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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Nirvana Govender, 27
‘I moved out here to study at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management about six years ago. One of the things I truly appreciate about Dubai is the security, something lacking in South Africa. Also, I appreciate that I’ve had the chance to meet people from everywhere. It’s brought out another side of me, almost given me a window into all of the countries of the world – without even having to go anywhere.
‘Don’t get me wrong though, SA has a lot to offer. The environment of the country is just beautiful. The wildlife and bush provide an opportunity to get close to nature. SA is a lot older than the UAE, so culturally it’s stronger and more aware, but Dubai will get there, I’m sure of it.
‘This city has been good to me and, although one can never really say what will happen next, I’d like to stay here for another eight to 10 years. If I wanted to start a family, SA isn’t as safe as Dubai. But that won’t keep me away from South Africa – I visit up to three times every year.
‘South Africa has plenty to offer, the adventurous person that I used to be in SA is lost now. Hopefully she’ll come back as opportunities for less work and more play grow here. I’ve managed to settle down and kill the homesickness and I am fairly satisfied with how things are at the moment. It would be nice to have a little more greenery here though. Nature is something Dubai residents would enjoy.’
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