Based in the city’s TwoFour54 media zone, the new office will serve Lambie-Nairn client and TV broadcaster Abu Dhabi Media Company, among others.
Hayes is seeking to appoint local designers to the new studio, as well as flying in London-based staff ‘on a rotating’ basis according to need.
‘The recession has taught us that it is not a good idea to open a new office with 12 people, but to build it up slowly and sustainably,’ says Hayes.
He claims that the group, which has offices in London, Munich and Prague, has been considering opening a Middle East branch ‘for some time now’, spurred on by the region’s relatively strong broadcast and telecoms industries.
‘Places like Dubai have been hard-hit by the recession, but Abu Dhabi has a well-considered long-term economic development plan,’ he says.
Hayes was previously senior client director at Lambie-Nairn’s London headquarters. He will be based in Abu Dhabi but will divide his time between there and London.
The group hopes to extend its reach to Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar and ‘potentially’ Saudi Arabia.