Shipping our skills overseas?

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    So, purely out of curiosity and mental lethargy, what are the chances for an American entry level LA in places like the UAE and China right now?


    inquiring minds want to know..

    Pok Kobkongsanti

    Of course, there are many firms that needs foreign talents like yourself.
    Some big firms got their branches in China now, EDAW and Belt Collins for example.
    I don’t know about the economy issue right now, but a lot of Thai designers are working in the area.


    I did an internship in Beijing last year for EDSA-Orient. One of my fellow classmates went back there for 6 months and just returned home stateside a month ago. There is definitely a lot of work there now. Their company has almost tripled in size in under a year! Also, they love American landscape architects. In China, they don’t put as much emphasis on design as they do in America. They learn to draw really well and plants, etc. What the Chinese love is an American point of view on landscape design. I have heard UAE is really hot too despite the economy. Oh yeah, but when I worked there I got paid $400/month+housing. Totally worth it though…


    Wow, thanks Damian. Your response was especially packed with useful information. I still have a semester or so to go, but I do suppose it’s getting about that time to start a serious search. I wonder if there are any opportunities for Americans in Europe now as well?

    Thanks everyone!

    Rico Flor

    Hi Nick.

    UAE’s not a good place to start for now or 6 months hence (my reckoning only). One reality is that pay scales for US citizens are mostly on the upper end (yes, the pay scales here are traditionally not color-blind) and with this global recession in full force (or has it done so yet?), job openings would be difficult. Most have frozen hiring, and the threat of further lay-offs loom. But I bet it’s a good time to visit, check out prospects….Dubai Shopping Festival is just around the corner, and retailers will surely bring down prices lower than the usual usual. Establish contacts (and enjoy the view), and once the economy rebounds, they will surely appreciate expat talents on board again.

    Clue you in on this: Abu Dhabi seems less affected, though the 6 month projection still applies. EDAW and Hyder Consulting are based in Abu Dhabi……

    Am still safe so far (knock on wood).



    well, at least dont try Germany than – we even had an Designcrisis before THIS crisis now, in fact the last years it felt that… Jobs are worse there with too many designers and architects out there and way to less jobs. YOu would be astonished to see for what salary most of my friends working there – thats why quite of them just leave and work somewhere around (swiss, uk) or just leave europe totally to hit off somewhere else – its a pitty cause the german understanding of landscape design / Planning is really unique and very much different to the UK/US style with a lots to offer…

    Lee Attinger

    Did you intern at Ecoland?


    Hi Nick,

    I have to agree with Rico on the freezing of any employment in Dubai Landscape firms. At the moment UAE market is pretty tight as most projects are put on hold with Clients running low in cashflow. Most of the landscape and architecture firms are laying off their staff since early January and still continue to do so as we speak.

    Market is pretty stagnant and unemployment rate is raising. Most of these ppl seek solace in Abu Dhabi hoping to secure jobs there. Even big companies are not spared from the global crisis including Hyder Consulting, ATKINS, etc.. not sure about EDAW though.
    I doubt Hyder Abu Dhabi will be hiring anyone in this coming months as they have laid off quite a large number of ppl.

    We will have to wait and see whether Abu Dhabi will suffer the similar fate with Dubai….
    Hope not~~!


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