Michael’s tips for the Middle East.

Michael Prophet President MENAI first arrived in the Middle East from Manchester at the height of the boom in 2006. A fascinating, glamorous and modern city with charisma and plenty of money.

This is not Dubai today. It has suffered greatly from the 2008 crash and is still licking its wounds. Business is on the up, but not in the carefree manner of the old days. Cost effectiveness is essential. Not the ‘money no object’ of the past. So firstly beware of your aspirations. It is a great place to live but costs are high in tourist areas with a 20% tax on all hotels and touristy hang outs. Jumeirah beach hotels and bars are particularly top dollar but they are all 5 star and you would expect to pay similar in the UK.

The labour force is very distinct and some attitudes may reflect this. Political correctness is not as acute in the Middle East and the class system may be found at times to be slightly uncomfortable.

The driving here in the Middle East, can be initially a little daunting when compared to some other regions.
Judgment, lane control and driver awareness can be questioned. The indicator is sometimes used as a fashion accessory and some drivers progress with just telepathy and good luck! Be very careful for the first few weeks.

If you are unlucky enough to have an accident, please call the police straight away (the number for reference in UAE is 999).

Administration here takes forever and requiring several trips to do the simplest of tasks, allow time or can lead to frustration. PLEASE do not part with any money in return for promises, they rarely materialize.

The Middle East offers in the main a rewarding and culturally rich experience which many choose to never leave. The working opportunities for the Expat are difficult to match, with a very high value given to Western qualifications and experience.

When you first arrive please do not hesitate to contact me directly and I will be please to help with many of the questions and queries which you may have.

May I wish you all the luck in your new adventure and I hope it brings you the same satisfaction that over the years it has brought to me.


Michael Prophet
President – MENA
Merit Engineering Resources