Life of an Expat

In 2010 my aunt and her family made a life changing decision and moved to Dubai after her husband was offered a job as a project manager on a new development site. 5 years on and they believe this was one of, if not the best, decision they’ve made for their family. Following my return from my second visit to Dubai in January, it’s easy to see why they feel this way. 

Traveling into work with my uncle my surroundings boast ground-breaking building structures, such as the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa) and the most expensive and luxurious cars and hotels imaginable. Despite the spectacular views, I believe that Dubai offers more than this. The excitement of living in a dynamic emerging market sparks an entrepreneurial spirit within people, whether they are just visiting or seeking out employment.

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Burj Khalifa

Dubai isn’t like any other emerging economy; they have built a first world city from sand. To the leaders and visionaries in Dubai there are no limits to what they can build and do in their country, to the point where they are extracting sand from the sea bed to build their own islands i.e. The Palm Island. Being surrounded by this sort of mind set, in my opinion, can only fuel your own motivation believing that anything is possible, including your dreams and aspirations. Personally this is one of the things that I love about Dubai; the spirit among the people and the constant display of luxury around you makes you want to strive for the best, instead of settling like most of us tend to do.

Known as the crane capital of the world, Dubai was once home to more than 25% of the world’s cranes so it is still a country very much ‘under-construction’. Therefore they are always looking to employ people, especially from abroad. One of the things I noticed was the large and vibrate expat community, much of the beach front restaurant & bars, the famous Jumeirah Beach Residence, malls, hotel sports clubs, the marina etc. are occupied by French, Spanish, American, African and a LOT of British expats. With amazing weather conditions all year round (excluding the summer months where it can reach 45-50 degrees), tax free income and growing financial service, tourism and construction industry I can definitely see what the attraction is.

T6The only thing I would say is due to cultural views there may be limited high rise job opportunities for women in Dubai. Many of the women I met were working as teachers, including my aunt, whilst the other women I saw were working as receptionists and shop assistants. I didn’t have any real exposure to the corporate world in Dubai however, so this view is quite skewed in that aspect. We all know that gender inequality in high management positions is a global issue and just like every other forward looking country I have been pleasantly surprised to see that the UAE as a whole has policies in place to combat this. Nonetheless there is still a lot to be done to remove the assumption that a woman’s role lies within the home. 

So if you’re a young professional looking to test the waters somewhere else or even if you have a family and you’re just tired of the 9-5 rat race in the UK or wherever you are, I would highly recommend a google search of ‘jobs in Dubai’. There are a large number of opportunities so there’s bound to be one that will suit your needs and preferences. They almost always come with perks like free accommodation, a car, free yearly return ticket to your home country and several other benefits depending on what company you work for. Dubai is ranked 3rd in the world by Natwest’s latest international personal banking quality life report, for the best quality of life for British expat’s so I’m almost certain you won’t be disappointed. Yet, if this isn’t enough to sway you to consider working there then at least it’s worth a visit to see what all the fuss is about.

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Atlantis The Palm

By Toro Kehinde

Twitter & Insta: Toro_ox

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Next edition: Monday 12th September

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