For many, Dubai is known for its superior standard of living, modern architecture, fancy hotels, luxury shopping, the world’s tallest building, and lively nightlife. It’s also a global hub for doing business and for professionals to build careers with multinational companies. Well, this is my short elevator pitch for a larger-than-life city, and here’s my story written on its golden sands.
I came to Dubai from a small town in India 14 years ago as a young professional with two years of work experience in real estate valuation and many dreams. A little unsure of what to expect, I arrived in Dubai when the Dubai Metro and Dubai Mall had recently become operational, and Burj Khalifa had just been built. Everything was process-driven, clean, and efficient. In this truly global city, I saw people from different countries and diverse cultures who made it their home. Moreover, people here are approachable and helpful, and I was made to feel right at home from the beginning.
My living and working experience
Dubai is often called the land of opportunities, and there is always something for everyone. There are many fascinating aspects to living and working in Dubai:
- It is an extremely expat-friendly city with over 80% of the population comprising foreigners.
- It’s easy to get a work visa and residency. You can also sponsor your spouse, children, and parents.
- There is also a new long-term residence Golden Visa which was introduced for certain categories of expats with a validity period of 10 years.
- It is very safe and virtually a crime-free city. Even the police here are very cool, patrolling the streets in their supercars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin One-77, and Bugatti Veyron!
- The weather is hot for a couple of months but sunny and pleasant for the rest of the year. And you have water parks and resorts, ski slopes, amazing indoor malls, and countless restaurants to beat the heat.
- Any corner of the world you belong to – your comfort food is right around the corner. You can find cuisines and local tastes from around the world in this city.
- Commuting is super easy with great public transport connectivity across the UAE, including metro, buses, and cabs.
- There’s no income tax. Yes, you read it right – zero tax on attractive salaries!
- Apart from tourism, finance, and shipping, the real estate industry drives the economy. There’s never-ending development of innovative properties and buildings. You’ll see a crazy number of cranes at work all across.
Given that real estate is one of the main drivers of the economy, there is not a dull day in the life of a Surveyor and opportunities for growth are immense.
I started as a Surveyor in one of the leading international real estate consultancies. My colleagues in the team came from all over the world – England, Scotland, Lebanon, Ireland, India, Australia, and Spain. This was the first time I was exposed to so many accents, cultures and styles of working. Coming from a small town in India I thought of this as a great opportunity, and this can only happen in this region where it is so easy for people around the world to work together.
Over the years I have worked with many experts and market leaders in the profession who gave me the opportunity to work on some of the most exciting trophy assets and mega projects in the region including regional and super regional malls, millions of sq.ft of masterplan projects and iconic towers. Not only world renowned projects, but you also get opportunities to work with world’s best organisations in designing, architecture, project management, banks, funds and experience best practices.
Whether you are a surveyor looking to kickstart your career or a qualified senior professional looking to relocate, there are many facets of the region which will give you immediate comfort:
- There is a good exposure for professionals in the Surveying domain to work across interesting and diverse real asset classes on behalf of key financial institutions, prominent developers, private family, influential businesses and HNIs.
- Presence of many established international real estate consultancies such as CBRE, JLL, KF, C&W and Savills alongside popular local brands such as Land Sterling, Cavendish Maxwell, ValueStrat, and CORE to name a few which are all great places to start for a surveyor.
- The work culture in majority of workplaces in the region is very open, transparent and people are approachable.
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is well established in the region and therefore, many accredited education universities are also present.
- It is an investor-friendly place and the laws here favor foreign ownership.
- Investors from around the world are attracted to Dubai and hence the real estate market is iconic and diverse.
- Buying and selling is easy as there’s no red tape and bureaucracy. The process of transacting a property is straightforward and gets smoothly registered in the system.
- The investment returns in Dubai are higher when compared to other established international markets. There are developments by known brands in the region that guarantee a certain level of return, which is at times as high as 8%. Other popular investment destinations such as UK, Singapore, and India offer much lower returns when compared to Dubai.
- People can own some of the popular world addresses such as Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah. And as a Surveyor, you may get involved in valuation of trophy assets and interact with global leaders.
I worked with a number of international and local firms in my last 14 years, have had excellent support system which helped me advance in my career, become qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and hold senior positions in business. I can truly say that this is the place where my dreams came true and I now live here with my family and run my own ship. And yes, India is still home but Dubai is where my husband and I started as young surveyors, built a life and now Dubai is our home away from home.
Dubai is a city that is often associated with luxury and extravagance, but it offers opportunities for everyone regardless of their social status. It isn’t just a city built to cater to the world’s richest, but it also offers equal opportunities for people working at all levels in the country. While Emirates Hills is an exclusive area with luxurious homes, there are also plenty of options for affordable housing in Dubai. Whether you’re looking for a high-end lifestyle or a more affordable one, Dubai has something to offer for everyone.
If you are thinking about exploring this city to live and work, pack your bags and don’t forget to Contact Us and we can help you get your next job.