This is a guest post by Richard Hughes, a content writer and link builder currently employed by Online Ventures Group. He blogs for a number of sites including Select Property.
Before relocating to any country, it is advisable to find out as much as you can about the lifestyle changes you are going to have to adjust to. This is particularly true for those of you who are looking to relocate to areas such as the Middle East.
Understand the Culture
Although certain parts of the Middle East and United Arab Emirates have softened their approach towards Western ideals in recent years, due in no small part to the large numbers of European and westernized folk relocating to there, it is still necessary to remember that Muslim countries enjoy a vastly different culture to the one that most expats are used to. Being sensitive to these cultural differences. whilst still having the opportunity to enjoy a western approach to life is one of the keys to a successful relocation. In Dubai, after an initial period where foreign workers were given more flexibility with regards to their ‘activities’, authorities have now started to clamp down on such behavior, and anyone looking to relocate to Dubai should carefully consider Dubai’s approach to such issues as public displays of affection, the use of swearing and offensive language, dress codes and cohabitation. Countless expats have run into trouble for any one of these reasons before, and whilst Dubai is not the dramatic departure from Western ideals that some horror stories may lead you to believe, it is still important to behave with respect and consideration for the differences in lifestyle and ideals between your old and new homelands.
Understand the Weather
Another important issue to consider is the drastic change in climate that you will probably have to adjust to. Living in sunnier climes is always going to be an attractive prospect, and an important factor in choosing a region to relocate to. But many people underestimate the level of adjustment required to successfully relocate. Most of us like to enjoy two weeks of sun during the summer months, but it is an entirely different proposition to experience this all year round. During the summer months of June to September, temperatures in Dubai can rise to a sweltering 45°C and humidity levels can at times seem almost unbearable. It is a completely different kettle of fish to two weeks in the Costa Del Sol.
Set the Expectations Right
Another thing that will need to be considered is that of the career opportunities available within your industry, and how this is likely to affect your move abroad. The first thing to remember is that in order to work legally in Dubai you will need to obtain a work permit. This is a rule that it is imperative that you adhere to. Those who have a short term contract should not even entertain the idea of taking a calculated risk. Most employers in Dubai however, are well versed in the art of obtaining work permits for employees, having navigated the process so many times. Nevertheless it is still important to consider this. Expats utilize a number of approaches to finding work in Dubai, from traveling on a tourist visa in order to network or gain interviews, whilst others will register with recruitment agencies that specialize in their particular field. It is also worth remembering that due to the suffering of the Dubai economy, career opportunities are not as plentiful as they once were during the country’s economic boom.
Know the Cost of Living
In a recent poll conducted by Barclay’s International Banking, 28.16% of expatriates surveyed cited the cost of living as the biggest challenge faced when moving abroad. The mistake that a number of people make upon initial relocation is to assume that the cost of living will be like for like, which is frankly not the case. Living space is a highly desired commodity, and you should expect to pay top dollar for a place to lay your head, particularly in highly sought after areas such as Dubai Marina. Transportation is obviously a key expense. Dubai has an excellent public transport network, with buses running frequently. Unfortunately, these buses are used by a huge number of people and can become quite congested. When combined with the large amount of road traffic some find it easier to use taxi services, but the cost of this can quickly rack up so it is worth keeping an eye on. Also, though rarely at the forefront of people’s minds is the cost of things such as food. If you are planning to mainly eat at home then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but for those of us who enjoy eating out, this should really be budgeted for as certain restaurants can be quite expensive.
Whilst an adjustment period is to be expected when you relocate to any area, these issues will demand careful consideration and planning before your move. Only by paying due consideration to these issues and others will you ensure that your relocation is a successful one and will be able to enjoy many happy years in your new home.
All the best and good luck in whatever decision you make.