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Dubai Expat Interviews – Alex Jeffries

This week’s Into-yous features British expat Alex Jeffries.

Tell us a little about yourself
Originally I came to Dubai to take a graphic design job, I now run my own Graphic design and photography company Clear and Transparent I’ve also recently made friends all over the world by being the man on the ground for Tripbod and I teach for Gulf Photo Plus I live in the Marina and for fun like nothing more than riding my motorbike with the guys, or a picnic in Creek Park, or a walk around Bur Dubai. To stay fit, I go wakeboarding every weekend and during the week I jog around the Marina.
When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here
1996 originally, I came back in 2005, it was a cold, grey windy day in Manchester when I saw the advert for a Dubai-based designer in Creative Review magazine. The words ‘Do you want a tax free wage and 365 days of sunshine?’ were all I needed to see to get me to apply!

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where
I’m originally from Harrogate in Yorkshire, so moving across the Pennines to Manchester in Lancashire was a bit like moving countries!

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Things will happen when they’re supposed to.

What surprised you most about Dubai
How rich the culture and heritage of the city is. I honestly can’t believe that some people say that Dubai ‘has no soul’. It’s the most vibrant, beautiful place, with so much diversity, personality and history. The Sheikh Mohamed Centre for Cultural Understanding have recently become one of my friends and clients, yet when I mention them, people have never heard of them, the culture and heritage is all around us, but some people just don’t see it.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai
I’d have a villa in….Satwa. My favourite area of Dubai, with the combination of old and new. And everything you need on your doorstep!

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
mish ma’a oul

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Mafi faloos

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date
Starting my business. Doing business here is so relaxed and totally different to the UK.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday
Hong Kong. Or India.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai
My dad. He’s always been a huge support to me, thankfully with the invention of Skype we’re in touch regularly.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai
Ravi’s in Satwa. A real, authentic Dubai experience, the plastic seats and ‘rough and ready’ style just add to its charm. The food is every bit as good as Dubai’s fanciest restaurants, and after years of going there, the staff are like old friends.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country
Tetley tea bags and salad cream! You can get both here but they’re outrageously priced.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them
Well, getting tired of dune bashing and the like, so normally send them to do that stuff on their own. I like finding the soulful areas of old Dubai and other Emirates as we don’t see too much of that, and that I believe is so much more interesting than looking at tall buildings!

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The team at Expat Echo Dubai would like to feature you in our Into-yous section

Please complete our 5 minute interview and submit your answers along with a profile picture (in JPEG format).



2 Responses to “Dubai Expat Interviews – Alex Jeffries”

  1. craig martin says:

    Hi,

    I’m an 18 year old kid fresh from South Africa on a gap year, and im looking at going into the design field, but im not particularly sure which area. I’d love some insight into what its like working in graphic design- challenges, benefits, criteria one would look for in a potential graphic designer etc .
    It would be much appreciated.

    kind regards,

    Craig Martin

  2. Alex says:

    Hi Craig
    have a look here on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ClearandTransparent especially the ‘Have you got what it takes’ post, you’ll get insight into what’s required to be a good graphic designer and you can also see some of the exciting work we’ve been doing.
    Good luck
    Alex


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