Live, Work and Explore Dubai – Insights into Dubai’s Culture and Career Prospects

5 Minutes

Dubai is a thriving city in the United Arab Emirates, a popular holiday destination having evolved from a small fishing village to a global hub for tourism. Dubai is well known for its huge skyscrapers, exciting night life and glamorous shopping and luxurious entertainment settings.

We recently spoke with Ben Wignall, Senior Consultant within Aesthetics recruitment at CSG Talent. Ben relocated from the UK to Dubai in the last 12 months and he shares his own experiences on why Dubai is a great place to live and work. In this article we delve into the most attractive benefits to living and working in Dubai, the culture and the jobs market. Great insights and tips for anyone considering a move to the UAE.

Why Consider Dubai?

Dubai offers a wealth of attractive benefits as a place to live from all year-round sun, impressive beaches and world class infrastructure. It’s one of the safest cities in the world making it appeal to all age demographics and families.

For Ben, the biggest attraction to relocate to Dubai was the opportunity that Dubai presents for younger people when there isn’t much tying them down in the UK.

“For me personally, it was a case of looking at where I was in my career and my life. After visiting Dubai, I saw there was so much going on there in terms of opportunity, people that you could meet, pathways into different careers, different sources of recruitment where things seemed a lot brighter, a lot bigger, quicker and faster. Obviously, the weather's great, it is tax free, which is which is a big bonus and it's quite vibrant.”

Building Your Network in Dubai

“You can bump into someone and have conversation which could open up many doors for you. And that's what happened with me. I met a couple of people randomly who knew people who work in my market, so they invited me into clinics, who then referred me on to meet new people. I’ve been able to grow my network quicker, but in person, as opposed to just being another recruiter from beyond the screen.

I also think when people see that you've made the move to Dubai. I get a lot of people reaching out wanting to speak to me because I am based there and I think it's a differentiator, as a recruiter, in my market anyway, to be based in Dubai because it's a very attractive place for a lot of people.”

Tips for Moving to Dubai

“There are factors that are really important to consider before committing to relocate to Dubai. Once you've made the decision, the first thing you need to consider is the why you want to do it. 

Are you going there for the lifestyle or are you going to build a career?

Once you've decided, you've got to think about where you are going to live. Figuring out the kind of place that you want to live in, the area that you want to live in is the next step in the process.”

Ultimately, before committing to relocate to Dubai it’s important to spend time researching and planning, embrace the culture and what the lifestyle will present and ensure you are knowledgeable of finances and costs of living in Dubai so you have realistic expectations and can budget accordingly.

Dubai's Culture

Dubai boasts a truly diverse culture, with over 200 nationalities who reside there. While it’s a modern city, heritage and Islamic tradition are still hugely important and make Dubai’s culture, so it’s important for visitors and expats to remain respectful of this at all times and embrace the diverse culture that Dubai offers.

We asked Ben his thoughts on the culture in Dubai and how it differs from the UK;

“I think for me it's the overall happiness of people. And I think that might be a factor which the weather contributes to, or just the lifestyle in itself. But the culture is very relaxed.

Everyone's very polite, there's a whole different range of cultures and, people from all over the world. I just think it's so safe as a place, especially for those with young families, the education system and schools are incredible and highly rated.”

Growing Markets and Skills Gaps in Dubai

“There's, a huge emphasis on the tech side of things so you see a lot of companies in the tech and software AI market with many establishing presence in Dubai and building a hub for their business. There’s a greater demand for technical people on the software side. 

There’s also growth across construction, there's so much building and development across Dubai and the UAE.  Businesses are seeking construction engineers, quantity surveyors and there’s a particular focus on candidates who have worked in the West. 

Within the aesthetics market there's a big need for really strong commercial leadership, marketing and sales. There's a lot of businesses that haven't yet made the jump into those markets, and it's about finding people who are able to navigate the Middle East as a market because it is a different there. It's very different in the way of doing business, local knowledge is crucial.

Strong sales and marketing are key because it's such a new market that people are trying to get into. They really need to make sure that the message attracts customers, because it's such a competitive area.”

Recruitment Differences: UK vs. Dubai

“I think it is different. I think it's more demanding in the sense of what they look for in Dubai. There’s a need for the already finished article in a lot of senses.

In Dubai, they want people who they know can come in straight away and really hit the ground running. And sometimes as a recruiter, you can think you've found someone great; you've done all the work and you put them forward and it's just not quite right for the client. 

The cultural difference in the market has an impact on the hiring process itself. It’s important to recruit people who fit the culture, not only Dubai but also the market as well, especially if you're relocating people, it’s important to make sure they are committed for the long term, because companies do often do a lot of back work in terms of relocating, paperwork, insurance and medicals.”

What would you say is the most valuable piece of advice you've ever received throughout your career?

I think for me, it's cliche. It stems from what my dad has always said to me - the harder you work, the luckier you get. I think that's something I set myself every day. I think especially in recruitment, you need to make sure that you're working hard. The more hours you put in, the more opportunities are going to open up for you.”

CSG Talent have offices across the globe, including our Dubai office which is located in Dubai Marina within the 36-storey Marina Plaza office tower. Positioned on the 29th floor with views over the Marina and Sheikh Zayed Road, the amenities within walking distance include multiple cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, gyms, bars, hotels, a shopping mall, public transportation connections and beaches. Explore our Dubai office, team, and current job opportunities here.