'Fast-paced, ambitious, diverse,' - PR professionals mark UAE National Day

As the United Arab Emirates celebrated its 48th anniversary on Monday, comms chiefs across the country told PRWeek Middle East what makes the Emirates a special place to work and live in


As the UAE leaders this week celebrated the country’s history and look to the future as the nation marked its 48th birthday on Monday, PR professionals lauded both living and working across the Emirates.

Gregg Fray, director of Seven Media, said the UAE has been home for him for 12 years.

"I’ll be forever grateful for how the country rewards entrepreneurship and innovation - allowing me to set up and build a PR company and a film studio over the last 10 of those years," said Fray. "The diverse groups of people I’ve met along the way, the consistently fantastic quality of life and the constant change and dynamism have all led to me having my own sense of ‘national pride’. 

"This year in particular I’ve been privileged to deliver PR campaigns around the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi and lots of initiatives around the Year of Tolerance. 

"These great experiences have reaffirmed my respect for a country that strives to be the most inclusive and unified in the region."

Louise Jacobson, managing partner of Brazen MENA, said the UAE had given her "so many amazing opportunities".

"I don’t this would have happened anywhere else so quickly.

"The fast-paced, ambitious nature of the country is reflected in the comms industry, making it an incredibly exciting environment to work in.

"The most special part is the daily interaction with people from different nationalities. I’ve learnt so much about other cultures, allowing me to grow personally, professionally and appreciate people more." 

Claire Micheletti, managing director of UAE-based comms consultancy Cosmopole, said: "What makes the UAE a special place to live in? This week I sat in the middle of Spain attending a conference on falconry with some fellow Emiratis.

"What strikes me is how universal falconry is and that I would have never known about this noble tradition - and met so many interesting people from all walks of life and all over the world - had I not lived in the UAE. 

"I reflect on my personal life and how many opportunities I have been given professionally. 

"How lucky my children are to access quality education. How lucky my son is to have access to the best healthcare to treat his little failing kidneys. 

"As I answered the ubiquitous question about women's rights at breakfast this morning, I mentioned that I am surrounded by strong, independent, bright Emirati women who inspire me every day. 

"All in all, this is why I have lived in the UAE for more than a decade and plan to continue calling Abu Dhabi home for a few more decades: access to people and projects that I would never have the chance to reach anywhere else in the world; a safe and diverse environment; and constant learning about Emirati culture."

For Bashar AlKadhi, CEO of H&K Strategies for the Middle East, Turkey, Africa and India, it is a mix of different nationalities, and its geographical location.

"With 37 nationalities from across the globe represented here in the UAE at H+K, living and working across the country, this is simply an ideal place for us a regional hub for METIA, where almost 3 billion people live across the Middle East, Turkey, India and Africa – a few hours' flight time to most of our offices across our cluster. 

"The UAE is also perfect for work/life balance, with everything that’s on offer here to colleagues working in our somewhat high-octane industry."

Ray Eglington, group managing director of Four Communications, said he loves the UAE for "the combination of a bold vision and can-do mentality". 

"It means you get the opportunity to work on amazing projects, of a scale and pace unmatched in so many other nations."

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