From having $300 in pocket to now selling Dh2b in luxury properties in the UAE, a Russian expat’s journey

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Starting as a hotel receptionist at age 19, basketballer turns realty agency owner at 23

Nikita Kuznetsov played professional-level basketball when growing up in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk (south Russia). About four years after coming to the UAE, he started a premium real estate agency in 2012.

Dubai: When Nikita Kuznetsov first came to the UAE in 2008, the Russian expat was only 19 years old. Kuznetsov, who played professional-level basketball when growing up in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk (south Russia), decided to take a flight to Sharjah with just about $300 (Dh1,000) in his pocket.

I heard about Dubai through a friend who told me it was an exciting place with lots of work opportunities. When I first worked at the reception of a hotel in Sharjah, I didn’t speak any English, but 80 per cent of the guests were Russian at the time and I was the only Russian speaker

said Kuznetsov.

My salary was low and I began making friends with the local tour guides. They seemed to have better perks so I joined a tour company and quickly became a tour guide. One day, one of the tour guides joined a real estate company and said that I should join him.

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