Jesper Elkjær Godsk
LW Design Group
Work / title:
How long have you been in that company/position?
16 years, since the startup
Married with two kids
How long have you been in Dubai?
Who has been your biggest source of inspiration in your professional life? Colleagues, travel and curiosity of how people behave in given environments
Is there anything in particular that you have repeated from previous jobs?
Firstly, work methods and to analyze each task objectively and then establish where to go from there. Secondly, the attention to details which, in my opinion, completes a successful project
What made you decide to move to Dubai? And what has been the biggest profit you’ve gained from it professionally?
Dubai is the city of opportunities so naturally, if you have a mindset to explore your own capacity, the choice was not difficult. To answer the second question, profit can be perceived in two ways. Firstly, in a professional view the city and the GCC in general have given me some of the best projects I could dream of. Secondly, this is also a place where you can be financial awarded if you handle your business carefully.
What is your favourite part of your present position? What do you like the least?
For sure being part of developing the company and make it an international design praxis is a great thing as well as the joy of being involved in creating new projects and new markets. Regarding the second question; to me, HR represents the least excitement, apart for when I get to mentor existing and new talents and let them see what they actually are capable of.
What is your biggest professional challenge at the moment?
First there is the change from being a smaller local company to a multi international praxis and how to introduce management methods to ensure that the spirit of LW is maintained. Secondly, setting up procedures of working across continents and ensure the quality both in design and execution is at a very high level. Thirdly, the task to find talents which has always been difficult in Dubai.
What do you wish that you had known before you came to Dubai?
I think I’m too old to remember that far back.
What has surprised you the most about working in Dubai?
The trust you can gain with clients and how you together develop their various projects over many years
In which direction is your industry headed? And is it the right path?
The challenges of today within the hospitality industry is how to target your project briefs to a specific target group along with the financial return. Today’s market is not the same as it was before the crisis and investors are more reluctant if security is not meet. The future will tell if it is the right path, but from a design and architectural point of view the consideration of each project and how it’s implemented is very interesting and more sustainable.
Which challenges do you foresee for your industry in the years to come?
This is depending a lot of the world economy and, for the Middle East the oil prices in particular and how the Middle East can adapt to this. Tourism is already playing a big role in Dubai’s success and now the low and mid market sector form a big part of the investment. Hopefully over the coming years this will change and further develop this industry.
Is there anything holding back your industry from developing further?
The biggest challenge is how to create a destination where it’s not only the 5 star market. Not only considering the room rate but the expenses needed to explore the many great things to do in Dubai along with the food and beverage prices.
In which direction is Dubai’s economy headed, in your opinion?
This is a good question and being a resident for 20 years I don’t really want to predict that. However, over the years Dubai has shown willingness to overcome these challenges and I believe this will also be the case in the future.
LW Design Group LLC
P.O. Box 74656
Design House, Dubai, UAE
T +971 4 369 7800
F +971 4 369 7801