Why did you move to Dubai?
Dubai was never on my radar, the opportunity came along by chance. I had done my previous job as a luxury ski holiday salesman for four years and had gone as far as I could within the company and felt I couldn’t progress further and needed a new challenge. I wanted to earn more money and started looking into the finance industry but was put off by the time it would take to study.
I have a friend who works in Hong Kong doing real estate, so I reached out to him to ask about his experience and decide whether it would be something I would be interested in doing myself. He told me his friend was working in Dubai as a real estate agent and knew that his company was hiring, so I gave him a call. He worked for Allsopp & Allsopp and we had a long chat about what the job entailed and what opportunities were available and it sounded great!
Before I knew it, I was speaking to Jo, HR Director, for my first interview. She was very helpful and friendly - she suggested I have a Facetime interview with the Head of Recruitment, Kameron and the rest is history! I was out in Dubai 3 weeks later! I’m quite a spontaneous person and when I want something I grab it, so I knew I needed to get to Dubai as soon as possible and not waste any more time.
What was your first impression of Dubai?
I had never been to Dubai before but one of the first things I noticed was the customer service - everyone was so friendly and would go above and beyond for you. However, I was apprehensive about the laws as you hear stories about Dubai being very strict but I would say that isn’t the case. Dubai is very safe and very fair with its laws and regulations, I’ve never felt uncomfortable.
In the UK, I live in the countryside close to Oxford so for me, Dubai was a completely different experience! I’d never been anywhere like it. My girlfriend and I went to Dubai mall and watched the Dubai Fountains with the Burj Khalifa as a backdrop and I was in awe.
What was your first Impression of the company?
I was very nervous when I first arrived - like starting any job, it can be nerve racking, but starting a new job in a new country was next level! When I arrived at Vision Tower I remember noticing how big and impressive it was. The office itself was a lot bigger than my last office and had a real modern, vibrant but corporate vibe.
When I arrived everyone was very receptive and welcoming. I’ve come to learn that everyone has been in the position I was - they’ve left family and friends at home to pursue a career and it can be a tough job at times and the team is a great support.
Chloe did our training and she was great - she is very open and approachable and I learned so much. Chloe is very down to earth which put me at ease and I knew if I had any questions or if I didn’t understand something, I’d be able to voice that openly.
Jo and Kameron were great with the onboarding and moving processes - they were both so organised! They made the move to Dubai very stress free and I felt everything was in hand. When I arrived, Jo talked me through getting a driving license, my Emirates ID - there was nothing I had to wonder about at all - she had it all mapped out.
How did you adapt to the job after having the experience of working in a sales environment?
I’ll be honest, I found it tough to begin with. I had come from a sales background but this was different. However, I felt I adapted quite well. I love meeting clients and enjoy talking to them and showing them around homes but there are a lot of aspects to the job as well as this and you truly have to do it all to succeed, so I learned very quickly to be as organised and structured as possible.
I feel I have learned so much about different cultures and how different nationalities like to work. My previous role was very high-end and mainly European clients so it has been interesting to learn and adapt to an array of people.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Adapting to Dubai and learning all the different areas across the city. It’s a lot of information at the beginning and because I had never been in Dubai before, it was quite overwhelming but it’s been a challenge I’ve embraced and really enjoyed. It’s amazing how quickly you learn!
One thing about Dubai that I’m still trying to get used to, is getting around in the car! I often find myself taking the wrong road and once that happens, you’ve added at least fifteen minutes to your journey! Driving in Dubai is very different but I am so grateful for Google maps!
Learning my area was also a challenge as Sobha Hartland and Dubai Creek Harbour were newer areas for the company to work in so I had to do a lot of research for myself but I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else - I love the area and there’s lots of new developments emerging that I’m really excited about.
What has been your biggest achievement?
I was the top leasing agent in the company in lockdown! I did around 10 deals in one month. It was a really tough month as well with viewings being stopped and the inability to meet people but I made it work and did really well.
My goals have remained the same since moving to Dubai but I would certainly say I will achieve these sooner. I bought myself a nice car here, a car I wouldn’t have been able to buy in the UK.
I have also achieved great friendships! The guys I joined with have become my best friends. I didn’t think I’d ever have friends as close as the ones I have at home but I have - we’ve all got so much in common and we’ve all been together from day one on this real estate adventure and gone through all the highs and lows together. It’s something I knew I’d miss from home and I’m so happy that I have the same here.
How do you get around the hard days at work?
The hardest part of the job is to not get emotionally attached to your deals! The moment you step into the office you can’t wait to get your first deal over the line and it’s so frustrating when things don’t go to plan. It is very easy to get disheartened but I tend to think of it as a machine - you need to keep all the coggs churning. When something doesn’t work out, the best thing to do is move on if the problem is out of your hands. Losing a deal never gets any easier though!
What would you have done differently?
I wouldn’t have chased after the big deals in the beginning - the apartments are your bread and butter and when you focus too much on the one-off big villas, you’re neglecting your bread and butter deals and losing out. If big deals come along the way - it’s great but I definitely wouldn’t have invested so much time into them in the beginning.
3 tips for someone looking to make the move
- Make sure you’re financially stable before you make the move or you’ll get too stressed and end-up not focussing on the job in the right way.
- Don’t listen to negative comments - if moving to Dubai is truly what you want to do - do it! A few of my friends and family were unsure of my decision and if I’d have listened to them, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.
- Always use Waze to help you get around!
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