Whitechapel.  Its a free event, this Sunday 22 August from 1pm until 5pm.

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel High Street
Take a trip to Scrivener’s Cove, a little-known writers’ and readers’ retreat that appears intermittently in cities such as London. Bring along a picnic and beach towel, a novel or biography and amble to Altab Ali Park, just across the road from the Whitechapel Gallery, for an afternoon of writerly r&r.

Activities include literary volleyball, where teams of writers with contrary agendas battle it out on a paper ‘court’; a snack bar purveying books, magazines and fanzines with a seaside aroma; a rack of magically transportative postcards; crafted crustaceans; a rockpool of authors’ epigraphs; a crop of vhs seaweed; art publication sandcastles, and beachcombing for holiday novels.

The first literary volleyball match pitches Stewart Home and the Semina Experimental Fiction Team against Simon Bill and Sally O’Reilly, after which the court will be open to all comers. Winner stays on.

The Rockpool has been cultivated by Sally O’Reilly and Francis Upritchard.

Crustaceans and other beach flourishes have been brilliantly crafted and generously donated by Linda Bevan, Mel Brimfield, Patricia Chi, Fay Heap, Caro Howell, Hayley Newman, Ben Roberts, Rupert Scott, Nicola Sim and Frederika Whitehead.

If the weather is rotten the beach will relocate to the Creative Studio in Whitechapel Gallery. Visas for travel to Scrivener’s Cove may be collected from the gallery information desk.

About Go Native

Established in 1997, Go Native is an award winning provider of short and long term Corporate Housing Solutions, operating across the UK, Europe, the Middle East & India.

We provide companies with an outsourced corporate housing management service and individual travellers with access to a comprehensive network of over 25,000 Serviced Apartments, all available on a flexible basis. In addition to our own Serviced Apartments, we have established a network of suppliers across the UK, Europe, the Middle East & India which enables us to deliver bespoke supporting services for both short and longer term housing requirements.

United Arab Emirates Economy – an overview

Go Native has expanded into the UAE.  For any companies or individuals looking at doing business in the UAE here is a snapshot of their economy.

Economy an Overview
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven Middle-Eastern states, formed in 1971. Of these states, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are by far the most well known. These two states, alone, are responsible for around 85 per cent of the UAE’s GDP. Over the last forty years, the UAE has grown to become one of the Middle East’s economic centres. This rapid growth has been funded by vast oil riches. The UAE has a per capita GDP that rivals those of leading Western European nations and is one of the most developed and open economies in the Middle East. Over the past decade the UAE has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world; however, the global recession has slowed growth.

Growth and Trade
Between 2005 and 2007 the UAE economy boomed. Oil revenues were high, and housing shortages, along with cheap credit and strong liquidity, led to a surge in asset prices (shares and real estate) and a boom in construction (particularly in Dubai). The global financial crisis, the resulting freeze in credit markets, and falling oil prices have slowed the UAE’s growth. In December, 2009 Abu Dhabi had to bail out Dubai after the government was unable to pay large foreign debts that had accrued during the boom years. Abu Dhabi is the more stable of the UAE’s two prominent states because it still has sizable oil reserves. Dubai’s oil reserves are greatly diminished.

The UAE has a sizable annual trade surplus, mostly because of its vast oil exports. The federation is a member of the WTO, OPEC and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. The country has free trade zones in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai which have helped attract foreign investment. The UAE has a trade agreement with the US and is looking to negotiate a free trade agreement. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world and manages a large portfolio of overseas investments.

The UAE has the world’s 7th largest oil reserves. Oil is, obviously, a major industry; however, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have managed to diversify their economies. Only around 25 per cent of GDP is based on oil and gas output. The authorities that govern Abu Dhabi and Dubai have worked hard to nurture business services, tourism and construction sectors. Construction and tourism in particular have boomed. During the credit boom of the 00’s Dubai sought to turn itself into a financial centre to rival New York, London and Hong Kong. Dubai has also undertaken numerous high profile and increasingly ambitious construction projects; however, the property market has experienced a major downturn in 2008/2009.

Government Policy
Over the years, the oil industry has attracted an influx of foreign workers and expatriates who now make up more than three quarters of the population. Part of the countries long-term strategy is to reduce dependence on foreign nationals and improve education and employment opportunities for UAE nationals. Diversification efforts will continue and increased privatisation of utilities is likely to occur. In recent years the UAE has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion. The global financial crisis has hit Dubai harder than, oil-rich, Abu Dhabi. There is speculation that the balance of power in the UAE could shift back to its traditional political centre (Abu Dhabi). Real GDP growth for 2009 is forecast to be around 2 per cent. GDP growth is expected to rise to about 4 per cent in 2010.

Go Native in the UAE

Any requirements you may have for Serviced Apartments in the UAE can be directed through our Country Manager Alessandro Cernuschi.

Special Offer – Stay in a London Serviced Apartment

Go Native is running a Special Offer for a limited time only.  Stay in the superb Serviced Apartment Aquarius House (St Georges Wharf ) for a minimum of 7 nights.  Commissionable at £855 per week plus VAT.

  • x 1 Double Room Available
  • x 1 Single Room Available

For Serviced Apartment details click here.  To book direct call 020 7313 5873.


St Georges Wharf is ideally situated on the South Bank of the River Thames adjacent to Vauxhall Bridge & opposite Pimlico in the heart of Central London. Combining the perfect location with the ultimate in contemporary sophisticated living, St Georges Wharf has become a well known landmark in its own right.


Aquarius House
935 Aquarius House

Terms and Conditions

Minimum Stay Minimum booking period 7 nights.

Business Travel Tips – Around Me iPhone App

AroundMe allows you to quickly find out information about your surroundings.  It quickly identifies your position and allows you to choose the nearest Bank, Bar, Petrol Station,  Hospital, Hotel, Cinema, Restaurant,  Supermarket, Theatre and Taxi Rank.

AroundMe shows you a complete list  of all the businesses in the category you have tapped on along with the distance from where you are.

For every listing you can choose to see its location on a Map, view the route from where you are, add the information to your contact list or even email the information to a friend.

The Nearby listing allows you to find information using Wikipedia about what is around you.

Buy the Aroundme app from the itunes store.  Click here.

Go Native Comments

We would recommend this app to our clients who are staying in our Serviced Apartments as a great way to find out more about your Serviced Apartments local surroundings.