Expat says relocating to dream country ‘wasn’t so fun’ – 365 days of sun can be ‘surreal’

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Lauren Toft and her family moved to Abu Dhabi, in Dubai, a couple of years ago after her husband was transferred there for work during the Covid pandemic. The expat said relocating to another country can be very difficult but they now have a wonderful and “very British” life in the Middle East country.

Lauren explained that the first days in Dubai were “eye-opening and surreal”.

She said: “It was really an emotional rollercoaster.

“Moving from an island nine by five to a huge foreign country with all these new opportunities to explore was exciting.

“However the personal admin that came along with a relocation wasn’t so fun.”

For Lauren, the paperwork was the most difficult part as getting everything ready to move to another country can be a slow and daunting process.

However, the expat said that “the hiccups you have along the way of your relocation process are part of the journey, although I wouldn’t have said this at the time!”

Lauren said moving to Dubai during the pandemic was the best decision: “Honestly, when I look back at the start of the pandemic and how Dubai dealt with it in comparison to other areas of the world, I am so thankful we were in Dubai during this time.

“My little girl and I had only been here for two months and without family around us it was difficult, but we also made up for the lost time we missed out with her when we were working long hours at home.

“Now I look to where Dubai is today in regards to pandemic compared to the rest of the world and honestly, I still couldn’t think of anywhere else in the world I would want to be during a pandemic. “

Lauren shared her top tips for those who are planning to relocate to another country and recommended Dubai as a great destination for expats who are looking for sun and a lot of opportunities.

The British expat said: “My tip would be to research the country and see if it’s really where suits your lifestyle and needs.

“Relocating to Dubai, absolutely do it.

“If you can secure yourself a good job with a good package then I don’t see why you wouldn’t take the advance of 365 days of the year of sun, tax free salary in a country with endless opportunities.

“Things to consider: relocation costs, price of housing ie rent, school fees and utility bills.”

She also shared some of the best things about Dubai: “The country is safe and extremely clean, endless things to do whether your single or a family, sunshine 365 days (even though last year and this year we have had some amazing rain), you make great friendships – near enough everyone arrives knowing no one with no family – and lots of opportunities.”

Lauren explained their personal experience is “really positive” as they have a very similar life to the one they would have back in the UK.

She said: “Our little girl goes to a lovely British school in our local community which is five min drive from home.

“There are so many schools to choose from out here you are very spoilt for choice.

“Our life in Dubai is very different to what the British media perceive Dubai to be like.

“We, as well as many other people we know, live our lives very similar to back in the UK. However, we just do it in the guaranteed sunshine!”

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