Our first impression of Dubai wasn’t great. When we landed and got into our car, the drive to the hotel surprised us. Dubai looked ugly! A sand-covered, hot and misty city – not nearly as impressive as we expected. Considering we promote the city, this was NOT what we wanted to be thinking…
Each day was full of meetings and it wasn’t long before we learned a few things about Dubai that we knew would be useful to our candidates.
1. Don’t assume you can rely on the taxi drivers
Driving out here takes some getting used to: people drive fast! And taxi drivers… It would be reasonable to assume you can rely on them, but DON’T! They have no idea where they are going and the travel might be cheap (£10 or 60 Dhs for a 25-minute drive) but without a map and some really clear directions you could be spending far longer in a cab than expected!
2. If your flight lands early, book an early hotel check in
The other thing we very quickly realised was hotels don’t check you in until 3pm local time so if you’re landing and planning on jettisoning the luggage, freshening up and going to meetings, don’t make the same mistake we did. Request an early check in or book your interviews for the day after you land.
3. Be prepared to put yourself out there
If you want to live in Dubai and don’t have a network of friends, you need to have a confident and outgoing personality and put yourself out there. Join the gym or sports clubs, walk into a bar and get chatting, attend events, or just knock on your neighbour’s door. Whatever it takes, you’ll need to be prepared to make friends.
4. Commuting out here is slick and easy
The transport network in Dubai is impressive. Don’t ever let distance be a limiting factor because you can live 30 minutes away and pay £10 in a cab to get there, travel the length of the metro for £4 return and from November the new tram line will be finished so another way to get around is on its way! Travel is convenient, cheap and easy here – and that means about 25% of your daily stress can be forgotten!
5. Shop around before renting a place
The best way to find available rooms and apartments is using a site like sellbuyhub.com Renting somewhere should always be done after you have viewed all your options. Another tip for you – when it comes to setting up your utility bills make sure you give yourself at least 2 hours. The process is lengthy – and if you happen to remember, always ask the person serving you how long to the end of his/her shift because if he is about to clock off but has taken most of your details, you go to the back of the queue again! Very frustrating!
6. Setting up a bank account & getting a visa
Obtaining your visa will be managed by your new employer & apart from degree attestation ( degree not essential) and 12 passport photo’s there is nothing to do before you land. Our clients are our clients because they take a lot of time to carefully integrate our candidates and that includes helping you to set up your bank account and completing the final stages of the visa process. Help will be at hand and you won’t have to worry about figuring this out when you are new to Dubai.
7. Keep your eye on the goal
Sun, sea and sand are a significant feature of life out here, but the people making the most of the buoyant market didn’t come here for the weather. The lifestyle is a bonus, but not a motivator. They’re ambitious, career-focused and financially secure recruiters with a plan. Recruiters who’ve been out here for 2 years + have already saved impressive amounts of money. Some as much as 120k for a rainy day!
8. But all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy!
Everyone needs a day off, right?! There’s so much to do by day and night here that you can never be bored! During the day you can go riding across the desert on an Arab, Dune Buggy riding, jet skiing, water skiing, snowboarding, attend international sporting events, brunches and so much more! The nightlife in Dubai offers such a range of things to do. Most of the major hotels have amazing bars and events for you to attend, and some of the best DJs in the world play in Dubai’s array of breath-taking clubs and venues – that’s worth a ticket! Irish bars, champagne bars, beach bars, sport bars…. You’ll never be out of options.
As we landed we were underwhelmed and as we were leaving we were brimming with enthusiasm for the career UK recruiters can make for themselves out here. We know now that Dubai isn’t ugly, it’s amazing!
Just remember coming to Dubai shouldn’t be about the beach, the heat, long lost friends or brunches! It should be about career and opportunity.
By Kate Hayward