Before becoming a recruiter, I had a career in professional services marketing & BD and one of the best decisions I ever made for my career was moving to Dubai. It was never part of my life plan to live and work overseas but then an opportunity came to me while attending a Women in Business event in Adelaide in 2006 and a year later, I landed in Dubai. I’d never been to Dubai and I didn’t know anyone there either. My plan was to stay for a year and then return home – 12 years later, I finally came back!
As BD and Marketing Director for local legal powerhouse, Al Tamimi & Company, I was exposed to some incredible opportunities. During my 8 years working with Al Tamimi, the firm doubled in size. I was involved in launching 8 offices across 9 countries and with that growth, had the opportunity to build and lead a fantastic BDMC team across the Middle East.
I’m often asked what was the best thing about living and working in Dubai. So here I go:
It’s truly global
Dubai is a global melting pot representing over 200 nationalities and you’ll therefore be working with a team of professionals representing many of those. This brings the opportunity to broaden your experience and knowledge as everyone brings so much diversity in experience and thinking. It also gives you the opportunity to learn so much more about different backgrounds and cultures. I loved this aspect of life in Dubai and formed many lifelong friendships with wonderful people from all over the world.
There are hundreds of flights leaving Dubai international airport daily which also means that the opportunity to travel and see our amazing world are endless. I travelled to parts of the world that I would never imagined and because it’s all so close, you don’t need to use all of your annual leave in one hit to take a trip!
Anything is possible
Given the incredibly fast pace at which things change in the Middle East, firms really do take an ‘anything is possible’ approach to business. This means that at any given time, you could be working on a number of really exciting projects. Innovation is always encouraged as are your ideas. Stepping out of your comfort zone is always supported too which ultimately supports your development. Warning: if you do present a great idea and it’s adopted, be prepared to get started on it – pronto!
Competitive salaries and benefits (and they’re tax free!)
Salaries are competitive and very appealing and are also tax free. Employers provide health insurance for their employees and depending on the firm and/or level of your role, this may also be provided for your family. Firms will also provide a return flight home each year too. Benefits vary between firms as they do in most parts of the world. As with any country you’re planning to move to however, I would encourage you to research living expenses so there aren’t any surprises especially with regards to education and housing. In terms of being able to live and work there, your residency is employer sponsored which is a mostly seamless process.
Safety is a key factor when deciding to live and work abroad. When announcing to my family that I was moving to Dubai, the first question I was asked was ‘is it safe?’ And after 12 years of living there, I can very confidently say YES! One of the Government’s key priorities is to create a safe and secure environment for all residents in its pursuit to provide an investor friendly destination.
If you’d like to join the many successful BD and marketing professionals working in the region, let’s have a chat. With my experience, networks and contacts in Dubai, I can very quickly establish if there’s an opportunity for you to make a move so please get in touch. And I’d love to share my personal experience of life in Dubai.
Photo credit: Margot Visser, my fabulous friend and photographer (Instagram: @photos_by_marguerite)