UAE, DUBAI - Real Estate & Construction
Country Manager, Regus
Kory W. Thompson was born in Canada and studied Law at Carleton University in Ottawa before commencing a 15-year career in the hospitality industry in his home country. He held numerous General Manager positions for Ramada before relocating to the UK, where he held General Manager positions for a number of boutique hotels in London. In June 2006, he relocated to Dubai to hold a Senior Management role with a prominent hospitality consultancy, having responsibility for multiple hotel projects across the Middle East. In September 2007, he was appointed Managing Director-EMEA and Indian Ocean for Mandara Spa. In January 2013, he was appointed Country Manager-UAE for Regus.
The biggest challenge in the UAE compared to a lot of other countries is the regulatory framework. In Dubai, according to Department of Economic Development (DED) licensing, you have to have a 200-square-foot office, which started from April 2013 and drove out a number of smaller companies that only required a small office. The same thing happened in Abu Dhabi, where the limit went from 13 sqm to 15 sqm. And so we have had to renovate centers, close some places, and lose clients that no longer fitted the model the authorities wanted. In that respect, we simply have to adapt to the ongoing legislative changes when it comes to setting businesses up in business centers.
If you look at the UAE, we have 12 locations open as of today, and 30 in the Gulf area. We’re part of a global unrivaled network and this is a key location both for local companies wanting to grow, but also for international businesses to explore the UAE’s business potential. We are also in London, Tokyo, New York, and Paris, and Dubai fits comfortably along with those names.
For example, if a client has four employees, but two are always on the go outside the office, we need the flexibility to be able to offer the right solution. It’s no use offering an office with 12 desks when there are only ever two people in the office. If you are in a Regus center, you can have an office that holds four and then, if the business grows, you can easily move to a larger office in the same center. That is flexibility. Regus grows with you and provides you with the flexibility to work anywhere. For example, we have centers at airports, shopping malls, and in petrol stations in places such as the UK. That is the trend we see; fewer people will be sitting in offices all the time.
This is something that we are now more conscious of when we are looking at centers. We are now designing centers where we have more control of the lighting and the air conditioning. People often leave the air conditioning or lights on, and so it’s nice to have more control. In Abu Dhabi, we are currently doing that and I think that we all have a responsibility and we are getting better. I would like to think that with each center we are building we are getting more and more green.
UAE, UAE, DUBAI - Health & Education
President & Head MEA Cluster, Novartis
UAE, UAE, DUBAI - Telecoms & IT
Senior Director and General Manager for United Arab Emirates, DELL Technologies