By Springfield Advance-Press
Former Princeton resident Derek Tonn did some interesting work in Dubai last fall and winter.
Tonn, a 1989 Princeton High School graduate and the son of Richard Tonn of Princeton, founder and CEO of Springfield, Minn-based Mapformation, was hired by a partner, Access Dubai, to develop a biographical tableau of the ruler of Dubai. He travelled to Dubai with Mapformation illustrator Jean-Louis Rheault.
Dubai is a city-state in the United Arab Emirates, located within the emirate of the same name. The emirate of Dubai is located southeast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
“Tableau – that’s a fancy way of saying a map documenting the life of a person,” explained Derek Tonn.
The biographical tableau is about UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“H.H. (as people refer to him, standing for His Highness), is the important person in Dubai,” said Tonn.
Tonn and Rheault also spent a week in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in September 2012, attending a number of meetings as well as conducting research on His Highness and Dubai. While there, they had the opportunity to dip in the waters of the Arabian Gulf. (They don’t refer to it as the Persian Gulf there, according to Tonn).
While in Dubai, the two men also met with Matar Al Tayer, the Chairman of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority. “He is an incredibly important man . . . and someone who got his college education here in the Upper Midwest (United States),” said Tonn.
“Sometimes it seems a little surreal. One minute I was wearing jeans and sweats, working out of my home. The next, boarding a plane for 8,000 miles away, to meet with foreign government officials and billionaires,” commented Tonn. “It was very exciting (albeit stressful), but it makes me feel good to ‘import’ a little money from outside our state/country into our local economy.”