The Dubai Expat
Like many Expats here in Dubai, I came with an expectation that I would be here for a fixed time on a work secondment and would then head home two years later with a fab suntan and some amazing stories to share. With that in mind I headed to the furniture store full of Swedish flat packs and great meatballs and bought an apartment full of ‘temporary furniture’. You know the kind, good enough to do, but not the expensive stuff. Sure enough seven years later I’m still here and the ‘temporary furniture’ remains – so far it’s survived three house moves and is still going strong!
The ‘temporary’ secondment
If you are coming on a temporary secondment beware! This could happen to you too! You see I never did return to live in the UK. Instead I fell in love with Dubai and at the end of my two year secondment I choose to stay. Dubai is the place I call home and intend to stay here for a while long yet.
Dubai the land of opportunities
Dubai has afforded me some fantastic opportunities both on a personal and work basis. I’ve made some amazing new friends from all across the world. I have been involved in some great projects and initiatives and am proud to be a resident of Dubai. It’s an exciting time for Dubai at the moment, a tremendous amount of money is being invested in infrastructure and resources, the Expo 2020 is not too far away and every day I see something new from buildings to theme parks and of course restaurants and hotels.
The reality … it’s not all yachts !
If you are thinking of coming to Dubai for a holiday or trip or relocating here do take advantage of all that Dubai offers from the 7 star VVIP experiences to the no star street side experiences. Party hard, if that’s your thing, but remember to save too, after all how often do you get to visit a tax free location? And don’t forget whilst our Instagram Feeds might be full of yacht parties and exclusive dinners we don’t do that everyday (well I don’t) and as well as the glitzy and glamorous things that you see on your social media feeds remember, that we are just as likely to be at the dentist getting a root canal done, or queuing at the supermarket for grocery shopping – albeit trying to keep cool in the desert heat and humidity.
Like any country, there’s a ton of ‘red tape’ that has to be handled when you arrive and when you go through your life here. I’m not going to attempt to cover much of that here as the rules , procedures and document requirements can change rapidly. I do however recommend you do plenty of research. I relocated seven years ago when hardly anything was on-line. Since then there’s been a huge investment in technology and many processes can be done electronically. Here’s a site which I which provides a wealth of information which you may find useful with your research. It’s useful for those relocating or visiting.
Dealing with formalities
My best advice when dealing with the formalities, is to expect that it might take some time, to expect that you might not have all of the documents and have to make a return trip, to expect to hand over some money for the process to be undertaken. And if none of this happens and you sail right on through then good for you, the process will have exceeded your expectations and that’s always a great thing!
Getting a few things done.
Whilst I said I wouldn’t give advice, here are a few things which I’ve done recently which I want to share as they are current issues and they might help you out. The post on Visa Runs, is one of my most popular recent posts, if you find your visa about to expire then this could be the post for you.
About to relocate?
If you are thinking of moving to Dubai and need hints, tips, advice then please feel free to message me and I will do my very best to help out.
Always trying to keep it real – with a hint of excitement on the side
Some of my favorite Dubai posts - click for more info
Speciality Coffee during Ramadan Love your Specialty Coffee and want to savour it during Ramadan? Here's the list for you! This year just a small handful of Speciality Coffee shops have a license to operate during daytime. The rest will typically open from Iftar til...read more
Dubai Creek "Pashmina, Watches, Spices, Perfume, Turkish Delight .... come look my friend, come look, I give you best prices". It's ten o'clock on a weekday morning and already the Spice Souq is bustling with tourists and the shopkeepers are busy trying to herd people...read more
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A memory popped up on Facebook a few days ago, the memory of the first ever Filling The Blues which started in 2012. The shaky video and photos from my Facebook page got me thinking back to how a simple tweet from 1 person (Tahir...read more
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] A video posted by Culinary Travel & Coffee ☕ (@coffeecakesandrunning) on Jun 4, 2016 at 7:54am PDT [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Want to do something different this Ramadan?...read more
An Alternative Ramadan Hold on .... Ramadan isn't just supposed to be full of Iftar buffets, Suhoors and excessive food consumption and waste, so don't forget to enjoy the simpler pleasures and relish them (this year, for the second year in a row, I'm fasting so am...read more
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Coffee Shops Open During Ramadan 2016 Love your coffee? Here's a special curated roundup of places to get a coffee (Specialty and otherwise) during Ramadan. The places listed are independent or standalone cafe's and coffee shops,...read more
Gold Box Freshly Roasted Arabica Beans from around the Globe COFFEE + WiFi + Free Water + Kid Friendly + Parking + Roastery About Initially starting out as a franchise from the UK with a converted Italian Piaggio decked out in gold and black and a few trikes from...read more
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="Cafe Rider |Be Original | Be Free" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:center" use_theme_fonts="yes"][vc_gallery interval="3" images="20061,20060,20059" img_size="medium"][vc_tta_accordion style="modern" shape="square"...read more
The National Newspaper Feature on UAE Top Food Bloggers Best for inspiring stories...read more
“I’ve been a bit down recently …” Someone asked me how I was the other day, and instead of giving my usual “fine, how about you?” response - which usually results in the response of “I’m fine thanks” as well - but often I wonder if both parties are really “fine”. I...read more