South Africans in Dubai

Some of the 50,000 South African expats in Dubai tell Time Out about life in the UAE 11 Comments

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Alan Jahnig, 33

‘I’d always heard about Dubai as this place of wealth and luxury where everyone whips about in sports cars – in fact, it was the charm of the sports car that got me on the plane. I’ve been in Dubai for 11 years now. When the Royal Mirage was starting up I was offered a job to help with the opening.

‘It’s tremendously different from South Africa here. It doesn’t have the greenery and the nature that SA offers. In SA, when you go from one city to another you’re in a whole different environment. Unfortunately, because the UAE is smaller, it’s not as easy to experience such diversity. Having said that, you have the desert less than an hour’s drive away – it’s practically on your doorstep!

‘Personally, I feel like Dubai offers an easy life. For me it’s pretty stress-free and the set-up is easier than it would be in other countries. The entertainment is great: you can step out for dinner, catch a movie, watch sports – it’s all very laidback. Although I do wish there were more sporting facilities. Of course, sometimes I wish I felt more at home. I do like going for dinner at The Meat Company, a SA chain. There’s also a pretty strong SA theme at the Grand Grill. And it’s always good to have an African-style barbecue.

‘I think I’ll stay here for at least another five years. I recently started a business and I’d like to stick around and see how things progress. I do still feel homesick at times, especially when watching sporting events in SA. But I visit home about twice a year; it’s important to stay connected with your roots.’

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: Latifa on 25 Oct ' 13 at 18:03

Hi, I have been here for 2 months now and will be here for the next 2 years, and would love to my fellow South Africans

Posted by: Liza Gil on 25 Mar ' 13 at 09:48

Hi, i stayed in dubai for a year and recently returned back home to south africa. in dubai i was using a 3 step skin care system called proactiv that i usually purchased from boots pharmacy, sadly it is not sold here in south africa at all :( my acne has flared up again. Is there anyone in dubai who will be travelling to johannesburg specifically? or who can post this product to me?

Posted by: Waydz on 18 May ' 12 at 10:38

does anyone know of someone in Dubai who offers a service for Attestations or police Clearance Certificatesfrom South Africa?

Posted by: Jinny Hargovan on 15 Apr ' 12 at 19:06

Hi There, I am 37 years old with 2 kids ages 5 & 8 respectively. My husband has a job offer in Dubai which we think is a pretty decent offer but he has to decide before the end of the month. We have done so much research but still not sure whether we should relocate. We lead an average lifestyle in SA and I work part time from home. I will be stay at home mum should we relocate to Dubai at least for a year or so. Any advice???

Posted by: Jewel on 16 Feb ' 12 at 05:08

I am an american looking to locate to Dubai and would like to know a good recruiting/employeement firm to work with. Please post a name and experiences are 10 years of business owning.

Posted by: Adel on 04 Feb ' 12 at 18:03

Looking for South african friends!! My husband works most of the time! would love to have someone to chat to and spend all the lonely days with!

Posted by: geralden petersen on 08 Jan ' 12 at 07:33

Hi, i recently relocated to dubai from cape town and would like to meet south african's, please contact me via email

Posted by: Sonja on 05 Jan ' 12 at 07:19

Hi, I am moving to Dubai June 2012. Can anybody tell me if there is a realiable agency I can contact to get a full time live in maid. I need to work and it would be great if I can get a maid as soon as possible to start July 2012.

You might know of anyone leaving Dubai at that time that has a maid with good reference

Posted by: Jana on 19 Sep ' 11 at 15:22

Hi!I am a young South African with a Masters degree in Logistics, and am desperately looking for a job in Dubai! Problem is, I don't know which recruiters to use,as my internet searches have yielded hundreds.Any advice??
Thanks so much!!

Posted by: jANNIE on 21 Jun ' 11 at 01:46

Hi, I need to go for Job Interviews in Dubai in August this year, would love to meet up with fellow South Africans, will be awesome, let me know please? Thank you.

Posted by: florine on 08 Feb ' 11 at 12:28

I am in Dubai for a month, visiting a friend. Is there anyway that I can meet up with South Africans? I need to make a decision about my relationship, and would love to talk to other south africans who had to move here

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