We recently caught up with Spanish expat Javier Dominguez, who moved to Malaysia from his home country of Spain almost three years ago. He’s attached to Tecnicas Reunidas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, working as the country manager for Malaysia. The company is an international oil engineering and general contracting company which engages in the design, engineering, and construction of industrial facilities, principally related to oil and gas.
Javier, who calls himself a ‘young grandpa’ (and certainly looks the part, too), has three grown children and he came to Malaysia alone. Though he had never been to Malaysia before, Javier has found the country and Greater KL, where he lives and works, to be a pleasant and enjoyable surprise after initially doing all his background research online.
“I’ve travelled extensively, and also lived in many major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Madrid, and others. After settling in KL, I felt it was much better and more enjoyable to live here than I had initially expected.” – Javier
So was the expectation bad? “No, no,” he replied with a laugh, “but you can never really know what to expect a place to be like until you’re actually there. And after reading things online and hearing stories from friends, I can say that the reality is even better than what I had in my mind. My impression of Greater KL is very positive. It’s a modern, cosmopolitan city that offers so much – people here should have nothing to envy from other world cities!”
Much of Javier’s day-to-day living takes place in and around KLCC, but he said he likes going to other parts of the city whenever he can, too, making special mention of places like Bangsar, Damansara, and Chinatown and Little India. “There’s a lot to do here,” he remarked. “I really never get tired of just messing around and exploring.”
We also touched on the business aspects of living in Greater KL, and Javier had high praise for the city’s role as a base as a regional hub. “It’s a great business environment,” he noted. “You have at hand all the services a foreign company needs to perform at the highest standards. Moreover, Greater KL’s location within the region is outstanding, and the city offers competitive prices on goods and services, and seems to offer social, legal, and political stability. I think Malaysia has a lot to be proud of, and companies like InvestKL are doing fantastic work abroad in promoting the country and attracting multinationals to come here.”
Javier also made mention of the quality of life that expats can enjoy in Greater KL, making special mention of the leisure, cultural, and social activities, and naming the performances by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra that he regularly attends as one of his favourite pastimes.
And the travel opportunities are seemingly neverending. “It’s wonderful to take advantage of the chance to visit so many of the diverse, enchanting places nearby. My favourite destinations here are Melaka, Penang, Cameron Highlands, Johor Bahru, and Kuala Terengganu.” We pointed out that Javier sounds like he might have more domestic travel under his belt than many Malaysians, and he couldn’t help but add, “Well, I also love the islands here, like Langkawi, Tioman, the Perhentians, and many more.”
We asked Javier what his final thoughts on life in Greater KL as an expat and whether he’d recommend it to others, and we figured we knew the answer already: a resounding yes! “I would definitely recommend Greater KL as it’s a very good environment for business and personal life,” he told us. “It’s really just a fantastic cosmopolitan city all around. I live very comfortably here.”
And then, perhaps paying the city the ultimate expat compliment, Javier concluded, “I feel that when I return to Kuala Lumpur after travelling abroad, I’ve come back to my home.”
Source: The Expat magazine December 2017
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