The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There are many disadvantages to working in Dubai:
- The cost of living is comparable to major cities such as London and New York. A 2009 survey ranked Dubai as the 20th most expensive city in the world.
- Unmarried couples can’t officially live together, although in practice this rule is often broken.
- There is no free schooling for expatriate children.
- Workers shouldn’t expect to live in Dubai forever. A work permit does not confer citizenship.
- Expats are frequently away from their family for long periods of time. Vacations are often spent visiting relatives rather than taking holidays.
- Guest workers can’t change employers as freely as they can in their home countries.
- Your job could be subject to Emiratisation as secretaries found out in June 2006.
- Your working hours could be longer than you are used to.
- Despite the city having an extremely diverse population, there is little cultural integration outside the workplace. Westerners socialise with the other westerners, Filipinos with other Filipinos, etc.