Dubai is a vibrant city that attracts professionals from all over the world. The hot summer and mild winter, luxurious living and easy access to most parts of the world make it an ideal destination for a new place to call home.
In addition, the city has quickly become a thriving tech hub, with tax-free incomes, high salaries and, of course, a fantastic lifestyle.
However, we know that weighing the pros and cons of moving abroad is not always easy. There is a lot to consider, from job opportunities to your income and the lifestyle the new location can offer you. That said, there is nothing better than hearing from someone who has been there and done it.
We interviewed Sayna Tehrani, Principal Consultant at Discovered Mena, who the Doherty Group supported to make the leap from London to Dubai for a new job in recruitment.
What's it like to live in Dubai as a Recruiter? - Sayna Tehrani Insights
Why did you choose Dubai as your new home?
I've always had an incredible time in Dubai as a holiday destination, and it left such an impression on me that I couldn't help but envision myself living there permanently. I decided to turn that dream into a reality, and now, every day feels like a permanent holiday.
What do you like most about living in Dubai?
I love that Dubai offers both city & beach life, everything is within close proximity, and the year-round sunshine adds to the charm. The cherry on top is the added bonus of tax-free benefits.
What are the main differences between your lifestyle back home and where you live now?
Having previously lived in London, the weather has had a huge impact on my lifestyle. My weekends feel like a never-ending holiday and with a constant influx of new and exciting activities and attractions. Boredom is simply not an option. Secondly, my daily commute is now a sunny 20-minute walk, rather than the one-and-a-half-hour journey involving multiple modes of public transportation that I had to endure in London. I have really benefitted from the financial rewards of living in Dubai, allowing me to save, go on nice holidays and live comfortably.
What aspects of the lifestyle in Dubai were most attractive to you when deciding to move?
The weather - I never check the weather app in Dubai, whereas I would always check when I used to live in London. Plus the idea of being able to enjoy a blend of cosmopolitan city life and beachfront relaxation.
How do you balance your work and personal life, and what are some of your favourite activities to do outside of work?
I can easily fit in a morning spin class or gym session before work. Even after a long day at work, the warm and bright evenings in Dubai have allowed me to take a dip in my building's swimming pool (pretty much all apartments in Dubai have a swimming pool in the building). Since moving to Dubai, I have also taken up a new hobby of Wave surfing.
Do you see yourself having a better quality of life than back home? If yes, why?
Yes - I have SO much more free time, so much more activities, hobbies, and different places to go to compared to back home.
What do you miss most about back home, and how have you found ways to cope with homesickness?
Friends and Family, but I catch up pretty regularly on Facetime with them, so I do not feel as though I'm missing out on much and worse case, it's only a 6-hour flight back.
What concerns, if any, did you have about relocating to Dubai?
None, to be honest.
Have you considered the different cultural norms and traditions in Dubai and how they may impact your work?
I don't feel there's a huge difference, Dubai is pretty relaxed than people think. During Ramadan, we work reduce hours, which does affect work slightly but apart from this, this is the only difference.
How is the social scene and how do you connect with new people and build a social life?
The majority are expats in Dubai; therefore, the atmosphere is very welcoming and inclusive, making it easy to meet new people and form friendships. Whether it's joining Facebook groups or fitness classes, there are numerous opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your social circle.
One of the great things about making friends in Dubai is the rapidity with which you can build a network. Once you've connected with one person, you'll soon find yourself being introduced to their friends and acquaintances, and before you know it, you'll have a whole new circle of friends.
What are your thoughts on the local transportation system?
It's great, there are scooters and bikes always spotted around nearby, and taxis are incredibly cheap and to hop on a train, costs next to nothing when compared to UK prices.
What are your thoughts on the local healthcare system?
Fairly good but can't comment as I haven't had to use the healthcare system much.
How do you envision your career evolving in Dubai, and what are your long-term goals for your professional life?
To be in a Lead position, have people to manage whilst remaining hands on myself.
What are the main differences between the job market in Dubai and back home?
Dubai tends to have a slower pace of life, while London is a little faster pace.
Can you describe your experience working with the local talent pool in Dubai and how it differs from what you were accustomed to in your previous location?
In Dubai, the talent pool come from all over the world as it's so easy for companies to provide visas and relocate people. People are more willing to speak with you and generally more friendly. In London as a Recruiter, people really do not want to speak with you as they're being approached by 20+ recruiters a day.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering relocating to Dubai for work?
Do it, don't think about it. It's an amazing experience and worse case, you can just hop on a plane back.
How long did it take for you to accept the offer? From the first interview to the last?
1 month I think.
How was the visa application process?
Very easy, the company dealt with it.
What was your favourite part of working with Doherty Group?
Very easy, friendly, and transparent.
Transitioning to a new country is a considerable decision, and every bit of firsthand knowledge can make the process smoother. We’ve also created a Move to Dubai – Candidate Journey Guide with all the info on salaries, visas and helpful resources. Download it here.
And If Sayna's interview has sparked your interest in making a similar move, don't hesitate to contact our team of recruiters. We'd be glad to discuss the current jobs we’re working on for Recruiters like you!
Remember, every grand journey begins with a single step. Will yours start with a conversation with us? Your new life might just be a call away.
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