I have spent about a year (I didn’t survive to be honest a full year) in the UAE. For me, it was the most difficult place to handle so far. I worked in one of the smaller Emirates in Ajman in a hotel. Working, living, existing is not easy. I would never advise anyone to go there. Personally, I think it might be nice for a vacation. For work, I would rather prefer Asia.Why? See below….
Challenges of the Middle East are pretty clear. Firstly, the weather conditions are not amazing. It is either too hot or just hot. In winter time, it is just not comfortable. I remember a day when we spent 12 hours in the car going from Abu Dhabi to Dubai as it was raining and no one was just simply ready for it. 12 hours without moving, I almost cried and had nowhere to escape from the road as in between there is literally nothing but a desert.
Lack of entertainment
Secondly, for me important part of living in a place is ability to go somewhere and visit, explore, learn. While choosing a job location, I usually think what there is to do when I am off work. I believe that you need to get yourself fully distracted from work to get your thought straights. Unfortunately, in Dubai, Ajman and Sharjah you will only be able to go around the shopping malls to spend your money. There is not really a cultural development, not much to see.
Work and attitude
Working as female in the UAE is also quite challenging, physically and also mentally. The working week is 6 days and the hours are not limited, you basically only work and not do anything else.
When you work in China, you have only one nationality to deal with, when you work in the UAE, it is 48 in your hotel and like 12 in your team. It is difficult to deal with all of them at once. After some time you get used to it, but still have to keep some things in mind while in operations.
In terms of rest, you go to the beach a few times but then there is not much you can do around.
After all, I have realized I don’t need this stress and troubles for my life, therefore, I have just decided to leave.