Relocating for work can actually help your career because it’s frequently easier to get a job abroad. This is especially true if you are in a really competitive sector that requires years and years of experience before gaining a position that pays well. Some of the other ways that going abroad for work can be an advantage for your career is by improving your cultural awareness, helping you save, boosting your resume and increasing your personal network.
If you’re planning to go abroad, then there’s no better place to immigrate to than Dubai because the city-state is famous for its luxurious lifestyle and average of five days of rain per year.
But, is Dubai all it’s broken up to be? Here are a few things you should know before you move to this foreign Eastern country.
1. Socializing Is Costly
One of the primary things you should know before moving to Dubai is that everything they say about this city-state is true: it is the playing field of the likes of the Kardashians and as such, lavishness is all around you. The whole country is built to cater to the precise needs of rich people which means that if you’re not careful of what you’re spending you could end up spending your salary very quickly. Eating and drinking in restaurants can be quite costly and although you’ll be intrigued by all the magnificient restaurants don’t make yourself a recurrent patron.
2. The Weekend moves from Friday to Saturday
Rather than getting Sunday blues, here your Saturdays are blues. Aside from this minor detail, there are no genuine differences to the weekend. One fastidious expat tradition is brunch, but it’s not like any other brunch you’ve been to. Occurs on Friday afternoon (the weekend in the United Arab Emirates runs from Friday to Saturday), an enormous buffet of 5 star food is obtainable to you for a fixed charge. There is everything to indulge in like lobster, oysters and steaks to macaroons, truffles and cocktails. Champagne will be popping and you’ll leave feeling the fullest you ever have, before moving to an after party to dance the night away to its fullest tune.
3. It may Get Stressful
Although Dubai is the most advancing place in the UAE, things are inexorably very different here, which often leads newcomers to stress and depression. Being so far away from home can be hard, especially if you’ve never lived away from your friends or family in the past and getting familiar to this new culture can take a while. The key is to be grateful for the opportunity to experience something so different and make making friends your main concern as soon as you get there.
4. It’s More Than a Desert
With only five days of rain per year, you’d most likely think that relocating to Dubai would mean moving to a plain desert, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, there are a lot of parks you can enjoy all around the city, while outside the city you can also observe mountains.
5. It’s definitely not Boring
One of the rewards for the expats is that life in Dubai never gets boring. There’s always something occurring, and as the city caters to the rich, all of the events going on are bound to leave you in admiration. Bear in mind that this is also home to the major malls in the world which features literally thousands of restaurants and shops.
6. Being Late Is usual
This can be one of the worst aspects of working in Dubai as it’s generally the rule in Western countries to be punctual for business functions. Here things are usual as people are late everywhere and that’s not only accepted, but it’s also expected, particularly in professional environments.
7. The High Cost of Living Is compensated by High Salaries
Unlike cities like London that are unreasonably expensive and make living there impossible, Dubai Salaries equal the, admittedly, high cost of living. Therefore, you’ll be able to live more than contentedly throughout your stay.
8. Ramadan Is Observed and It Will have an impact on You
As Dubai is a Muslim country, Ramadan, the main Muslim religious holiday, is observed. The Ramadan is a month long, and during this time people must withdraw from drinking and eating during the day. As Ramadan is the holiest Muslim holiday it also influences businesses; office hours are frequently shortened, many restaurants remain closed and alcohol is not served at all.
9. Being Respectful to the Local Culture Is Important
Because Dubai is one of the most advanced cities in the world, it can often be easy to overlook the local culture is very different. It’s imperative to respect the culture throughout your time here. Bear in mind that in your first few weeks you’ll be woken up by the call to prayer and that people take time off work to pray. It’s also very common for people to go to work wearing the national dress.
10. The temperature soars high during the summers
If you come from a very cold and rainy country this may sound like music to your ears, but remember that you’ll never get familiar to the hot Dubai summers. Although ac units make things better inside, it’s small things like getting out of your car (most parking spaces are underground) that will make you understand that there is such a thing as too hot.
11. Get yourself ready for a Non-Hectic Lifestyle
One of the advantages of moving to Dubai, a huge financial centre, is that you won’t get the type of hectic lifestyle you’d experience elsewhere. Not everyone is running, you don’t have to stuff yourself up into the tube every morning, and everyone is more laid back.
12. There’s a vast Expat Community
While this doesn’t make you think that you should only make friends with expats, it can be quite comforting to know that there’s a community that has gone through the exact same process as you and is ready to help you with everything you might need when you first get to the country.
13. It’s a secured Place to Live
In spite of the fact that Dubai attracts many millionaires from across the world, it remains a safe place to live. In fact, nobody seems to worry about crime rates, and it’s not unusual to see expensive cars kept running while the owners pop into a shop.
14. Driving Can Be a bit dangerous
One of the disadvantages of moving to Dubai is that you’ll need to deal with dangerous driving on a daily basis. Drivers tend to be unpredictable which inevitably leads to many traffic accidents. Of course, you can always try the metro or the bus and avoid the road rage altogether.
15. Absence of NHS
Another difficulty of living in Dubai is that there’s no national healthcare system which means that you’ll have to get private healthcare. Fortunately many companies offer it as a standard perk for their employees.
16. The Palm is just underwhelming
Town planners, take note of it: a palm is not a suitable shape for an island. The traffic! If you’re staying on one of the fronds, it’ll take you an additional half-hour to get to Dubai Marina or Downtown – aka Dubai’s fun bits.
17. There is plenty of alcohol
And it is sufficient. The sale of alcohol is confined to hotel restaurants, bars and clubs, which might sound odd but in reality it’s not. From pubs with great live music to high-end Champagne bars, there’s a watering hole to suit each occasion. Ask your gatekeeper for recommendations, or consult Time Out Dubai.
When catching a taxi or walking home, make sure you’re not superbly drunk. This is severely frowned upon, and can lead to police interference. Keep it elegant.
18. Kissing is unfamiliar
Avoid smooching in public, as this will attract useless attention too. This include nightclubs, hotels, the back of taxis and the beach. We’ve all heard the stories of couples being arrested for “having sex” in the public places. A easy kiss in public can get you in just as much trouble.
19. The spas are amazing
Even the pickiest spa devotee will find something to write home about – and for those unfamiliar to luxury spas, well, nothing will quite measure up after Dubai.
Avoid the beauty clinics you discover in the malls (although they do a fine mani-pedi), and head to the luxury hotels instead – they’re pricey but it’s worth. Jumeriah Zabeel Saray and The Palace Downtown Dubai are particularly awesome, and (in summer especially) there are a lot of discounts to be had.
20. Malls will excite you a lot
Ignore the people who inhale at Dubai’s epic malls. Sure, they’re not “culturally-enriching”, but they are great enjoyable. Aquariums, ski slopes, ice rinks, cinema and many more. It’s simple to lose a day in one of these glittering temples of capitalism. Dubai Mall is the most epic, with a whole ‘district’ (district!) loyal to shoes.