Blog: Saudi Safari

Wellingtonian Brad Jackman is spending a month in Saudi Arabia selling burgers to the locals. He is also on a mission to show there is more to the Middle Eastern kingdom than sheiks, camels and falafel.

Saying goodbye

11:23am 18 Dec 2012

BRAD JACKMAN

Well here we are, my last day here in Saudi Arabia and boy is it a doozy! Saudi has decided to remind me of what I have not been missing at home - the cold and the rain!

I got to see things that I would never have even thought about in my life! If someone told be at the start of this year that I would have gone on a trip to Saudi Arabia, gone up the top of Kingdom tower, seen the camel markets and so much more, I probably would have wondered how much they had been smoking!

Saudi carLooking back at what we have achieved over these last few weeks, it’s pretty incredible.

From arriving and seeing the store still unfinished, to being open and breaking records in just a few days!

I’ve also made so many new friends here, including all the staff that I got to work with at the store. It’s a hard place to explain, like a modern western civilization that is stuck in the olden times.

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Kisses from camels

04:38pm 11 Dec 2012

BRAD JACKMAN

Last Tuesday the Kiwi BurgerFuel crew decided it would be a good day to go and visit the Camel Souk (market).

This place was incredible, there were loads of camels, of the one hump for those who were wondering.

There were all kinds of different coloured camels, white, tan, brown and black. I always thought there was only one colour!

One of the brown ones took a particular shine to me and tried to give me a peck on the cheek. [pictured]

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Playing tourist

02:55pm 05 Dec 2012

BRAD JACKMAN

The store is now open and the locals here just can't seem to get enough!!!

We are doing incredibly high averages, with Thursday (first day of the weekend here) being our busiest day!

We managed to take a day off on Saturday and made the most of our free time. We decided to go to Kingdom Tower and go right up to the top and have a look around. (Click here to see the photo gallery)

To get to the top of the tower we had to take 2 different elevators, one took 50 seconds and the other just less than 40.

Once we made it up to the top the views (see picture) were amazing. Once again I realised just how huge the city is. Locals are fond of telling us that it's growing day by day!

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Burgers, chocolate and crazy driving

04:20pm 28 Nov 2012

BRADLEY JACKMAN

My first week in Riyadh has already flown by and we're all trying our hardest to get everything sorted so the new store will ready to open [The store opened on Tuesday NZ time]. There's been a lot of sweat, no tears (yet) and elbow grease.

Sleep was paramount for me after I arrived, as I didn't get much on the plane. So to actually sleep fairly solidly for about 13 hours last Wednesday night was fantastic.

Riyadh at sunset.The working week goes from Saturday to Wednesday over here. Friday is a holy day in Saudi and work isn't allowed, so we got to experience what a weekend here is like.

It was almost unreal to see the roads so deserted as there was no-one around. Most of the shops did not open today until after 4pm, some even later.

One of the things that has amazed me so far on this journey is the food here! We got taken out by the guys we are working with to this local restaurant. It was crazy just how cheap everything was over here when converting back to New Zealand dollars. Also the servings are HUGE!

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Riyadh here I come!

04:07pm 22 Nov 2012

I started my journey to Saudi Arabia on Monday afternoon.

My first stop was Auckland, where I met Andy the franchisee of the Napier store, who was flying with me, and the general manager of BurgerFuel New Zelaand, who came to give us the low down on what to expect when we got to Saudi.

He briefed us on the culture, what to expect and gave us a heads up on the important people we needed to know.

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