Interviews with Expats
Name: Mark Dickinson
Country of residence: Dubai
In our first interview with expats, Mark Dickinson tells us of his experiences in making the move abroad.
What made you decide to move to another country?
Opportunity to work in my line of work but in a different country / career progression.
How long did it take you to settle in?
Six months – it takes a while to get settled. Not only moving country and sorting issues out such as where to live, visa applications and getting a car for example but at the same time you are starting a new job with new people.
Has your country of choice lived up to your expectations?
Having lived in Dubai for 6 years I would have to say yes. I didn’t know what to expect when I first moved here and at times it has been very difficult but having overcome particular issues, I am enjoying living in the country more now than I ever have.
What are the biggest differences between your old home and your new country?
The weather, in the summer it get to nearer 50c in the Middle East.
How many friends have you made, either amongst the ex-pat or local community?
This can be difficult due to workloads and working hours. I have made some very good friends who are work colleagues but have also made quite a few outside of work via particular interest or friends of my fiancée.
If there’s a language difference, how much of it have you learned?
Not really, most local nationals work in the public sector and the private sector is multi-cultural with English being the language of choice. In addition most of my counter-parts in the industry both internally and externally are from my home country.
What, if anything, do you miss most about your home country?
Family, friends and the food!
Have local people made you feel welcome or unwelcome, and if so how?
Yes. Visa applications, setting up electricity and water accounts are done via public entities. A little bit intimidating at first but the local staff is extremely helpful and tries to make the process as painless as possible.
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