Outside talent is less inclined to relocate to the UAE, says Justin Wells of Woods Bagot

At a recent discussion held by designMENA, Justin Wells, regional leader of lifestyle design across the Middle East at Woods Bagot, said that the company is having a hard time relocating talent from Europe to the UAE.

“We’re finding more and more that people are less inclined to leave the UK or Europe and move to Dubai for work,” he said. “This has been especially true in the last year or so. Many people are choosing to stay put in Europe, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to encourage them otherwise.”

Martin Dufresne of U+A was also present at the roundtable, and agreed with Wells. According to him, he’s been pushed to open an office in the UK since architects and designers less likely to move. “I can’t seem to get them to come here,” Dufresne said, “so we’re going there.”

While Wells noted that there’s also a wide pool of talent in Thailand, other firms like Perkins+Will are finding Portugal and Spain to be hotbeds for skilled architects.


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