INTERVIEW WITH VANCE

Vance has worked in hospitality for 20 years and has a wealth of experience in management and operations roles.

His work has taken him all over the globe, from 5 star Hotels in Australia, country pubs in Wales, High Street restaurants and late night venues in England, International Performance Venues and iconic restaurants in London, to his latest role in the UAE.

Vance currently oversees:

  • Zahr El Laymoun - 3 Casual Dining Lebanese Restaurants across Dubai and Sharjah
  • Filful - 5 Beiruti Street food concepts across Dubai, Oman, Quatar & Kuwait
  • Gymkhana - Indian Street Food Concept -- Dubai
  • Loacker - Italian retail and casual dining concept -- Dubai
  • Booza - Lebanese Ice cream concept -- Dubai
  • Delivery company for all outlets - Dubai and Sharjah
  • Marco Marco - Italian Pizza concept -- Sharjah
  • Jones the Grocer - Australian casual dining and retail concept -- Sharjah
  • Al Manza - Moroccan Casual Dining concept -- Sharjah
  • Al Monthazar - Waterpark -- Sharjah
  • Noor Cafe - Tourist Island cafe
  • Bystro Cafe - Tourist adventure destination

Question: Could you tell us a little bit about your current role?
Answer: My current position is with Shamma Capital as the Director of Operations in the UAE. Shamma Capital operates in various sectors, ranging from hospitality, fashion/retail and entertainment. My role is to oversee the day to day operations of several venues, including multiple restaurants and dining concepts, cafe's, street food concepts, water parks and delivery to all venues.

Question: Why did you make the decision to work abroad?
Answer: Working abroad always offers a fresh challenge and allows me to test myself. Different countries have different cultures and ways of conducting their business, so it's fantastic to be exposed to that.

Question: Could you describe your experience working abroad? What rewards and challenges does it bring?
Answer: For me the biggest challenge has been adapting to the new culture and way of life that exists in the UAE. The country is based around a model of policy and procedure of a like that I haven't experienced before, one that takes some time to adjust to. Becoming accustomed to the speed in which projects work was tough.

Question: What differs from working in the UK?
Answer: The biggest difference for me is work place conditions. Over here a 6 day working week is the norm for front line staff. This of course was a big culture shock for me, presenting its own significant motivational challenges.

Question: What advice would you give to other British residents thinking of working abroad?
Answer: Stay calm, be persistent and continually asses and understand how to get around the many walls that you encounter on a daily basis.

Question: What do you miss and not miss most about the UK?
Answer: Trees and pubs. There is nothing that I do not miss about the UK.

Question: Have you had any free time to see the sites of Dubai? What have you seen?
Answer: I operate sites in most of the iconic sites of Dubai but have found little time to experience the tourism side of life as yet.

Question: How did you find the whole recruitment process for a role abroad? Did it differ much from the process for a domestic role?
Answer: Fantastic apart from the work Visa - my consultant - Jonathan Kirby made it quite seamless though.

Question: What was your experience like dealing with Berkeley Scott?
Answer: As above - fantastic but the working relationship was already there as I was a client of BS.