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YP Spotlight on Doha

01 March 2022

Our March YP 'spotlight on' feature focuses on Doha where we interviewed Alex Kelsall, a Senior Associate and Beril Kurucayirli, a Paralegal, to discuss working life in Doha and activities unique to the Middle East. 

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your job and where in the world you work.

Alex: I'm Alex Kelsall, a Senior Associate within the Disputes Team in DWF's Doha office – Tornado Tower.  I have been with DWF for over seven years - originally joining DWF's Manchester office, before transferring to the Doha office.  I first started working with the Doha office in early 2018 and it has been great to see it flourish ever since!

Beril: My name is Beril Kurucayirli. I am from Turkey and I had lived in the UK for over 6 years. I moved to Qatar almost 3 years ago and I am a Paralegal in the Disputes Team. 

2. What key industries/sectors do you work with? (e.g. energy, insurance, transport, telecommunications)

Beril: Alex and I work in the Disputes Team where our main focus is construction disputes - acting for employers, contractors, subcontractors etc. in international arbitrations principally (but not exclusively) under the arbitration rules of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). We have a team of 6 disputes lawyers currently based on the ground, making us one of the largest disputes teams in Doha.

3. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Beril: Working in a smaller office (…by comparison to most other DWF offices), as the only Paralegal, I have been able to get a lot of exposure to a wide variety of work types (both contentious and non-contentious). Supporting fee earners across the different practice areas has developed my skillset, and no day is ever the same so ultimately that makes work very interesting and challenging. I also like working in a smaller office as we get to interact with each other on a daily basis and it feels more like family.

4. What makes the Doha office unique compared to other locations?

Alex: Whilst Qatar is one of the smaller nations in the Gulf, what the country lacks in size, it makes up for in adventure (dune-bashing, kayaking, desert camping!) and luxury (world-class malls, restaurants and hotels). Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world and as a result it is investing in new projects at a pace and scale that are rarely seen elsewhere. Qatar's construction market was valued at USD 42.19 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 76.98 billion by 2026! Of course, not to forget, Qatar will play host to the FIFA World Cup later this year.

5. What piece of advice would you give to a YP looking to work in the Doha office?

Beril: I would say do it and bring your sunscreen! Honestly, Doha is a great city where there is always sunshine and it is full of new opportunities. Qatar has been ranked as one of the safest countries to live in the world. With the FIFA World Cup coming later this year – and the Qatar National Vision 2030 – there are so many projects (stadiums, hotels, hospitals, power plants, transport networks etc.) which provide great opportunities to work on very interesting matters.

6. If a YP from another country was coming to visit you, where would you take them?

Alex: I would take them to Souq Waqif for some delicious food and to watch the world go by, the Katara Cultural Village to try Karak (Google it!), the Museum of Islamic Art, and the Qatar National Museum – just a few of the places where they would get to experience the incredible architecture, art and culture on offer in Qatar.  If they were more the adventurous type, I would take them dune dashing followed by desert camping.  A trip to Doha of course wouldn't be complete without Friday brunch…soaking up the sun at the Four Seasons!

7. If you could work anywhere else in the world where would it be?

Beril: Very hard question... if I could work anywhere in the world it would be near a beautiful beach in Bali. Where I could enjoy the beautiful sunsets, go to work on motorbike and do yoga after work hours. 

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