Oaklands Global travels to the Middle East
We spoke to our Chairman David Edwards about Oaklands Global’s work in the Middle East and his vision for growing the business in the region.
Q. Oaklands Global has been working in the Middle East since its inception. What is the business’ connection to the region?
A. Oaklands Global has been operating in the Middle East from day one. Strategically it is a very important region for our industry. We have developed some incredibly strong partnerships and consider ourselves strategic partners for a number of reputable industry names.
Personally, I have worked in the Middle East for almost a decade, heading the business aviation division of Qatar Airways and as Managing Director at Gama Aviation.
Q. How does Middle Eastern working culture differ from that in the British recruitment and aviation industries?
A. One of the most visible differences is the weekend in the Middle East being Friday and Saturday. The culture tends to be one built on relationships and trust, like the UK used to be, but those relationships are what makes work happen and also create pleasant working environments.
There are occasional challenges. Processes can be a little archaic, but the region really is ramping ahead in technology development.
Q. What are your top tips for British or European candidates applying for jobs in the Middle East?
A. Do your research and really get to understand what the culture is going to be like. Whilst the ‘tax free’ headline sounds great, you have to be aware of the hidden costs of living, as well as being a long way from home. Research potential employers and, of course, choose a good recruitment agency!
Q. How will expanding your network in the Middle East benefit clients and candidates?
A. Not only is the Middle East a great hub, it is also a region that invests heavily into the innovation of our industry. Our goal is to find that perfect match between client and candidate and to do this effectively we must have the finest opportunities and most professional candidates in our network.
By having a strong presence in the Middle East and other regions worldwide we are able to meet the expectations and demands of most.
Q. Oaklands strives to work with businesses that truly believe in career development and investing in staff. How is this reflected in your work in the Middle East?
A. Our philosophy is to only represent candidates that we would employ ourselves and only work with companies we would want to work in. By following this moral compass we know the opportunities will meet the expectations of our candidates and vice versa for our clients. Investing in people is a big thing for us and we want to know that there is scope for career development for all of our candidates, should they want it.
We see the Middle East as a region that takes pride in their work and with safety being such a huge topic in our industry we see much investment in this area too.
Q. What are the most important factors to consider when relocating professionals across the globe, particularly to the Middle East?
A. It’s important for companies and individuals to research where they are looking at moving to. There are challenges if you relocate from London to Edinburgh, and those challenges are magnified when you move countries. You must appreciate that an expatriate workforce of all nationalities, races, religions and backgrounds will work very differently and having patience, adaptability and a logical mind is helpful.
Practically, there are loads of opportunities for support from banks, relocation and general advice. At Oaklands we help with the process as well.
Q. Do you view the Middle East as an international business hub of the future?
A. Yes, the clue is in the name, it’s in the Middle of East and West and location makes it important for the world. Whilst Dubai is well known as a business centre already, most of the regional capital cities are increasingly focussing on their business and tourist activities, creating a hugely important business hub globally.
Additionally, on a regional basis, there remains a substantial amount of business done between the countries, which creates opportunities before the global perspective comes into it.
Thank you David we look forward to watching the business expand in the region. Watch this space for further updates!