Xworks Interiors LLC
Work / title:
Executive Director & Founder
How long have you been in that company/position?
I started Xworks 6 years ago
Married to Bente Kraen
How long have you been in Dubai?
I came in 1988!
Who has been your biggest source of inspiration in your professional life?
If I was going to answer this question, it would be a long story, so I will save that for another time.
Is there anything in particular that you have repeated from previous jobs?
I have been in the same line of work since I arrived in Dubai, which is commercial interior design and fit-out of offices and supplying furniture as well. I therefore have many years’ experience in this field and I of course rely on that and my expertise in my current job.
What made you decide to move to Dubai? And what has been the biggest profit you’ve gained from it professionally?
It was actually a coincidence I ended up in Dubai, it was not something I planned. I was working in a shipping company in Copenhagen, and was quite happy as it was, but one of my customers kept asking me to come and work in his company in Dubai, and in the end I took the chance.
I only expected to be here for a couple of years, but I’m still here, thriving with my family and my company, so I think I gained a lot not only professionally, but also personally from moving here. I have learned everything about my industry down here – and staying successful here demands that you never stop evolving.
What is your favorite part of your present position? What do you like the least?
I am very proud and happy about owning my own company today – and I love my job. What I like the least is easy: cashflow!
What is your biggest professional challenge at the moment?
We are growing quite a bit at the moment – because of some big project wins – and my biggest challenge is to find the right people that can help Xworks and me to achieve our goals!
What do you wish that you had known before you came to Dubai?
It has been so many years since I arrived and there has been so many changes since, so it is very difficult for me to answer. Dubai has been through a big and impressive development the last 20 years, and I sometimes get the feeling that people believe that everything is easy in Dubai, but it takes just as much hard work to succeed here as anywhere else.
What has surprised you the most about working in Dubai?
Again, I have been here so many years that I hardly get surprised about anything anymore. However, a positive surprise have been to see how easy people from different nationalities, backgrounds and religions get along here and work together without problems – not only at workplaces but also in our society. I think that is something a lot of other countries could learn from.
In which direction is your industry headed? And is it the right path?
Our industry – interior design of offices – is very driven by price. This is not the right path in my opinion, which is why we always try to steer all our clients and projects in the direction of more Scandinavian values. We like to think about the design of the space, ergonomics, workplace wellness and the environment and this is what we push in Xworks.
Which challenges do you foresee for your industry in the years to come?
The interior design industry is very influenced by what is going on in the world, if prices on oil go down companies hurt and then they do not invest in new offices, nor new furniture. I hear many rumors about people expecting a tough 2016, and it might influence our industry as well.
Is there anything holding back your industry from developing further?
Well, in principle no, as there is always a need for company offices, but we are in the same time very influenced by the developments happening in e.g. IT, and we need to follow the needs they produce. Which means, our industry cannot just develop in the direction, we want to, we need to fulfill the demands we meet.
In which direction is Dubai’s economy headed, in your opinion?
That is a tough one. I think it is very hard to say, but I will say one thing, which is that I believe in Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and his visions for Dubai. I think he has done impressive work so far, and I’m sure he will keep developing Dubai in positive ways.