"Why I left my finance job in London for a new life in Dubai"
A few years ago I moved to Dubai. After spending my career in London, where I worked for 15 years, I was ready for a change. The pandemic in particular made me want to seek an opportunity somewhere else – living with my partner in a cramped London apartment wasn’t great for my mental and physical health and I was keen to get out of London.
Initially, I asked my boss whether it would be possible to work from Dubai for a few weeks until the rules in the UK were to be relaxed. He kindly approved the request. I started packing my bags in the fear of flights being cancelled. A friend of mine kindly offered to let us stay while we found a place to live.
It didn’t take me long to realise that life in Dubai is much better than in London. People here are more outgoing, the weather is great and there are plenty of activities.
I decided to look for another role that would make my life in Dubai permanent. I used all my contacts to explore opportunities and landed on an opportunity to work at a financial services firm in the DIFC, the financial hub of Dubai. The hub has grown substantially over the last two years. When I began networking socially and professionally, there was an obvious influx of individuals from Europe relocating here. It’s evident from the names on the registration boards outside office buildings: there are now hedge funds, fintech firms and law firms from London and New York operating here.
Being in Dubai has enabled me to become involved in things I never thought I’d have the time or inclination for. - Paddle tennis, learning to play drums, working out five days a week with a personal trainer and having access to a pool less than a minute away or going to the beach. On the other hand, it’s not as easy to jump on a train and get to the other part of town as quickly as London, although the Metro in Dubai is significantly cleaner. I miss walking in the park and the summer months can be quite hot. I also miss being able to go on breaks across Europe for a long weekend.
Now that I’m here, I’m forever fielding calls from friends and former colleagues who want to move to Dubai too, they too are after the reasons I mentioned, while others want a more dynamic environment for their children and the comfort of safety for them. Don’t me wrong, London is a fantastic place, but the charm and the global influence of the City started changing since Brexit.
Those changes are across the board and may not be directly linked to Brexit. The price of food shot up. London became a more difficult place to live in. Crime is on the rise, the pound continued getting weaker. It's the perfect storm.
This is why both many of my former colleagues are moving here too. Life is easier here. People are starting to realise that.
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