Exactly 18 months ago I had just returned back from a trip of a lifetime. I had decided to escape the gloomy weather of the UK for a short trip to Dubai and boy, was I impressed. After being picked up from the airport in the small hours of the morning, I found myself being stuck with the chattiest driver I had ever come across. “Do you live here Madam?”. That’s when I realised. I had barely even taken a breath of the warm Middle-Eastern air and already I was looking like a young child with their face stuck up against the window in awe of the Adult Playground waiting for me on the other side.
I couldn’t actually live here could I? Just pack my belongings up and go, on my own? I kept telling myself all of the reasons why I thought it wouldn’t be possible- I had a great job in London and a home with a regimented routine of commute, gym, work and bed.
3 months later, I packed my five (yes five) suitcases and made the jump. It was the best choice I have made, not only from a lifestyle perspective, but my career has been taken to a whole new level. Most people who I speak to throughout my working day since I have been based in Dubai, normally haven’t ever fathomed moving jobs, let alone moving whole families to the middle of the world. This is just one part of my job that I love, I have always spoken to candidates about why taking a particular job can most certainly improve their career, but now I have the opportunity to explain as to why just experiencing a whole new Country at the same time can ultimately change your life forever.
Digital is not dead
The Middle East wouldn't usually be the first place to spring to mind as being a ‘Hub’ for some of the most influential and successful tech businesses in the world. With the recent news of souq.com’s acquisition by Amazon and start-up’s such as Careem and Fetchr investing significantly in cutting edge Data Science technologies, it’s safe to say that this market is one which has gone through a noteworthy shake up in the past 12 months.
Getting around doesn’t cost an arm and a leg
Gone are the days where I would hesitantly have to spend over £120.00 a week on just getting to and from work. I feel lucky to say I am a 5-minute skip to the office (and also the beach!). However, If you do need to commute in the wonderful city of Dubai, you will be glad to hear that journeys in a Government taxi or on the air conditioned metro can cost around a quarter of London prices.
Yes, you heard me right! This doesn’t need much explaining, but what you earn is exactly what you get at the end of the month and it’s the best feeling EVER.
The Sun Forever Shines
This sounds like the most cliché statement a Brit will ever make, but seriously, you never feel like waking up is hard work and, wait for it- people really do say ‘Hello’ to one another in the morning.
You never feel unsafe
As a young woman, I would be lying if I had said I felt comfortable in the UK walking around on my own at night. The UAE has recently ranked at the 2nd safest place to live in the world. How safe Dubai is may be a slight shock, with keys left in cars and the engines running alongside unlocked vacant apartments throughout the city- it can surprise you at the best of times, but isn't this the way the World should be?
Diversity is King
With hundreds of nationalities in the region, you are instantly exposed to ways of life from lots of cultures around the world. Pretty much everyone you meet is in the same situation of having to relocate, so immediately you find yourself having something in common with the people around you. The Holy month of Ramadan is an awesome experience, with the opportunity to celebrate Eid with incredible firework displays on the beachfront and mouth-watering Iftars, it’s a time not to be missed. A great sense of community is significant during this time of year too, with fridge sharing incentives taking place for those less fortunate than some.
I could go on all day about the benefits of relocating to Dubai but all in all, Dubai is now a place I can call ‘Home’. Whilst it can take some time to properly settle in, moving here most certainly wouldn’t be something you will end up regretting.
If you would like a conversation about opportunities in Digital Marketing in the Middle East, feel free to drop me a note on Linkedin or firstname.lastname@example.org