He was an electronics engineer, who’d spent years in London working on telephone systems that were dogged by miles and miles of antiquated wiring, ducting and cabling.
From time to time, he would hear about the Gulf – whole new towns being built on bare desert, with the telecoms engineers free to install their systems from scratch.
So, armed with a good CV, he went out for a visit to the ‘fastest-growing city on earth’, confident that he would be offered a good job before long. He thought it would be like stepping into the magic kingdom of Eldorado, where the streets are paved with gold.
In brief, they saw him coming. He soon got trapped in what seemed like a well-paid job, under a contract that he hadn’t even read properly, which committed him to work more-or-less round the clock. And he couldn’t get out of it for months. (That’s how we met – when he needed stress-counselling.)
I’m glad to say he didn’t give up. Belatedly, he saw the need for local knowledge, local contacts, and absorption in the local culture. Second time round, he got it right, and now he’s in a much more suitable job that’s fulfilling all his hopes.
It just shows that you don’t get something for nothing in this world. Dubai can be a wonderful opportunity for expats, all right. But Eldorado it isn’t.
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