Long ago it was deemed a prized rarity, that one would split their time between their birthing motherland and another for career/relational purpose, however in today’s society it is approaching normalcy. Being a Taurean with an explorative nature I have never quiet been accustom to setting my roots to one geographical space, whether it be perseverance to defy my parental homebody wishes, or my curious nature in desire of unknown territory. For four years now, which has certainly flown by, I have been splitting my time between London and Dubai, subject to my career influences of luxury marketing and events I have been tasked with taking our accomplished and household brand names in the United Kingdom and launching them in the Middle East. Finding a work life balance at first seemed out of sight, slowly but surely, my monthly trips in the sky have become a crucial time to write blogs and reflect, my productivity levels are better than ever and integrating in both of these cultures have definitely taught me a thing or two about versatility and adaptation.
DUBAI Away from it touristic treasures, the supersized hotels, buffets, malls, amusement parks, aquariums, designer cars and luxury yachts, Dubai has a beating heart of innovation, and burgeon creativity, also home to of the most talented and awe-inspiring minds of our time. It is without a doubt a transactional and transient place, every exchange is driving by a B2B behaviour, is it a bad thing? In some cases, yes, as it makes relationship building and commitment a challenge, but in others no, everyone has a timescale that needs to be achieved. However, the trend of normalcy adopting the shop-around strategy becomes extremely tiresome. Cultural adaptation, this element of liveability was a real challenge for the first year, and after became second nature, however still to this day some cultural differences are hard to adopt, such as the holy month of Ramadan, abiding by Sharia Law and understand the free-zone. With most of country now inhabited with expats, you are rarely faced with two days being the same, many of the world’s largest industrial hubs are stationed in Dubai so there is a relentless work culture, leaving the office before 9pm is sneered upon and the expensive lifestyle is certainly something people work hard and play hard for. A slight word of advice for business propositions, if the deal isn’t signed and the word ‘ Inshallah’ beacon’s the conversation, walk away and put your efforts into something else.
LONDON My cultural beacon of happiness, albeit living centrally justifies a life of little to no sleep and mind-numbing work perseverance. I often experience London in two waves, firstly, endless daily meetings combined with illustrious events and networking revelry. Secondly, visionary cultural museum explorations and hosting friends from out of town. Work in London is a lot different to Dubai, it leaves me reeling with new ideas, perseverance to better myself and continuously meeting people who are entrepreneurial geniuses. What I love about London is how much freedom and career progression is on offer, either to push for that salary increase or branch out into freelancing, people know there worth and they don’t stop until they get what they want. Having the bulk of my family centered on the outskirts of London, I unfortunately don’t get to visit them as much as I would like, perhaps once every few months at best, but Facetime is a real-life saver to share daily experiences.
So, is having the balance of both everything you could wish for? ABSOLUTELY If you are chasing a dream or destined to reach your career aspirations, there should be nothing holding you back. Living in two places gives you the best of both worlds, cultural explorations, a well-rounded opinion and a global scope of mind.