Burj Khalifa Dubai Brett Magill
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Why I moved to Dubai

Moving To Dubai

To answer the question of why I moved to Dubai, we’ve gotta go back a bit.

I had recently resigned from a toxic company, and I was looking for work. I made myself a coffee, sat down at my mother’s dining room table, and started writing about my career.

I wrote about what I was good at social media, where I wanted to go with that skill in a few years, and what I would do if I had to completely start over – a tattoo artist was first on the list.

Marketing Wasn’t Fun Anymore:

I decided that while I enjoyed marketing, specifically social media, the elite club of communications agencies in Johannesburg and Cape Town had filled me with apathy; they were too full of ego, half-truths and a general lack of significance.

I either needed to change careers or accept that this would be the way of things.

I’d give marketing one more go, with another company, or become a tattoo artist.

Moving To Pretoria:

I made a list of agencies I actually liked and had worked with in the past, names like Grey Africa or King James Digital were good exceptions to my experiences, and they had good people, I also made lists of industry contacts and job websites.

As I went down my lists, I found an opportunity for a role as Head of Social in Pretoria. Not expecting anything, I applied. Two weeks later, I packed my bags and made the move to MyBucks S.A, a South African fintech registered on the Luxembourg stock exchange, based out of Pretoria.

To cut a nearly two-year experience short; I had never been happier in my adult life than during my time in Pretoria. But as the company moved into liquidation, I began looking again.

Having conducted some interviews, I realised that there wasn’t anything higher than the position I held, nor did anyone pay the salary I felt met my standards. I wasn’t going to start a company again, a stagnating Cyril’ed-out economy wasn’t making business possible for anyone with little-to-no capital.

I resolved to look overseas again, not expecting to find anything. I always felt that the wider world didn’t think much of South Africans, but it turns out that we’re renowned for our work ethic.

Moving to Dubai:

 

Dubai 2020I ended up being presented with two opportunities; one in Munich and one in Dubai.

I would have loved Munich, but Dubai came through stronger.

Within one month, I sold everything I owned, tried saying goodbye to as many close friends and family as I could while keeping my tears back, and I left with three bags for what I hoped would be a better life on 1 August 2019, the day before my birthday.

I was the new Social Media Manager for Crowd, a boutique agency in Downtown Dubai. I’ve since lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates for seven months at the time of this post.

Why I moved at all:

My life is first and foremost my responsibility.

That morning at my mother’s dining room table, I realised that I become dissonant with my home country of South Africa. While I love her nature, her people and our culture, I couldn’t practically reach what I wanted to reach in life within South Africa’s economy.

Thus, a move away – to any place that would provide me with the economic and career prospects I needed to reach what I wanted to in life – would be the next logical step for me to move toward.

I don’t regret it, and there’s no sense of “#ImStaying” or I’m leaving, or cancer this or liberal that, a gun pointed here, a knife sheathed there; it was because I chose to make a better life for myself.

I do miss my friends and family, every day. I miss the green, the rain, the air, the music and the food. I miss all these things, but, one day when I return, I will do so as a tourist, a traveller in my homeland; it’s too expensive otherwise.

I moved for the opportunity and a better life. While I’m not an authority, I do recommend that everyone, when and if they can, travel to new places to discover for themselves if South Africa holds their future, or, if it lies elsewhere.

Dubai Kite Beach

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Written by Brett Magill

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