Since 90% of the population of Dubai are expats (with over 200 different nationalities) it’s a question that is often asked and one that I find myself answering often. The answer is simple, I came back in 2008, originally for a three month work assignment, which got extended and lasted two years. At the end of the assignment I had fallen in love with Dubai and decided to stay. Seems I’m not alone! This is the story for many people that I know.
The post above was written after a trip to Thailand with a lot of travel bloggers, none of whom wanted to come to Dubai, mostly because of some incorrect preconceptions about Dubai. Having made my home here, I’m passionate about Dubai. It’s the place I call home, although ironically I will never be able to apply for or get citizenship. Regardless, it’s a place that has been good to me, given me some fantastic opportunities and a lovely lifestyle.
In this page, I’m highlighting some of the things that I love about Dubai. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
The Dubai Expat – My Dubai Story
And so the story goes …
Like many Expats here in Dubai, I came with an expectation that I would be here for a fixed time on a work secondment and would then head home two years later with a fab suntan and some amazing stories to share. With that in mind I headed to the furniture store full of Swedish flat packs and great meatballs and bought an apartment full of ‘temporary furniture’. You know the kind, good enough to do, but not the expensive stuff. Sure enough seven years later I’m still here and the ‘temporary furniture’ remains – so far it’s survived three house moves and is still going strong!
The ‘temporary’ secondment
If you are coming on a temporary secondment beware! This could happen to you too! You see I never did return to live in the UK – so now my UK temporary tenant has lived in my UK house longer than I have! Instead I fell in love with Dubai and at the end of my two year secondment I chose to stay. Dubai is the place I call home and intend to stay here for a while longer yet.
Dubai the land of opportunities
Dubai has afforded me some fantastic opportunities both on a personal and work basis. I’ve made some amazing new friends from all across the world. I have been involved in some great projects and initiatives and am proud to be a resident of Dubai. It’s an exciting time for Dubai at the moment, a tremendous amount of money is being invested in infrastructure and resources, the Expo 2020 is not too far away and every day I see something new from buildings to theme parks and of course restaurants and hotels.
The reality … it’s not all yachts !
If you are thinking of coming to Dubai for a holiday or trip or relocating here I urge you to ‘just do it’! Take advantage of all that Dubai offers from the 7 star VVIP experiences to the no star street side experiences. Party hard, if that’s your thing, but remember to save too, after all how often do you get to visit a tax free location? And don’t forget whilst our Instagram feeds might be full of yacht parties and exclusive dinners (well some of them are). we don’t do that everyday (well I don’t) and as well as the glitzy and glamorous things, that you see on your social media feeds, remember that we are just as likely to be at the dentist getting a root canal done, or queuing at the supermarket for grocery shopping. I will admit though in winter, we are probably at the beach, in the desert or outside Barbecuing to our heart’s content – with hardly a glance at the weather as we know it’s going to be hot, sunny and the skies cloud free!
Like any country, there’s a ton of ‘red tape’ that has to be handled when you arrive and when you go through your life here. I’m not going to attempt to cover much of that here as the rules, procedures and document requirements can and do change rapidly, and sometimes without any notice.
I do however recommend you do plenty of research before you come and connect with people where when you are trying to tackle the red tape, as you can guarantee someone has just gone through what you want to do, and they can share their tales, woes, and triumphs with you to help you along the way. I
relocated seven years ago when hardly anything was on-line. Since then there’s been a huge investment in technology and many processes can be done electronically. Here’s a site which I which provides a wealth of information which you may find useful with your research. It’s useful for those relocating or visiting.
Dealing with formalities
My best advice when dealing with the formalities, is to expect that it might take some time, to expect that you might not have all of the documents and have to make a return trip, to expect to hand over some money for the process to be undertaken. And if none of this happens and you sail right on through then good for you, the process will have exceeded your expectations and that’s always a great thing!
Getting a few things done.
Whilst I said I wouldn’t give advice, here are a few things which I’ve done recently which I want to share as they are current issues and they might help you out. The post on Visa Runs, is one of my most popular recent posts, if you find your visa about to expire then this could be the post for you.
About to relocate?
If you are thinking of moving to Dubai and need hints, tips, advice then please feel free to message me and I will do my very best to help out.
Always trying to keep it real – with a hint of excitement on the side