Skip to content

Testimonials from previous interns

This page is dedicated to our previous interns at the Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General in Dubai. Here, you will find testimonials of how it is to work at the representation in the United Arab Emirates along with how it is to live in this part of the world.

Name: Karima Kahouadji
Education: Law at University of Copenhagen
Internship period: February 2017 – August 2017
Role:
Political Analyst
Placement: Royal Danish Embassy in Abu Dhabi

What were your main assignments?
As an intern my focus was on collecting and analysing data about Emirati and Qatari politics, economics and legal affairs. Moreover, I assisted the Ambassador with research and contributed to case solving in various fields of work at the Embassy.

What did you learn? 
Working in the intersection of politics, economics and legal affairs, I gained insights in the complex interactions of the Middle East. Furthermore, I learned a lot about the Danish Foreign Ministry and the daily work at an Embassy, which I will definitely bring with me forward. Importantly, I learned how to think on my feet and adapt to different situations of varying complexity.

What was your best experience?
During the six months I spent in Abu Dhabi, I had a lot of unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. From a work perspective, one of the highlights was to plan and coordinate the Danish Prime Minister's visit to the United Arab Emirates. During this visit, I also got to meet the Prime Minister, which was also a great experience. In addition, I got to participate in high-profile meetings, which before my internship was something I never thought would be possible, but it highly contributed to developing my skills and to some extent confidence. From a social perspective, I met so many fantastic people in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and I was never bored - rather the opposite ;)

How is it to live in the UAE?
It's hot, it's humid, and it's luxurious. I especially like the country's highly international atmosphere where almost everyone is an expat.

What is your best advice to future interns?
The great mix of nationalities and languages entail communication problems and sometimes confusion. A relaxed attitude and empathy can help you navigate as you go about your life in the UAE.

---

Name: M'Barka Daoudi
Education: MSc International Security & Law at University of Southern Denmark
Internship period: February 2017 – August 2017
Role: Political Analyst
Placement: Royal Danish Embassy in Abu Dhabi

What were your main assignments?
During my internship at the Embassy in Abu Dhabi, I have mainly collected and analysed data about Emirati and Qatari politics and economics and coordinated with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, I have assisted the Ambassador during political meetings and provided daily briefings as well as substantial input to reporting about foreign and security topics in the Middle East. 

What did you learn? 
I have learned a great deal about the intersection of politics, security and economics in the Middle East. Furthermore, I have been able to use my educational background to achieve results and come up with independent initiatives, which were fruitful in my work with diplomacy.

What was your best experience?
The best experience has been to be part of a dynamic working environment while representing Denmark in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, I played a key role in organising Denmark's very first national day celebration, which was a highly successful public diplomacy event with more than 300 attendees that took place at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. My responsibilities included everything from planning, coordination and execution of the event - including finding sponsors.                                                                    

How is it to live in the UAE?
The life in the UAE is exotic, fun and interesting. Life in Abu Dhabi is more calm, laid back and at the same time sophisticated compared to the busy and fast-paced Dubai where weekends are fun.

What is your best advice to future interns?
Be open-minded, explore the culture and make every minute count. It is a life changing experience.

---

Name: Anders Wittrup Kristensen
Education: BA Information Management at Copenhagen Business School
Internship period: February 2017 – August 2017
Role: Intern in the commercial section
Placement: The Royal Danish Consulate General in Dubai

What were your main assignments?
My main assignments consisted primarily of assisting the commercial advisors within the Aviation, Maritime, Investment, Oil & Gas, ICT, and Design sectors. The amount of different tasks and assignments varied a lot and included both client focused and tasks related directly to the Consulate. Among the client focused assignments, I did everything from sector and market analyses, partner identifications, planning high profile meeting programs for individual clients, assisting in organizing large delegations such as the Danish stand at the Dubai Airport Show 2017. Moreover, I participated in meetings and exhibitions and got to interact with key decision makers, such as high profile CEOs and government officials.

What did you learn? 
During my internship at the Consulate I have learned a lot. I have improved my abilities to work in a very active and busy environment. I gained crucial insights to an often misunderstood culture, which made me dismiss several prejudges in the process. I learned how to search for information on businesses and key decision makers in Dubai, and in connection to this: the real value of patience.
Most importantly I learned how to best provide Danish companies with the best possible product – be it key meetings with potential buyers, information packages or assisting them regarding possible expansion to the UAE market and all the implications thereof.

What
was your best experience?
There have been several memorable and great experiences. My best work experiences was to be part of IDEX and Dubai Airport Show exhibitions, along with the work I did with the Danish company, Peoples, where I really learned a lot and had fun at the same time.
Other than that, the people I met, the Friday brunches, Iftars, desert campings, camel races, insane cars, malls, beaches, skydiving, scuba diving, bars and clubs, crazy architecture, and buildings like Burj al Arab and Burj Khalifa are, among other things, something I would not have been without!

How is it to live in the UAE?
Living in UAE can be very good and very bad. When it is good (and it was for me 99% of the time) it is nearly without equal. A lot depends on where you live. I will definitely recommend the Dubai Marina because it is where most things happen and there is easy access to the metro, bus and taxis. You can think of Dubai as the Las Vegas of the Middle East. 

What is your best advice to future interns?
If you ever get the opportunity to intern at the Royal Danish Consulate General, you must take it. This have been a great journey of which I do not regret a single second. Go to Dubai with an open mind and make sure you do a lot of fun and social stuff outside of work.

---



Name: Ali Stair Al-farhan
Education: Finance & International Business at Aarhus University
Internship period: August 2016 – February 2017
Role: Intern in the commercial section
Placement: The Royal Danish Consulate General in Dubai

What were your main assignments?
My assignments were mainly customer-related tasks such as market analyses, partner identification, collection of market information, preparation of sector analyses and preparation and participation in meetings and exhibitions.

What did you learn? 
During my time as a trainee, I faced a lot of new challenges and dealt with a variety of different people. I learned a lot – but most importantly, I learned how to assist with a company’s exports to a new market including how to deal with all the barriers that may exist.

What was your best experience?
My best experiences from the trainee program were participation in high profiled meetings, all the cool stuff to do in Dubai besides work, and especially spending time with the colleagues.

How is it to live in the UAE? 
Living in the UAE is a luxury, which is difficult to compare with any other country I have ever lived in. There is so much to explore and many great opportunities to pursue. 

What is your best advice to future interns?
Keep both legs on solid ground, be friendly and up for meeting new people and handling new exciting challenges - always. You never know what comes out of it ;-)

---

Name: Marie Kirk Bebe
Education:  M.Sc. in Political Science
Internship period: August 2016 – February 2017
Role: Political Analyst
Placement: Royal Danish Embassy in Abu Dhabi

What were your main assignments?
Interns at the Embassy are given a lot of responsibility, which results in a lot of different and interesting tasks. However, my main tasks have been to collect and analyse data about Emirati and Qatari politics and economics, to coordinate with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) as well as line ministries in Denmark, write reports on the security political and human rights situation in the UAE for the MOFA, and last but not least assisting the Ambassador in her daily work, e.g. by preparing for and taking part in high-level diplomatic meetings.

What did you learn?
I learned how pivotal the personal engagement and efforts are for strong diplomatic relations to exist with the UAE, thus how diplomacy can unfold, have an effect and open doors. Getting a unique insight into and knowledge of the world of diplomacy has been valuable and something I can actively use in the future.

What was your best experience?
I have had a lot of "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences; however, travelling to Qatar with the Ambassador for meetings, and being part of the Danish delegation at the 7th General Assembly for IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) were definitely the highlights.

How is it to live in the UAE?
Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is located in the Middle East, it is nothing like the Middle East you are presented with in the media when it comes to political unrest, was and security. The UAE is a country of unimaginable wealth expressed in their cars, buildings, consumption habits and idea of what is feasible - there are no limits. At the same time, the UAE has an Eastern mysticism to it due to the Arabic cultural heritage mixed with the influence by the many foreign workers from Asia and the Western expatriates.

What is your best advice to future interns?
Say yes to all of the opportunities you are presented with - both in terms of work and in your spare time. By grasping all of the opportunities and challenges, you are sure to get some very valuable, memorable and educational experiences during your time as an intern.

---

Name: Tina Rasmussen
Education: Msc. in Business, Language & Culture with the concentration Business and Development Studies
Internship period: August 2016 – February 2017
Role: Intern in the commercial section
Placement: The Royal Danish Consulate General in Dubai

What were your main assignments?
I have assisted the Trade Advisors and the Consul General on assignments such as arranging and conducting business delegations, market visits, receptions etc. The internship also entailed desk research in the shape of writing market reports, sector analyses and finding statistics. I have furthermore edited and created content for our website and social media platforms.

What did you learn?
I have found out how tremendously important diplomacy can be for companies wanting to enter a new market. During my internship, I experienced several companies that were able to access stakeholders - otherwise impossible to reach - with the help of diplomatic connections obtained through the services of the Trade Council.

What was your best experience?
The Danish Minister for Business and Growth visited the UAE in October 2016 with more than 40 Danish companies within Green Tech, aviation and the maritime sector. Even though the visit required several weeks of preparation and a lot of work, it was interesting to be part of such a big event.

How is it to live in the UAE?
The UAE is a very interesting place to be. Situated in the Middle East, the country is Arabic, but at the same time, Dubai is a metropolis, home to people of more than 200 different nationalities. I thought I would get to know the Emirati culture living here, but instead, I have furthermore become acquainted with the Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan and Filipino cultures among many more. Everything is possible in Dubai and there is always something to do. The country has beautiful beaches, breath-taking deserts and great food. You can even go out for drinks, which can be a surprise to some people I talk to.

What is your best advice to future interns?
Dubai is quite an expensive city to live in - consider the 6 months an investment in your future.

---

Name: Cian Kristian O'Brien
Education: MSc Business Administration & Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School
Internship period: January - July 2015
Role: Economic Analyst
Placement:
Royal Danish Consulate General, Dubai

What were your main assignments?
I worked in the commercial department, where my main assignments were export promotion in F&B, Oil & Gas, Industry, Sports and Defence. Here I made meeting programs and market entry strategies for Danish companies. I also worked with some of the major Danish companies on registering their products and activities with the relevant authorities. Finally, I developed a strategy for using Danish CSR as a tool to increase exports. In general, you are given a pretty high degree of autonomy in problem solving as an intern – much more than I expected.

What was your best experience?
One of my best work experiences was with a company, SponsorPeople, who I worked with from the first ideas of coming to the UAE to they received their first order in UAE. This was very exciting. Privately, my best experience was all the people I met: a friend photo now looks like a UN assembly!

What did you learn?
I learned more in these six months than I have in any other position I have previously held. Moreover, I learned about working in a truly multicultural country and environment. This was at times frustrating, however in the end very rewarding.

From my colleagues, I learned about export promotion and the importance of the work and role that the government has in this: I saw companies and especially SMEs, who would never have had a chance of initiating exports without the Consulates assistance.

How is it to live in the UAE?
UAE is an amazing, crazy and fascinating place to live: UAE is one of the safest and most developed places in the Middle East. It’s also one of the world’s fastest developing countries, growing it’s population 190fold since its creation in the 1970s. Many of the prejudices that I had before arriving were upright wrong: yes you can go to the beach dressed as you like, yes there are more bars than you can possibly imagine, yes you can live on the 38th floor without breaking the bank ;)
Of course the the “wauw”-factor wears off (you get used to skyscrapers surprisingly fast!) and there are definitely downsides too, but all in all I think that Dubai is a great place to live!

What is your best advice to future interns?
I have three pieces of advice for future interns:
1. See and travel: remember to take time off and travel to some of the really interesting places and countries that surrounds Dubai – it’s not all about work.
2. Culture: get friends from other cultures instead of hiding in the Danish community: you will have friends all over the world once you get back, and you will have a much better understanding of the values and what drives people from different cultural backgrounds.
3. Patience and laid back attitude: in Dubai EVERYTHING happens last minute – and not always in the speed or manner that you could be used to from home. Sometimes it is really difficult to understand why a procedure is in a certain way, or why you can’t pre-book an apartment 4 weeks in advance. But it happens, Insha'Allah.
4. And on that note: learn the word INSHA’ALLAH. Learn it. Memorize it. Integrate it in your soul. It will be an integral part of your life and crucial to your success in the UAE.

---

''

Name: David Moeller Sousa
Education: MA International Peace & Security, King’s College London
Internship period: February – August 2015
Role: Political Analyst
Placement: Royal Danish Embassy, Abu Dhabi

What were your main assignments?
Due to the relatively small size of the Danish Embassy in Abu Dhabi, interns take on a lot of responsibility and a host of tasks. My main tasks included 1) monitoring and analysing political developments in the UAE and Qatar, 2) writing reports for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and 3) producing bi-weekly security and defence newsletter for the Danish Ministry of Defence. In addition, I assisted the ambassador at meetings with the local foreign ministry, which gave me a front row seat to real life high-level diplomacy.

What was your best experience?
Too many to count, but highlights include representing the Danish Embassy at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference and visits to Hedayah, a counter-extremism centre in Abu Dhabi.

What did you learn?
I have gained valuable insight into local and regional political dynamics as well as into the security situation of the UAE and the Gulf. Furthermore, I have strengthened my analytical and writing skills, in Danish as well as in English.

How it is to live in the UAE?
International, yet local. Arab, yet Western – Abu Dhabi and Dubai are unique and fascinating places to live, which certainly do not live up to usual stereotypes about life in the Gulf region.

What is your best advice to future interns?
This is the time to master those ironing and tie tying skills! ;-)

---

''

Name: Charlotte Bjørn Hansen
Education: B.Sc. in Economics, currently studying for a Masters degree in Economics at the University of Copenhagen.
Internship period: January - July 2015
Role: Economic Analyst
Placement: Royal Danish Consulate General, Dubai

What were your main assignments?
Working at the consulate, the assignments vary from week to week, but my main tasks consist of preparing market analyses, partner searches as well as setting up meetings for various companies and a plethora of sectors. The magnitude of the assignments also vary, giving you the opportunity to dig deep into certain sectors and attain more of a specialization.

What was your best experience?
Is following a company from the first point of contact, through market analyses and partner search to setting up meetings. It is great to learn when you work has been a vital part of a company’s establishment in or export to the region.

What did you learn?
I have gained valuable knowledge of the workings behind and obstacles for a company when expanding abroad. And in particular I have learned just how much countries and markets differ and how vital cultural understanding is, especially in a business perspective.

How it is to live in the UAE?
Hot. It is exiting, and every day you get the sense of competition. Here people wake up and make something of their day, every day. People are here to achieve what they could not in their own country and that is inspirational. Also, in Dubai particularly, you learn so much about so many different cultures. So it is not just about knowing the Arab culture, but also the Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan etc.

What is your best advice to future interns?
Dubai is an opportunity that you should not miss. It is an international hub that you will not find elsewhere and it will take your internship farther than you imagine.