Reasons To Be Cheerful,1-2-3
Why should you consider relocating to live and work in Dubai when realistically you can probably earn pretty much the same in your home country where the cost of living may be lower?
Well - here are a few reasons that ultimately persuaded myself and some of my colleagues to make the move to the ‘metropolis in the desert’, I am sure there are others, but a few to inspire you for now.
Safety - there are no controlled compounds here or restrictions on going out in the evening and as far as children are concerned the gang youth culture that exists in other parts of the world and can be quite intimidating is non-existent here and parents can take comfort from the fact that it is safe for their kids to take a taxi on their own or walk to the shop and back.
Quality of life - Dubai does appeal to a wide range of people from various backgrounds & ages, you are never stuck for things to do here whether it be treading the tourist track or discovering pockets of traditional culture, not to mention the numerous eateries/pubs and clubs if that is your thing.
The UAE Nationals are extremely hospitable and friendly individuals and it seems to be the norm here for ex-pats to have at least 1 Emirati association/friend and really it’s a must-do if you get the opportunity to go for a meal with them at their home, use it as an opportunity to ask them about their customs – they will be more than happy to explain.
Dubai is a real ex-pat hub and it’s very easy to meet like-minded people, the world itself is ever shrinking and you wouldn’t believe how often you bump into people from your home town/places in the UK you know – it happens all the time. Be aware though that Dubai is transient so don’t expect to make friends for life here they will come and go.
Rules/Law - just abide by them/it, as you would expect to anywhere else in the world, it’s very simple really and if you do you will have a great time here, if you don’t – well, expect the consequences.
Living costs, well best to compare like for like, look at your current situation and how it can be replicated here.All salaries are tax-free, however things like supermarket shopping, restaurants & housing can be more expensive so be realistic about how you want to live while you work here and you will find something to suityour budget I am sure. There are also a multitude of deals available on dining out and activities so you cannot fail to make the most of the region.
The weather - yep, it can get extremely hot, there is no getting away from that – however, pretty much everywhere is air-conditioned. For the majority of the year the weather is really nice and it provides the perfect opportunity for evenings/weekends spent outside. And the hotter months? July to September? Well – use it as an opportunity to go home for a couple of weeks or holiday somewhere else in the world. Stick to in-door activities if you stay and honestly the cool weather will once again kick in before you know it and you will wonder what all the fuss was about...
Medical care - It is now mandatory for all ex-pats to have extensive and comprehensive medical insurance provided by their employer – the hospitals here are state of the art with doctors and practitioners attracted to work for them from all over the world, you can’t walk for more than 5 minutes in Dubai in any direction without passing a clinic or pharmacy and a large number of medications are available over the counter.
Schools - Well, spoilt for choice really, there are British schools, International Schools and numerous Academies and you cannot fail to find the ideal nurturing environment for your precious little ones, let’s face facts however, schools here can be expensive and if you are used to the state system in your own country I am afraid that does not exist here for expats so be sure to check out with your employer if a schooling allowance is provided or your package covers the extra that will be needed to cover the fees.
Banks - The banking system here is pretty good with a wide range of banks both Islamic and non-Islamic offering various facilities to save your money and make transfers to your home country or off -shore, it’s reasonably straight forward to set up an account and a variety of credit cards/loans/car financing is readily available, there is an amount of red-tape so to speak and when doing life-admin in Dubai several documents do need to be produced – just keep a file of stuff and bring it out when need, it does become second nature.
And finally Alcohol - Yes this is permitted in bars and hotels (licensed establishments) and as an ex-pat you can apply for an alcohol license that grants you access to one of the many discreet liquor stores in various locations in Dubai so you can stock up at home. These are fairly easy to acquire as long as you have your file of frequently used documents you will be ready to go.
So to summarise – there really are plenty of reasons to be cheerful about a move to Dubai, I have been here for nearly 8 years and certainly haven’t exhausted everything this place has to offer quite yet. It really needn’t be scary to make the move here, and remember your employer and colleagues are always on hand to lend advice and support to make the transition as easy and enjoyable as possible – see you soon.