USC graduates shine at Dubai internet awards

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USC graduates shine at Dubai internet awards


Luis Grolez and Damian Brennan (DreamsCreative), Matthew Wallhead (Awards presenter and General Manager of Terrapinn Middle East)

30 May 2012

30 May 2012

The jaw-dropping design and function of two websites created by two University of the Sunshine Coast graduates have stolen the spotlight at the Middle Eastern Internet Awards.

at the awards night in Dubai recently.

The pair also beat 250 nominations to receive the Best New Website – Travel award for their Intercontinental Abu Dhabi website .

Damian said he and Luis were thrilled to be recognised for their work.

“The Internet Awards in the Middle East recognise those companies that have demonstrated an unparalleled ability to succeed and have continually set standards of excellence in the online industry in the Middle East,” Damian said.

“DreamsCreative’s website offers users a unique method of navigation and a highly creative design which stands out among our competitors.

“The Intercontinental Abu Dhabi website is one of the first hotel websites to focus on food and beverage in the Middle East because most hotels elect to only use their head office website.”

Damian and Luis both graduated from USC in 2007 with Arts degrees in Computer Based Art and Design. Damian also completed a Business degree with a minor in marketing.

On completion of their studies, the pair worked together to develop Always Interactive at the USC Innovation Centre, before being asked to head up DreamsCreative in Abu Dhabi by company director Mak Mokhtari.

“Since our arrival in the United Arab Emirates three years ago, DreamsCreative has grown from a team of three partners working out of an apartment, into an award-winning agency with 16 full-time and six part-time staff of various nationalities including Syrian, Sudanese, Emirati, French, Canadian, Filipino, Indian and American,” Luis said.

“DreamsCreative’s current office now spans half a floor in a prestigious tower in the heart of the Abu Dhabi CBD. We love working in the Middle East market, as it feels like anything is possible.”

Luis graduated from Mountain Creek State High School in 2002, while Damian graduated the same year from Brisbane State High School.

Damian said he was pleased he made a last-minute decision to switch from studying Exercise Science to Arts/Business at USC.

“The combination of a marketing course with creative design has given me an edge over other business people that can only think in terms of business,” Damian said.

“My time at USC gave me a hunger for continual improvement in my business and was where I learned the technique of management that I currently employ.”

DreamsCreative now services some of the largest local companies in the United Arab Emirates including the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the Federal Demographic Council.

— Michelle Widdicombe

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