First impressions are last impressions, and this one will surely last for the sauve and smart Cherie Blair who has with her simplicity, warmth and friendly self, conquered the hearts of Khaleej Times staff.

By Meraj Rizvi (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Mon 19 Sep 2005, 1:34 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:26 PM

Wife of the British Prime Minister, Cherie Blair, simply attired in plain green cotton trousers and cream blouse, and wearing a smile throughout, was an important visitor at the KT office, yesterday.

She arrived in the afternoon accompanied by Nadia Mohammed Galadari, wife of Mohammed A.R Galadari, Chairman of Galadari Group and Khaleej Times, and Kamal Raj Shah, COO, Khaleej Times, and spent almost an hour meeting and greeting all senior KT staff.

She met with Mr Galadari, where a whole lot of local and regional issues were discussed and was later given a tour of the newsroom and the production department.

“Oh this is huge,” she remarked entering the newsroom. Her curiosity to learn more about the newspaper was only obvious by a volley of questions thrown at the staff giving her a tour of the newsroom and other departments.

“It's truly impressive,” Ms Blair said looking at news stories and pictures being received in the system and not failing with her light-hearted comments on the few pictures of the German voters dressed in their traditional attire going to cast their vote. A bit curious to know what Pope Benedict XVI was doing in some of the pictures of the day downloaded in the system, Ms Blair showed some shades of her being like any other normal human being.

Later touring the production area where newspaper copies were under print, Ms Blair never missed the opportunity to stop by and talk to the technicians. The General Manager Technical, Heinz Annelera, explained to her the printing technology available at Khaleej Times and how the newspaper is equipped to handle any breakdown.

She was very impressed with the most modern technologies in use in the newspaper industry in the UAE and was a bit surprised to learn that the new machines could print upto 50,000 copies in an hour.

Cherie Blair may have spent only an hour at the KT office having to leave sharp at 5pm in the protocol car along with Mr Galadari to the Emirates Tower Hotel where she inaugurated the Khaleej Times International Forum, but her very humane self has changed the perception of Britain's First lady who is not only 'strong-willed', but a sincere and genuinely warm person.

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