Is it time for a move? We’ve all sat at our desks on a Monday morning dreaming of a new adventure – whether it be to “semigrate” for those not ready to take the full plunge, or just to try out your skills in a completely new country.
As Dubai gears itself up for the future, we are seeing a number of expats choosing the largest emirate in the UAE as their number one working destination.
But why would so many tech specialists be moving to Dubai? And what’s it like to live and work there?
If you’re considering being part of the number one fastest growing tech hub in the world, then here’s what you should know about living and working in Dubai.
For starters, their rich culture won’t be what a typical Westerner will be used to, but that’s not a bad thing. The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country with an ancient heritage that they are extremely proud of and have strict laws that protect it. But whether you like trawling markets, camel-riding or 4×4 driving on the dunes, lounging at the poolside of a resort, or trawling a multi-story mall you will never be short of something new to experience.
Dubai itself has become a melting pot of cultures as it draws on the skills of people from all over the world, and an acceptance of other religious practices. There are a few Christian churches as well as Sikh temples in the area, for example.
While new cultures can take some getting used to, it is a life-changing experience to see how other cultures and religions celebrate important events and It can take some time getting used to a new culture, during the holy month of Ramadan, businesses and work can come to a standstill. Even some restaurants will be closed during the day but far from feeling excluded from the events as an ex-pat, families will warmly welcome you into their homes and teach you everything you need to know about life in the Emirates.
Thankfully English is a common language found in Dubai and is understood by most people, but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t attempt to learn some Arabic. The locals are extremely friendly and eager to connect, which makes sense when you realise that 15-20% of the people living there are actually Emirati! The rest is made up of expats, and it’s not uncommon for expats to use social media to arrange meetups for coffee. As you can imagine moving to a new country can be quite lonely, so it’s important to set up support groups early on into your trip.
Dubai is a great city and its nightlife (which doesn’t start until 9 pm) is incredibly lively and there will often be big-name parties or entertainment. Plus, on Tuesdays, it’s ladies’ night (cue Kool & The Gang), and that means free drinks or hefty discounts on food. Just keep in mind that if you do decide to get hammered, public drunkenness is severely frowned upon and can get you into a lot of trouble.
Rule number one, respect their laws and customs.
FINDING A JOB IN DUBAI
In terms of IT job opportunities in Dubai, opportunities are endless and a tax-free salary enticing! As it’s ‘smart-city’ initiative, it opens up the opportunity for young entrepreneurs and the skilled workforce to contribute to the development of this mega-city. Recruitment is often done from outside the country as recruits come from all over the world to experience the pulse of the rapid growth of the industry in Dubai. So, interviews can be done online.
DUBAI IS ALWAYS IN DEVELOPMENT
Let’s think back a little, in 1991, there was only one skyscraper in Dubai. Just one. Now, almost 30 years later, there are over 200 buildings that are over 100 meters in height! Here’s a quick fact: it is said that Dubai has currently employed 25% of the world’s cranes! They are on a mission to become the biggest and ‘smartest’ cities in the world. The next ‘future city’ will look to Dubai for inspiration and they are truly leading by example! With the World’s Tallest Building, the biggest man-made island and the largest shopping mall all in one city, it’s a sign even BIGGER things to come!
We know moving jobs, moving cities or even emigrating is scary, daunting and will always pose personal challenges that you will inevitably have to face. Do your research and be open to the experience. When moving to Dubai for work, remember that you are not the only one in the city to do it, you’ll make friends with your colleagues who will help you adjust to a new culture and wonderful enriching new adventure.
Acuity has just opened a branch in Dubai, so if you’re looking for a change or just want to chat about the idea, then give us a call anytime and we will happily discuss your career goals and provide some insights into the job market in this phenomenal part of the world.