Dear Land8 friends,
I'm getting ready to create a job listing here to find a suitable person to join my design team. I am posting this thread to tell you a little bit about the firm and myself while answering any questions you might have about relocation for a job like this. I am a US landscape architect that was recruited in 2016 to lead the Landscape Architecture department for a large AEC firm in Kuwait. We are growing, completing for large public park projects, and setting the standard for LAs in the Gulf region. So, how did this all come about?
I own two businesses in Phoenix, AZ and was happily cruising along doing my thing. In other words, I wasn't looking for a job when the firm contacted me. They were looking for someone to lead their LA department and change the existing design philosophy due to staff retirement. With the promise of developing large public parks, I decided to roll the dice and see what the region has to offer. Well, it has exceeded my expectations. Kuwait is exciting and trying to catch up to Dubai in terms of urban form and quality of life. They are busy expanding, revitalizing, and modernizing a city that had it's last major design push in the late 1980s and came to an abrupt end during the Gulf War. So, there are unique and significant opportunities here.
Since arriving, I have spent 8 days in Jordan for personal vacation, returned to the US for a month to visit family, and plan on going to Europe this summer for a few weeks. There are many interesting places within 5 hours of kuwait that are easy to visit during a long weekend, which is one of the other reasons I decided to take this position... I like to travel.
Living in Kuwait is very similar to living back home in the US. The city is modern and has many of the same Western shopping and dining options available. People are exceptionally friendly and helpful. Crime is exceptionally rare and safety/security is very high. I feel safer here than my suburban neighborhood in Phoenix, AZ. The US and Kuwait are allies and we have military bases here still. There is a significant expat population from the West and Asia, so it is a multi-cultural melting pot like any large US city. As a non-Muslim, I feel perfectly at home here. In terms of the Islamic spectrum effecting day to day life, I would rank Kuwait as moderate, Saudia Arabia as conservative, and Dubai on the liberal side.
I'm happy to discuss any aspect of living and working here and hope to identify a few people who may wish to join our team here. I'll link the job ad and company once we have actually paid for an advertisement.
Attached are some photos I've taken while here. So, what do you want to know about being an L.A. in the M.E.?