Since returning from Dubai some 9 months ago I could not honestly tell you how many times I have been asked “so come on then Lewis, what is it like in Dubai, was it not too hot?”… In my latest blog I am going to give you first-hand experience of my time in Dubai.

2014 saw me relocate to live and work. I must admit the first 3-4 weeks were quite nervy, asking myself, “have I made the right decision?” With not knowing many people it did feel quite lonely at times especially on weekends, which if you do not know is a Friday and Saturday. So, in order to combat this, I found I really had to network and really step outside my comfort zone. I found myself visiting shopping centres, hotels etc but I was always working and networking.

My role when in Dubai was to recruit new talent into Wealth Management, so the more people I was speaking with the better my success and getting referrals, but I was also learning about the Dubai culture all the time. I just had to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in, especially with a new challenge I was obsessive to achieve my goals and mine was to increase a sales force rapidly whilst keeping an eye on exceptional talent.

Within 6 months I found I had made some very good friends and my weekends quickly turned from networking to visiting beaches and generally having a great time. I found the mentality is very much “work hard, play hard”.

Most apartments in Dubai come with rooftop swimming pools, gyms and with beaches on your doorstep this is a great way to unwind after a hectic day and a great way to spend many weekends. Another questions I am regularly asked on return to my home country “Can you drink alcohol?” In Short, yes you can, although legally as an expat you do need an “alcohol licence” to buy and consume alcohol. Friday in Dubai is typically brunch day, which is an amazing all you can eat (and drink) experience with so many brunches to choose from, again, you will meet so many expats and build your network further.   The night life in Dubai is brilliant not to mention the great food, there is no cuisine that you won’t be able to find. Dubai really prides itself on service, not to mention the attention to detail in everything they do.

Dubai for me is one of the safest countries in the world, I never ever felt intimidated once which is a great feeling and I never felt judged. You must remember the state is so cosmopolitan that it is mostly made up with Expats opposed to Emiratis, so it is very easy to find common ground with everyone.

Can you carve out a career in Dubai?

Yes, you can. Firstly, you must have a job or a spouse working in the UAE in order to obtain a residential visa, so in theory you cannot relocate to the UAE without this. Dubai is a very transient city which creates so much opportunity for you and your career. Dubai brings so many job prospects within so many sectors offering great progression and further education which can only benefit your career long term. You can never ever stop learning.

My advice….

With so many super attractions and being only 3-4 hours from other luxury destinations such as Sri Lanka, Maldives etc. I would urge you to travel and take short breaks as and when you can, they truly are glorious. Try and pack in as much as you can because believe you and me, time really does go so quickly.

So, in short, if you want a change of scenery with great weather, lifestyle and career prospects then the UAE is a great option. So, you may ask “why on earth have you relocated home?” The only real reason is to be that bit closer to family, if they were all able to join me in the UAE this would be a game changer.

There is so much to cover so if there are any further questions that anyone may have around living and working in Dubai, just drop me a line directly or why not give me a call +44(0)207 692 5668.


Thinking of relocating?

IRC is a specialist Financial Services recruitment specialist and we have active opportunities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi so if you are genuinely looking for a career and currently a qualified Financial Planner, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us your CV and details to