When I was 22 I moved from Barcelona to Dubai just after graduating from university. The big cultural surprise for me was that I got used to the hustle and bustle of Dubai very quickly and, when I came back to Barcelona, it was so quiet by comparison that it felt like a village – which is weird because, obviously, Barcelona is an active city with a lot of things happening at the same time.
But my shock was not only the quietness but the weather. Who would ever complain about the weather in Barcelona? I can tell that only people that have experienced living in Dubai. For more than half the year, the weather is perfect and that means activities, like the beach, swimming pool and dessert hikes.
If you combine eight months of sun, good temperatures, no clouds, nice breezes and a rapidly expanding expat population, you have the perfect combo.
People in Dubai are open to meet new people. Since everybody arrives with one thing in common – that they far from home – they are all proactively looking for new friends and experiences. Camping in the dessert, renting a boat and sailing around the palm, meeting different nationalities and attending one of the famous Friday brunches.
The sense of community you build in Dubai in a short period of time is priceless and is only enhanced by traveling around with all the people you meet. Dubai is a fantastic hub with flights to most countries. If you’re one of those that like the mountains, you can fly to Nepal, Tibet, Georgia and Bhutan. However, if you’re like me and love the beach, the shores of Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Maldives are basically on your door step. And for everyone else in between, don’t worry there’s a flight with your name on it. Places like India, Istanbul and Jordan will allow you to learn and discover amazing traditions, people and spots.
But you can also have a relaxed weekend in the city with everything from fast food, groceries and your furniture delivered to your door. All expats would agree you tend to go a bit too enthusiastic at the beginning and order things that you don’t even want or need.
From my experience, moving away from my comfort zone has been a big win. As in Paulo Coelho’s well-known book, The Alchemist, the young shepherd Santiago undertakes a quest around to navigate the world in order to find a treasure. Moving to Dubai has allowed me to find tons of treasures in the shape of new people, amazing trips, new responsibilities and what is more important, a new way of living life with more passion and fervor.
She has 2 years of experience in the TMT industry specialised in the Middle East and Europe. She has a Bachelor in Business Administration in Esade Business School in Spain.