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30 November 2008
Out with the old
AGA ADK’s regional director,
Danny Oneissi, shows us around
his agency’s “operation room”
AT 32, Danny Oneissi is pretty young to be the building was old and we were sitting the Red Bull account at Saatchi. When I left my friends are here. I don’t have that feeling
the regional director of an internationally af- on each others’ laps by the time we left. We they were very disappointed and they gave in Lebanon.”
filiated agency. Dubai-based AGA teamed needed a bigger space. And we needed a me this as a token of appreciation. I really Still, the stone is, he says, his favourite of-
up with Japan’s ADK in 2006, and Oneissi new work environment. People were fed up. feel proud. So many people have asked me fice nick-nack.
returned from a two-year spell at Saatchi & You come to the same crappy office every- if they can have it, but… no. I can’t put a “Oh. Along with Taz,” he adds quickly,
Saatchi to the agency where he began his day, it’s not good.” price on this.” picking up a cup with the Warner Bros. car-
career in 1997. toon Tasmanian Devil on it. “He’s been with
Looking round his office at the bare walls me 11 years. Since the first day I joined AGA.
and plush sofa, though, it’s clear that Oneis- We actually thanked them when they said they Taz was ‘in’ at that time. I took him with me
si—young as he may be—is a serious busi-
nessman. “I have a lot of meetings,” he says.
were knocking the old Garhoud office down.
to Saatchi and then back here. I could never
give him away.”
“Client meetings, media meetings, internal
People were fed up. It was a big problem.
There’s a bit of the kid in Oneissi yet.
meetings. This is the operations room of the
agency. All the decisions are discussed here.”
It’s something of a relief for Oneissi to
have an impressive environment in which ‘Crappy’ certainly doesn’t apply to the Pride of place, though, goes to a stone
to meet his clients. AGA ADK moved to its new place. “I like the expression you see on tile, on which is engraved a map of
Dubai Media City headquarters at the Ar- people’s faces when we tell them where the Lebanon. “A friend gave it to me as a
jaan Complex in January. Before that, it was office is,” says Oneissi. “It is an impressive gift. It’s just a reminder of home,” he
in Garhoud—something of a step down. building. And it’s impressive inside as well. explains, before rethinking the ‘home’
“We actually thanked them when they We spent a lot on our décor and stuff.” bit. Oneissi was raised in Dubai and
said they were knocking [the old office] Not that it’s all business in Oneissi’s of- has lived here all his life. “It’s a strange
down,” he says. “It was a big problem. Most fice, though. He has found time to add a feeling when I go to Lebanon. Once
of our clients are around Jebel Ali and the few personal touches. Like the Red Bull I’ve been there for five or 10 days, I
Media City area and they just couldn’t fridge. “Very exclusive. There are only 1,000 have to come back. I feel that this is my
come over; parking was hell—a disaster; of them in the world,” he says. “I worked on home. It’s natural, I grew up here. All
RELAX: AGA ADK’s slightly off-kilter lounge area TROPHY CABINET: The agency’s sleek reception area
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