Fleetwood's sunsets are the best says Dubai-based, award winning media professional
It has the world’s highest building, a five star hotel with a huge built-in aquarium, and an extraordinary palm-shaped man-made island, but there’s one thing Dubai has not got – Fleetwood’s sunsets.
Media professional Gregg Fray, whose family live in the port town, said despite living in one of the most luxurious and cosmopolitan cities in the world, the port sunsets back home – seen from the Promenade – are the best in the world.
Gregg, who has just won a global award for his work with his firm Seven Media, said his children still love to visit the Fylde coast.
Gregg, 43, who went to Fleetwood High School, used to work at The Gazette and its sister title the Lancashire Post in Preston, where he served in a variety of roles including reporting on local politics and crime.
He first travelled to the United Arab Emirates in 2007 when he was employed to set up a newspaper there called The National.
He then launched public relations agency Seven Media in Abu Dhabi in 2010 and has since grown the company – which provides PR, video production and digital marketing services – to a staff of more than 80.
Since Seven Media launched in 2010, he has continuously served as a director of the agency, which has clients including BMW, Manchester City Football Club, Formula One, Hilton Worldwide, and the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
Along with his business partner Matt Slater, from Macclesfield, Fray was commended for work steering the agency to success in the turbulent times brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and setting industry standards.
Fray’s company Seven Media also picked up awards for campaigns including a project for the Government which raised one billion United Arab Emirates Dirham (Around £195m) to help the community of Abu Dhabi recover from the effects of Covid.
Seven Media was also recognised as a ‘Game Changer’ for its work with WWE Wrestling in Saudi Arabia.
Gregg said: “I was at The Gazette from 1999 to 2001.
“I started as a general reporter then was made ‘political reporter’, which was a rather grand title but had great fun covering Blackpool Council stories. After that I went to the LEP as crime reporter.”
Stints in Liverpool and Wales in various editor roles followed.
“It was there I was offered the chance by ex-Telegraph editor Martin Newland to join him as a launch editor of The National in Abu Dhabi,” Gregg said.
“I moved there in 2007 and launched the paper in 2008 where I worked as national editor until 2010.
“That’s when myself and Matt Slater launched Seven Media as 50/50 partners.
“Since moving to the UAE, it’s been an incredible experience. The National actually taught me a lot about journalism but it was story telling – which, for me, all started at The Gazette – that has helped define the spirit of Seven Media.
“I’ve learned so much about the world, Arab culture, and have had experiences I’d never have had if I didn’t take the chance.
“I have a penthouse in Dubai’s City Walk and have really built a great life here.
“But something always draws me back home and I spend lots of time each year in Fleetwood, which my kids love. I’ve just bought a place on the seafront there, in fact.
“Wherever I go in the world I tell everybody: ‘You’ll never see a nicer sunset anywhere in the world than what you see from Fleetwood prom.”
From his Dubai balcony, Gregg can see the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and is close to the 17,000-seater the Coca-Cola Arena.
Dubai, which has a population of around 3.4 million people, also boasts Palm Island, the man-made archipelago resort off its coast.
It is also the location of the five star Atlantis The Palm Hotel and its amazing aquarium and nearby water park. Other landmarks include the Burj Al Arab hotel, designed in the shape of a sailing ship’s sail, and the Dubai Fountain.
Gregg added: “We’re so grateful to pick up such prestigious awards and to have placed the company in a strong position to keep driving forward through a rapidly changing media landscape.”
Blackpool Gazette: Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here