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Alumna interview: property power businesswoman Elaine Jones

We are delighted to interview Elaine Jones (née Radford, class of 1975) FRICS. Elaine was honoured as Middle East Woman of the Year in 2007 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in 2012. She was ranked number 84 on the Forbes List – Power Businesswomen in the Middle East 2020.  

How long have you been working in the Middle East? 
I married in 1980 after a visit to Dubai and moved there, despite my two-year plan to return to the UK.  Both my children, Kaitlin (29, a business consultant) and Ed (26, a racing driver) were born there. 

What has your career path been? 
I left CLSG in 1975 to become a business apprentice at Rolls Royce Aero Engine Division – the first City girl to leave the school straight for industry.   

I began my property career with Cluttons and in 1985 started Asteco Property Management LLC. Over 40 years it grew to become highly successful in asset management, valuation and advisory services and real estate transactions throughout the Emirates. I completed its sale to Provis (owned by Aldar PJSC) in January 2021. 

What was the most rewarding aspect of your work in this industry? 
When I started Asteco, the property landscape in Dubai was small and limited to ownership by nationals, rented to expats. In 1980 the population of the UAE was approximately one million, but today it is almost ten million, with over 220 nationalities. To have grown a property business during this dynamic period of huge economic growth and shocking declines and to have seen first-hand conflict and peace initiatives in the region has been a privilege.