Ali Al Yaaqubi - Communications at BP
AOS: Ali, thank you so much for answering some questions with us today. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself.
I am Ali Al Yaaqubi and I work as a Communications Advisor at bp. I joined the company straight after finishing my BA studies in English. Beyond my day job, I am an artist and have huge interest in design, architecture, and culture. And it happens that London is rich with all of these.
AOS: Amazing, and what encouraged you to join bp?
I was born in Ibri not far from some oil and gas concession areas. I knew many people who worked there and conversations about the industry and the companies working there were part of our daily life growing up. I applied for bp because it is an international company with a long history in the region.
AOS: So how long have you been working at bp now and what are some of your highlights of your time there?
I started working for bp in late 2014. I have had many highlights during the past 7 years. One was the inauguration of our Khazzan facility in 2017. It meant a lot to me knowing its positive impact to Oman, its people and to bp. Another highlight was celebrating the fifth anniversary of bp Oman’s social investment programme in 2019 which has benefited thousands of lives since inception. And finally in February 2020, attending the event at which bp launched its new purpose and aims to be net zero by 2050. I was privileged to have been selected to join that event in person.
AOS: How long have you been working for bp in London?
I am on an international assignment to the global Communications & Advocacy team in London. I arrived in London in January 2020 but, due to the pandemic, I moved back to Oman at the end of March. I continued doing my job virtually for around 18 months until I was able to get back to London in September 2021.
AOS: How different is London bp office from Oman’s?
Well, both offices have open spaces and are welcoming. The main difference is that our London office is also the company’s headquarters.
Another difference - but about the job instead of the office - is that in Muscat my work was in service of bp Oman’s businesses objectives whereas, in London, I am supporting specific businesses which serve countries and regions around the globe.
AOS: What projects have you been working on?
I am currently working in the UK team supporting our business activities in the UK, mainly focused on our proposed hydrogen and CCUS projects in Teesside in the north of England. Prior to that, supported several businesses including wind, solar and hydrogen across the UK, US and Europe.
AOS: What have your learnt from your time in London?
Well, I have learnt a lot about the UK as a country, its people, and the diverse culture and history. From a business point of view, I have learnt a lot about the energy industry in the UK and Europe and the important role that greening companies can play in in the global energy transition.
AOS: How did you find living in London?
I have really loved London. I am a person driven by curiosity and London, with its diversity and inclusivity, helps me fulfil that. Art fairs to attend, galleries and museums to visit, markets to explore, cultural events to appreciate, musical performance to applaud and much more.
AOS: Have you been into any cities beside London?
Yes, I wanted to see life outside of London, so I have explored a few other cities as Bath, Brighton, Bristol and Birmingham and Edinburgh. Those visits enriched my experience of what it means to live in the UK.
AOS: You have mentioned you are an artist. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, that is true. Art is how I tell my stories. If I don’t have the words to describe it, my art will. I started a few years ago with many aspirations and plans. And given that I am in London, I took the chance to attend a few art fairs, visit galleries and museums and expand my artists’ network to include ones based in London.
AOS: Special thanks to Ali for answering these questions with us, we look forward to hearing more updates about your work and hopefully seeing some of your art work soon too!