Applying to a Middle Eastern based airline can be both an exhilarating and daunting thought, but aged just twenty one, I was beyond excited to start a new chapter of my life in Dubai.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely had a bit of a wobble before I went wondering would I like it? Would I even like flying? How was I going to adjust to a new country, culture and climate?
But it has been three and a half years now, and I’ve not once looked back.
One huge perk of moving to the United Arab Emirates, and why many people move to the UAE as an expat is the tax free income. What you earn is what you get here, and is very advantageous when it comes to saving money.
Additionally, we also receive company provided accommodation with bills included so you have a great disposable income to spend on what you want to!
Dubai is also one of the safest places to live I have found. I’m yet to feel unsafe walking alone at night or concerned I’m going to be a victim of crime. Many say you could leave a Lamborghini parked up with its door open and keys in the ignition and still come back to it later on, this isn’t a likely case for many countries I’ve visited!
Additionally there is everything here that you are probably used to in your home country for example Starbucks, Waitrose or Wagamamas. A lot of internationally recognised brands are here and readily available in Dubai in addition to a whole host of celebrity chef restaurants and global chains like Hakkasan, STK and Nusr Et.
One thing I’ve found difficult is that FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp Video etc are blocked in Dubai which makes staying in contact with home a little more difficult and you rely on your layovers to catch up with family and friends.
Another downside of being based in Dubai, in comparison to your home country is that you can’t always be at home for everything. You will miss out on birthdays, Christmas, weddings and other things that are potentially important to you as you’re based in the Middle East.
You are able to travel on days off and utilise that incredible staff discount we get, but you always have to be back in Dubai 16 hours before your next duty. A downside to being based here, but then we have year round sunshine. So you have to take the good with the bad.
I’ve gained so much from living in Dubai, a lot about other cultures and the differences in how people act and say things.
Moving to a city where you don’t know anyone thousands of miles away from home really throws you in at the deep end. But I’ve made friends for life from all over the world and all different walks of life.
But with the majority of your friends being cabin crew, it can become a little lonely sometimes especially when you come back to Dubai and all your friends are away flying, but this encourages you to learn to spend time solo.
If you’re thinking about applying to a Middle Eastern based airline I can’t encourage it enough. The places you’ll see, the people you’ll meet and the opportunities that will be presented to you are priceless.
If you don’t take that leap, you’ll always be looking back and thinking what if?!
I’m Jess from Jessica’s Journey With Emirates, based in Dubai in the UAE. I’ve been flying for three and a half years on a mixture of short haul and long haul routes reaching a total of 66 countries so far!