Sandpiper launches first Middle East office in Dubai

30 April 2024 2 min. read

Asia Pacific communications consultancy Sandpiper has expanded its business into the Middle East, landing in Dubai to kickstart its services to the region.

Since its founding in 2019, Sandpiper has rapidly grown into one of the larger homegrown Asian firms for public relations and communications. The firm currently has over 100 staff working from now eight offices in Asia and Oceania.

Emma Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of Sandpiper, said that the expansion into the Middle East comes in response to growing trade ties with Asia, which has prompted the communications consultancy to establish an on the ground team in the United Arab Emirates.

Sandpiper launches first Middle East office in Dubai

“Our expansion coincides with growing trade and investment ties between the Middle East and Asia, especially with China. As a result, we have seen more requests for client support in the region and for specialist services in areas such as ESG communications, international media, integrated communications and policy advisory, and research,” Smith said.

The Dubai office will be led by Bahjat Homsi, who has joined as General Manager for the UAE, and Unice Liu, who has joined as Associate Director.

Homsi previously held senior positions at several network agencies, most recently as Director at Edelman in Dubai. Throughout his career, he has led and worked on projects such as the Emirates Mars Mission, the UAE Papal Visit, and COP28 UAE. He has also advised clients such as the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Majid Al Futtaim.

“The UAE’s fast evolving landscape offers a multitude of opportunities for organisations, and there is a need for communications consultancies that can add distinctive value, and help clients navigate this dynamic market. Sandpiper’s specialised service offerings, strategic approach, agile operating model, and deep network across Asia and the Middle East will be key differentiators,” said Homsi.

Liu is a senior communications professional with deep experience in leading multi-market communications and stakeholder engagement programmes. Her experience covers the financial, professional services, food and agribusiness, government, education, and healthcare sectors. She previously spent over a decade at Baldwin Boyle, and more recently worked for the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

“With the Middle East’s pivot to Asia and the geo-economic and geopolitical shift this is creating, I am thrilled and privileged to help play a role in connecting the growing opportunities between the two regions,” Liu said.

The expansion by Sandpiper comes a week after UK-based counterpart Prosek Partners also entered the Middle East market, and in the footsteps of Pelham Communications, which hit the region last year.

Sandpiper’s other offices are based in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney.