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Sun 17 Feb 2019 02:52 PM

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Lego opens office in Dubai amid regional youth explosion

Lego office in Dubai will staff 25 employees as company prepares to go on a hiring spree

Lego opens office in Dubai amid regional youth explosion
Lego’s global chief marketing officer, Julia Goldin.

A fast growing consumer lifestyle market boosted by an explosion in youth numbers has prompted Lego to open an office in Dubai.

After announcing it would take the step in May 2018, the company officially inaugurated its new office in Dubai Design District on Thursday.

“We want to reach as many kids as possible especially in areas that we haven’t been as prominently as before,” Lego’s global chief marketing officer, Julia Goldin, told Arabian Business.

“Opening this office is a real commitment to engaging as many kids as possible in this area over the coming years,” she added.

Lego sells approximately 70 billion ‘building blocks’ each year. Those sales brought in roughly $5.3 billion (35 billion Danish kroner) according to its last available full year financial results in 2017.

However, the company’s business has grown from being a producer of children’s play materials to a producer of movies, theme park experiences, and recently a virtual clothing store in partnership with social media platform Snapchat.

In two weeks, the company will announce its earning overs the last year, something Goldin says will not reflect the ill-effects of a global economic softening as much as some would expect.

“Historically, even when an economy slows down, parents still want to give their children experiences. That’s allowed Lego to grow in the past. So we haven’t ever looked at an economic slowdown, or even growth, as an indicator of what Lego will do. Our plans are still very much about reaching as many children as possible. And of course we have enthusiasts across all ages. So we right now will continue to look to grow,” she said.

Lego has been active in the region for nearly 55 years but the six stores and a theme park in Dubai have all been the result of “relationships with parners,” general manager, Middle East and Africa, Jeroen Beijer, said during the interview.

“By 2020, we estimate there will be 125 million children in the region and that’s why we’ve decided to take this step,” he added.

Lego will now look to hire approximately 25 employees over the coming months as it expands its scope of activities in the region.

“The ability for us to do activities in the region will be greatly increased because we’ll be able to have a team on the ground whereas in the past we worked with the region out of Denmark,” said Beijer.

“I don’t see us hitting that number in our first year, but we will certainly look to grow and scale within the region over time,” he added.

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