A Middle Eastern Experience

a middle eastern experience

A Middle Eastern Experience

When an opportunity comes along to experience life in a completely different country, some of us will jump at it, while others prefer to stick with what they know. For Reg at The Manor by Ambridge Rose it wasn’t a difficult decision to go to United Arab Emirates (UAE) because he had travelled a lot on his own and working there could almost be like a holiday.

He left New Zealand for the Middle Eastern nation in 2008, the year of the global financial crisis (GFC), and his role was managing the sales team for a developer of apartments.

“The construction industry was bad, and a lot of banks were withdrawing money,” says Reg. “There are lots of stories about ex-pats taking their rental or leased cars still under contract to the airport and
leaving them in the car park when they left the country, but it wasn’t as bad as people made out.”

Because he spoke English and had contacts with the banks, Reg’s job included writing English letters to the bank and others on behalf of the contractor. Also, his experience in New Zealand’s industrial real estate sector was beneficial when managing the sales team.

During his time off Reg enjoyed socialising at a bar with an organisation for Australian and Kiwi ex-pats. “Everybody, including the Arabs, drank alcohol and there was a place that looked like an old Ministry of Works building, but inside was a very impressive bottle shop with New Zealand beers and wines.”

Reg started his working life as an apprentice motor mechanic, which proved useful for giving him good problem solving and logic skills, but it didn’t give him much interest in cars. There were plenty of flash cars in UAE, but he wasn’t really interested. He enjoyed travelling to the cities and seeing the incredible architecture of modern buildings. While he was there the world’s tallest building was under construction – the 828-metre Burj Khalifa.

Reg says he left New Zealand for new experiences, which he sure did have when he covered a lot of miles in his trusty rental car.