Advice/tips on jobs/moving to Dubai

After a tough year, I am in need of a drastic change so am looking at relocating to Dubai and am looking for jobs there. I work in Real Estate. The firm I work at has a Dubai office but doesn’t do RE (and wouldn’t want to stay at the firm as poor management is part of the reason why I wish to move). Any advice or tips re looking for jobs in Dubai?

PS: first time poster – been reading the discussion board for some months and I get that many people aren’t fond of Dubai but would appreciate helpful responses!

I’ll get us started 

1. Change your mind and move somewhere good

Thanks Coffers - would be helpful to know what a chinny is! have seen it being mentioned but no idea what it is. Second one is not an option - I'll pass thanks. Third - no clue again!

JB, actually wanted to move to Canada or NZ - that ain't happening tho! 

Chinny is a shiny suited pointy shoed spiv aka a recruiter.

Biggie will be along to tell you how much he loves his life surrounded by Eastern European prostitutes.

Recruitment consultant 

rec Con

chinny reckon

chinny 

Something something pocket outturned something something.

Seriously, if you are keen, make sure you get out there and visit it (the real bits) to make sure.

Ahh..thanks Sails and Roger! Got it now.

Not into prostitutes - am female.

Davos - what would you say are the real bits - been out there a few times but only as a hol

Eventually somebody will respond who knows what he or she is talking about.

Until then, rest assured a certain user will suggest that the best way to get there is to lift someone by the hind legs and keep walking until you feel the sand between your toes.

Sat - I just meant work out where you would live, work, go the gym, get food, meet people etc.

The holiday bits tend not to be where you live! 

Definitely move.

i am apparently the only person here with actual experience 

what do you want to know?

you’re in a portable area, you can use LinkedIn, contact the chinnies

ensure they always call you or you’ll rack up an incredible phone bill

generally US firm hours are more like a 9-7 in Dubai, it is nowhere near as intense as london

market less saturated

accommodation cheap

weather good

There are no negatives

7 hour flight back to U.K., night flight

time difference is good so you wake up at 8.30am in London, great

there are like 15 bank holidays

fall mostly in summer so you can escape

shuts down a lot during summer

you will earn twice your London salary

i have a maid

Gyms are great at 24 hour

no restrictions

dating apps don’t work, no one on them but prostitutes

expats do hotels for alcohol and bars

but also so do prostitutes

most girls do tricks - all the pretty shop assistants, personal trainers, Instagram models etc; it is what it is, just getting your expectations in line

As Davos said - hols are different from living there. And digging your shoes in. 

But seriously - speak to a chinny and take it from there. 

Esp summer months yes...although one of the years I did hol there in Aug and was surprisingly ok with the heat outside (inside cold with the air con!)

The women are from all over - europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia 

you can leave the city for sand surfing

trips to other ME cities, not massively worth it

when Asia opens up, Dubai will probably have first opening rights with no restrictions - it’s only a few hours to thailand

i haven’t looked on flight restrictions so maybe it’s changed already

May to September are the worst months peaking around July and August ish

september is fine but not perfect, as is may 

and everywhere has AC, everyone takes 3 weeks of holiday and all the bank holidays fall around then

And work is slower

complete non issue from the locked down sheeple

So currently not on LinkedIn (quite like the privacy) but am going to set one up. Currently working at a iniche international firm but not known for RE so I don't think I will get into a US firm.

LA - how long have you been out there?

"most girls do tricks - all the pretty shop assistants, personal trainers, Instagram models etc" - I don't understand this...

FTAOD, that’s per month so 80-85k a year tax free which is about 135-140 odd k PAYE. Family benefits might include a free apartment, flights and private school which can be expensive. No idea what the equivalent is on in the U.K., or if that’s a good position 

Anyway, you’ll make more money in any firm

By tricks, I mean do sex acts for money, I am not advocating it, I am just saying to be candid

dont do LinkedIn if you don’t want, but almost everyone has it

 

 

The second link is like 200k gdp and it is tax free

Got you...not that way ("tricks") inclined tbh - managed to avoid it so far so hopefully can hold out a little longer!

Think LinkedIn is useful to have (have been reading that it is a good way to network etc). Thanks!

- just have your title and job

- and over 500 connections

and join some groups, you don’t need to do much more than that

it will hold you back for partnership or becoming more senior not having it

especially on BD

Biggie Sat Nav is female and assuming she is straight and single what's the dating scene like for women? 

Sat Nav - Scylla was an older female poster on here who I think worked in Middle East. May be worth getting her thoughts- albeit haven't seen her for a little while.

Grouville - a combination of personal and professional disappointments – things not working out and generally feeling stuck. Trying to make positive changes and taking proactive steps to make things better, e.g. looking for jobs even in London and a house to buy (another house purchase fell through last year) but feeling like I’m missing the ‘luck’ factor that we all need from time to time. Not quite sure how to turn the tide.

Got promoted at work last year but just made a rod for my own back with no raise and more pressure re management (and a new partner in the team that I am not in favour with).

Don’t get me wrong however, I’m acutely aware of the backdrop we are all living in and I’m one of the lucky ones compared to people who have lost jobs and loved ones.

Thanks Biggie - will do that! (*searches on Google how to buy 500 connections - any tips?!). 

Thanks Clive - yes single and straight. Will keep an eye out for Scylla if she posts. 

Re LinkedIn just send connection requests to people you work with, used to work with, were at law school / uni with.

Then see who pops up on the suggested people list in your LinkedIn and send connection requests to them too if they are in an interesting industry/location for you. Its one click per request so quite quick to do loads.

You don't have to personalise the requests and, for me at least, it's quite usual to get requests without a covering message which I don't mind. People seem to be up for connecting if you appear to be in their industry. You could also just include a short standard message to say you're getting set up on LinkedIn and would like to connect.

It's worth putting a basic professional photo up (just use your work one) and including some details so people can see you are a genuine person not some sort of spam account.

I trust Biggie has real first-hand experience when he says

"dating apps don’t work, no one on them but prostitutes"

Can confirm.

Have worked there. My blunt assessment is if money motivates you then it’s great. If you are in any way ‘other’, be it gay, disabled, etc then have a careful think. Can be great fun but can be lonely unless you build a life outside work. V easy to end up socialising in professional circles. Good opportunities there as a lot of people move on after a few years. Think carefully about what you’ll miss ‘back home’. 

Good point cynical. I would also add to that anyone who is remotely alternative. I find it a bit offputting that it’s a place without any of the artsy grungy places you find all over Europe and Asia. 
 

I think the point about loneliness applies everywhere though doesn’t it? Like many expat places people are very keen to be friendly and have less historic commitments than they do back home so can be much more sociable. 

Loads of pron star hookers in Dubai. Check ‘em out and report back, but beware scams

As far as I can tell Dubai stands for enhanced earnings, totty wall to wall, sunshine year round, ostentatious cars and a pleasure ethic. If I were having a quiet word with my 25 year old self I’d be saying for heaven’s sake lad go and fill yer boots. 

The OP is a woman 

tbh given the above I cannot see why a single woman would go and live there voluntarily. 

Dubai is great fun.

 

It is flashy and showy but there are other sides to it. The desert is lovely and there is some really good hiking in RAK (1.5 hours’ drive away). If you are into sport there are loads of fantastic facilities which are cheap (free) and easily accessible. The Al Qudra bike track in the desert is superb.

 

It is expensive but no worse than London.

 

Pre-Covid you could fly back to London very easily and cheaply. How that will pan out I do not know.

 

The net net tax benefit makes a massive difference – you just have more money. Of course money is not everything so if you are naturally unhappy and  a dullard then you will remain so (just richer). If you are happy and creative it gives you the freedom to do lots of fun stuff (or buy more stuff if that is what you like doing).

 

People tend to be welcoming and positive because they are rarely long off the plane themselves and they have made the leap to move somewhere new.

 

If you are a hot then there will be more than enough blokes (admittedly of varying quality) vying to bang you. If you are not hot there will still be lots of blokes who want to bang you because there is a shortage of single women who are not insta models / prostitutes.

 

You get less provincial bullsh1t than you do in the UK.

 

No one sneers at you for having a 4x4 because everyone has one. No one says “oh but they have a 4x4 and it never goes off road” because: (i) often it does go off road; and (ii) no one gives a fvck – you can spend your money how you like and no one is judgmental about it.

 

The multiculturism is ace.

 

It is very safe. No one will steals your stuff.

 

Downsides are that it is a totalitarian state and deviation from the agreed norms is punished harshly. As a female property solicitor who is interested men you will be well well well within the green zone of agreed norms.

 

There is no safety net and ultimately you have no rights. Lose your job and you are out. Unless you set up on your own in which case it is all on you – no state education and no state health care.

 

Despite what you read in the press you can shag away to your hearts content (just not in public which is fair enough), get sh1t faced whenever you like but no drooogs though mkay.

A good friend who has been there many years told me: excellent place if you have small children, but once they get to 12 or 13 there is not much to do in free time other than hang around the Malls, ugh.
 

And that the expat social life revolves around masses of alcohol, champagne in particular, at the big hotels, which is great for a few weeks. And then not. Lots of alcoholics.

And then the more obvious stuff like you never walk anywhere and when you find somewhere to live you need to have somewhere with air conditioning in the garage.

When I read threads like this I wonder what rof would approve of. Go somewhere else for more money, better weather and a change of scene? No it’s awful. Stay in the UK in a dead end career with all the crowding, transport issues, terrible housing etc that that entails? No it’s awful. You wonder ultimately whether the issue is that the board is full of downtrodden curmudgeons whose lives and outlooks are fundamentally shit. 

Everything that Lamlong says above.

Also I moved from a very mid table London RE team to probably the leading RE team in DXB. My Department head was a woman so was the managing partner of the firm. There were a lot of other women in senior positions too. Being a woman did not seem to be any professional limitation in the firm I was in. I cant speak for other firms.

The hours were very civilized, normally 9 to 5.30 sometimes a bit later. I once worked a saturady all the way through to 2 am the sunday morning.That was an exception.

The quality of the work was good, and tbh a lot more straight forward than what  I was used to with UK RE estate law. This is probably because the the DXB property laws total probably well less than 100 pages (and are widely spaced).

If you like the friday afternoon brunch thing fine, I probably went to 3 or 4 in 3 years. They are fine and if you like that kind of thing go for it.

If I were a single woman I can see lots of reasons why I would enjoy living and working in DXB.

 

 

"Stay in the UK in a dead end career with all the crowding, transport issues, terrible housing etc that that entails? No it’s awful"

I don't think the U.K. is awful 

if the brunch / flashy / look at my wad / insta lifestyle is you, then I expect Dubai is great. I think it sounds terrible 

hth 

Each to his own. I don’t think the UK is a bad place. I think it’s a bad place for city lawyers though. 

I spent nine years there. It was very enjoyable. Only a few downsides. You have to see it for what it is and not get too carried away with the lifestyle. Old Dubai and the locals are great but follow the rules.

Did someone call for a Chinney?!

Drop me a line at  [email protected]

My business partner spent many years in Dubai, knows the RE market very well - both private practice and in-house. Always happy chat through options etc.

*awaits abuse re: shiny suit and general spiviness*

The UK isn't awful, but neither's Dubai.

Long term, I personally would rather live in the UK, but if the time frame is next few years then Dubai would tempt.

ps I agree with the sentiment above that ROFers will piss on someone else's choice out of boredon, self-disappointment and spite, whatever that choice is. Post any idea on here and it will get spat at.

All about choices innit. Being totally obsessed with money and status and living in Dubai sounds a pretty empty life to me but I agree with Hyoo - being totally obsessed with money and status and being a tun struggla lawyer in the City sounds worse.

Is 40-60 AED per month a decent salary for a single person out there? Asking for a friend. 

Are you really taking advantage of tax free salary if you spend 40% of it on a tiny flat, 10% of it on flights home and a disproportionately high amount on social stuff? Not to mention cost of schooling, healthcare etc.

The money side always seems net zero to me - although I was looking at it maybe a decade ago so thinks have probably moved on.

That said, plenty of other reasons why people may fancy it but I think if it's purely for the cash there are better options.

40-60 is perfectly manageable, a nice apartment is say 100K p/a, cars and petrol are cheap. Everything else like anywhere is whatever you want to spend. 
 

If you hit the top end restaurants and expensive hotel bars and high dxb shops it’s easy to burn through. There are many cheaper and often better options.

If you spent 40% on an apartment it would be a very nice one. I lived in downtown dxb in the Manzil area. Was low rise and very nice. It cost 110k pa just checked and prices have gone down so maybe possible for 90.

At the lower end of that range I would actually be worse off than in the UK once you factor in living costs and pension contributions. My disposable income would be lower. But at the higher end it definitely works. 

I was in the ME for 5 years. Lots of good advice above. My two pennorth:

- the multiculturalism makes it interesting but there can be a bit of "apartheid-lite" in the sense that Indians/Phillipinos/Africans will still be paid less for the same jobs, Arabs will be paid the most and everyone will know and shrug. Lots of cognitive dissonance involved. (A black, male senior lawyer was sent from our shop to the UAE for a few months' secondment and there was a mix-up in which he was taken to a labour camp in error. I'll leave it to your imagination whether you think that would have happened to a white guy...)

- As a woman in UAE, you can largely live as you please without your gender impacting your career (although the work quality likely a bit lower than London), but you will see plenty of casual everyday sexism and if your shop operates elsewhere in the ME, then be prepared for interesting times. I was regularly shipped to KSA, which was hideous, as a female travelling alone.

After I met my husband - who has a questionable nationality in the eyes of most of GCC countries (although ironically he is from the ME!) - I just found it impossible to get a visa anywhere (despite UAE residency). They also refused my alcohol licence because I assumed a Muslim surname on marriage. There is no recourse. 

So by all means go for the money and opportunities to travel and not pay tax for a bit (as I did, no judgment!) but go with your eyes open into what is (at best) a morally questionable place.  It's certainly not the worst place in  the world, it's still improving and I don't mean to sound sanctimonious - but ask yourself whether you are willing to ignore things like that and whether it is sustainable over the long term. 

@MontyDon

How do peeps with Muslim names drink then, w/o the alcohol licence? 

Caveat: no clue about DXB, been shown opportunities there, but meh, would rather do HK or Sg

Monty was your hubby docing out there? How did he find it? 

Generally walk into a bar and order a drink in DXB - honestly it’s that simple.

not sure how it works for booze cert ( which I never bothered with). I am not a Muslim but there were a fair few obvious local Muslims in the bar. Some absolutely shit faced. 

You can’t say tax havens don’t fascinate rof. If they were that bad these threads would never get into orbit. 

Surprised by all those tricks/prostitute comments - I thought it was the sort of place where you'd end up in a Midnight Express-esque jail for that thing.

What's the dating scene like for a (normal) straight guy? Or is everyone out there a married ex-pat?

@rinjani you can simply walk into a bar and order a drink, but you could be asked to produce the licence at any time (even tourists, technically - although I doubt it's ever happened). You also need to show a copy in the bottle shops. Other than that, I was only asked for my alcohol licence once. I was in a fender bender caused by a Kuwaiti guy who turned out to be drunk, the police came to my apartment to interview me as a witness and saw my wine rack and asked for my licence…which luckily I had. 

The extra irony on the booze licence was that after marriage I needed my husband's permission. Obviously that rankled (although he found it hilarious), but to then be told I can't have it because my name's too Muslim was just one of many eyes-rolling-into-orbit moments.

@Crypto yes, he was doc-ing, but didn't stay as long as me as he was offered a consultant position in his previous UK hospital. He had been a bit tired of waiting for someone to retire/die or for them to agree to create another consultant position and our move forced their hand - I presume it's much like the law in that sense. I gather ME doc-ing is lucrative and with less day to day pressure, but medical errors tend to be dealt with by criminal courts as a matter of course and interviews in police stations were known to take place if someone "important" died in your care (although reform was afoot even then, so that may now be different). 

@guybrush - the irony is that consensual nookie on a beach takes you straight to the slammer. (correctly and same as Uk - no need to frighten the horses). However, you can stroll into a massage parlour on most strip malls for a happy finish from a trafficked Philippina, as long as you pretend she was just working some tension out of the muscles in your back. 

Expats bang expats into oblivion at will in the ME just

like anywhere else. 

I love the UK and London so it is never fully a question of hating your current living  place. I don't drink and I get that the Dubai is brash and flash and it's not for everyone - there are parts of it I dislike also. 

T Pot - when did you make the move and via what route? Are you still out there?

Sounds like it suits a certain sort of person - viz biggie but not only would it not suit me I do not have anything I  common the people it does suit - so would be a double whammy - what expats in Dubai find important in life is very different t to what I do

@ leu00so as a single person AED40k a month is fine but you will have to make some compromises on what you might have in your head as the full expat lifestyle.  AED60k will be more than enough and you might actually save some of that money you are telling yourself you will save (except you probably won't because, you know, brunch and dinner at Zuma).  

Sat Nav/others (and Guy) - The only way to know if you are gong to like Dubai is to come and experience it. It is an evolving place and there is much more to it now than there was 10 years ago when I first arrived in the UAE. There is much that is wrong with it as a place but it improves all the time. In terms of the morality of living here you can take the view that it's all just awful because it's not a democracy and there isn't a welfare state (for foreigners) etc and only a scumbag can live here or you can take the view that expats being here is what is driving change and why things like sex outside marriage being decriminalised and much improved (though still far from perfect) rights and conditions for workers have happened.

   

Monty - were you there a while ago? I can't think of anyone ever having been asked to produce an alcohol licence. You can even see locals (in their white dishdashes) going for alcohol in some places although understandably they keep it low key and have their usual spots. I also have a muslim-sounding name but never had any issues - I've not tried to get an alcohol licence because I would likely get refused but then again there are dozens of delivery services that show up at your door in 30 minutes, and there are thousands of venues that serve alcohol freely.

Would echo most other posts and note that it's overall a great place with some "technical" drawbacks, i.e. you just realise that you are in a place that has slightly different rules, but as long as you accept that you really very quickly forget that and can have an awesome and free life. 

To some who think Dubai is only about partying - sure, of course, the chavs have made it seem that way and you can certainly go to Five Palm every weekend for Friday brunch to glam with the MIC crew. But there is much more than that - I would recommend doing that for the first few months, go out and about as much as you can to make friends; and then (provided you pick the right ones of course) you will quickly find that everyone here gets tired of that stuff pretty quickly and is much more interested in doing the more "wholesome" things while also still having a drink and have fun every now and then. 

Think along the lines of - driving to Ras Al Khaimah or Hatta (1.15 - 1.5 hrs away) for hikes, Fujeirah (1.5 hr) for snorkeling, going cycling at the track (Al Qudra desert - tracks between 50 - 120km) or in Marina (22k), going to the beach (Kite Beach or La Mer) and generally doing water activities (wakeboarding, paddleboarding, etc.), chilling by your pool (every building has one or you can get day passes at most good hotels for just a minimum spend of AED 200 which is about £40), sports are SO MUCH more accessible (when is the last time anyone in the UK actually tried jiu jitsu, boxing, tennis and football all in the same week) and things are just really easy to reach which makes life so much easier (you just get a car and drive everywhere in 10-20 minutes unless it's in Marina in which case it's 25-30). 

Money wise - I spend about the same money here as I did in the UK, maybe a tad bit more, but then I basically save the 40% tax + the whatever per month I would have saved otherwise anyway, so it's great just to know that you automatically save money while still having a good time. 

Needless to say I've been here since last July and best decision ever. 

Just to add a bit of balance to that...

I have been here a lot longer than since last July and I do know people who have had issues with getting on the wrong side of the law (and had some pretty horrendously stressful experiences as a result). I haven't personally had issues but I could fairly easily have done at times. The 'technical' drawbacks can become very real overnight and the sh1t can hit the fan very, very hard indeed.

Other thing I meant to say to the OP is that over the years I have heard a lot of single female friends and colleagues complain about the 'scene' here. Leaving aside prostitution the fact remains that there are a lot of young, often attractive (and not infrequently crazy beautiful) women here from pretty much all over the world for whom a European professional bloke with a bit of cash in his pocket can be a fairly attractive proposition. To put it delicately that results is somewhat different dynamics to the UK...

For what its worth a fair number of the single blokes here do also complain (usually after a year or two) how hard it is meet someone from a similar cultural background to them with whom they have enough to common to want to settle down with...

 

 

Don't disagree with that Darko - have heard some stories (and I've been back and forth for years before btw). My approach is just don't be a dick and you can sort out most things. Also agree with the second part, I have a bunch of single friends around 30 or in their 30s and while some have been able to find people out here, most of them are indeed struggling to find the right balance in people for a relationship (if that's what you are looking for), and indeed the same applies for men and women. 

Thanks mediumlaw and Donny - did you both get jobs in Dubai via your existing firm (assuming they had an office there?) or via a recruitment consultant? I've heard (not just from biggie) that LinkedIn is a good way of getting a foot in the door.

Also is it better law firm v in house? I assume as your first job there, a law firm would be better?

i was there for over 10 years in the RE field. I left for personal family reasons and also because i had made enough cash not to need to sacrifice the things that you need to sacrifice to work there for (like seeing family, bringing up kids in a more outdoorsy environment). I absolutely would 100% recommend it though - particularly at the start of a career.

Stick to a large international firm that does international work (not just local UAE stuff) and your skills will remain transferable. You will find that the types of firms that would want your blood in the UK will actually give you a reasonable work life balance in the ME (but probably avoid US firms still) - as your free time is not spent commuting or doing chores or anything like that. Firms good for real estate in the ME include Clifford Chance, Clyde and Co, Norton Rose, A&O and BCLP. Most have quite small teams but the deals are not small. Al Tamimi is the #1 local firm but i seriously would think twice about going anywhere near it.  

Don't spend too much on rent - its easy to get carried away, but when i was bossing the eqt there i was renting a 4 bedroom villa near the beach for less money than my junior associate was renting a 1 bed in downtown a mile away.  You just need to not get sucked into doing exactly the same as everyone else is doing. 

My experience was not one of being surrounded by hookers - the social scene is actually pretty varied, and there are loads of sports clubs and other ways of meeting interesting people. Most law firms are fairly sociable and people will adopt you until you find your feet. 

Sat Nav 

I would say much depends on your practice area and your ambitions. In-house can be a one-way road so that is something to watch out for. 
 

You need to think about the kind of lifestyle that you want, the kind of law you want to practice, and your future ambitions. 
 

It sounds from the above (though I might be wrong) that you are in some non-contentious area, that you don’t mind a heavy workload too much, that money is important, and that Dubai might be for short to medium term. 

If that’s the case it shouldn’t be too difficult. The Lawyer is a good start - they advertise jobs in ME. Also worth looking at the ME section of Legal 500/C&P - figuring out which law firms in your practice area rank the highest in ME and bearing that in mind and maybe looking at their careers pages (though as I understand it firms in ME typically go through recruiters). Looking at ‘Jobs’ on Linkedin is also worth doing. This may sound obvious but don’t just settle for any role that comes up - in my view, if one is making the move, the £££ increase has to be substantial. Otherwise you may as well stay in the UK. I wouldn’t settle for just the ‘tax difference’ - the gross has to be more too. 

Disclaimer - I haven’t worked in Dubai but have visited; I was also seriously considering a move there and interviewed at one place though didn’t end up going; I may well reconsider in future. 

Finally, when you do get there, watch out for Biggie and his womanising ways. 

 

 

 

Thanks Barry - I'm in RE and yes short and medium term. So far the vacancies I have seen are all in house so your ME property companies that own most of the RE in Dubai. 

Yes it has to be the right role - no point moving otherwise.

If you call Taylor Root and ask them to send your CV to the firms i mentioned, i can almost guarantee you someone will take a look at it at at least one of those firms. Alternatively, you could send your CV directly to the partner in charge of RE for each of those firms in the region (it will take you about 5 mins to find them - and again, i can assure you, that if nothing else at least one will have a call with you). 

Thanks Parsnip - you state the firms 'I' mentioned - I assume you mean the ones on the Legal 500/C & P?

For in-house you really need to be out there I think. The few roles I did get a sniff of really didn't pay that well either.

no i meant the ones i mentioned in my post where i mentioned a load of firms known for real estate in dubai...

Indeed. Just have a look at the Legal 500 listed firms and get in touch with them. Someone will have a vacancy/look at a spec application.  

As you say a move straight to in-house is more challenging. There are some good in-house roles but lots of not great ones as well and it would be a massive culture shock moving straight to in house in a local company (or indeed to a local firm) from UK private practice. Much harder to get home again afterwards as well. There are sometimes in-house roles here with international companies but I wouldn't have thought there are many on the RE side. 

I moved out here with the firm I worked for in the UK (and am still with them). 

 

Thanks Parsnip, I missed your first post hence my question but have seen your post now!

@mediumlaw I returned to the UK in 2017, was there for best part of a decade, although only actually a resident for the last 5 years. Not a hundred years ago but agree things change fast in that part of the world - and ironically I only discovered the speedy booze delivery from RAK after my alcohol licence was refused. 

Agreed! I first visited here in 2012, then did a few trips for work and a stint in 2018, and even compared to that last stint it has changed quite a bit. 

SatNav - I have a reccy friend here if you need some help as well. Are DMs a thing on this board? If so, send one through. 

As to your question, I moved with the same firm as well. 

I sometimes fantasise about going out there for a few years to load up on cash. I don’t pay anything for a social life and wouldn’t expect to do so there either. The ethics of the place bug me a lot though. And people say it’s hard to get a job back in the U.K. afterwards.

*And people say it’s hard to get a job back in the U.K. afterwards*

That wasn't my experience OD but suspect it depends on the work you're doing. I didn't really do any local law, it was mainly transactions/contracts under English law with DIFC jurisdiction. Colleagues in other specialties found it more difficult to keep their hand in e.g. IP and RE seemingly involve some of the sillier aspects of UAE law. 

What are litigation and arbitration opportunities like for junior associates (3 PQE) moving from City firms to Dubai, please?

I am aware of DIFC, but it's unclear to me how much work is done by international firms' UAE offices, as opposed to out of London. Certainly, several of the London barristers our firm instructs here in English Commercial Court litigation also regularly appear in DIFC remotely, so presumably that could similarly apply to their instructing solicitors. 

I'm also unclear on the extent to which UAE arbitration is purely/primarily construction arbitration (which is fine, but presumably limits flexibility for general commercial arbitration roles elsewhere in the world in the future).

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Mediumlaw, tried to DM you for the rec but I don't think we can on here...

Mediumlaw, tried to DM you for the rec but I don't think we can on here...

Mountain - DR / litigation is more than construction disputes. Dubai is a large trade hub but also there are 4 seats of arbitration in the UAE - ADCAC, DIAC, DIFC and ADGM and plenty of contracts under English Law. There are plenty of high value disputes. you want to avoid a firm that quarterbacks on local court litigation - which a few still try to do (but its impossible to add value as the local court system is completely sh1t).  

The large city firms that have been in the region for 15+ years have multi-partner practices. They are worth looking at. 

This thread deserves to tun. It would be a shame if it fell a bit short so here is my little contribution to help it along. 

Btw, what OP is very true.

There are a lot of Dubai dissers on this board generally (although perhaps less evident than at times in the past), many of whom have never worked there or in some cases never even visited there for a substantial period.

But there again, this board is full of people with very prejudiced views on a whole range of subjects; so wtf!