Came for a short stint, now it's home: Why these UAE residents have long-term plans in the country

A recent survey has revealed that more than two-thirds of employees in the UAE will stay in the country for the next five years or more


Nasreen Abdulla


Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Published: Tue 23 Jan 2024, 8:18 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Jan 2024, 11:42 PM

When Paul Winick arrived in Dubai in 2020, his plan was clear — to complete his job and leave. “I moved here to take a specific role with a startup in DIFC,” he said. “But within six months of living here I knew I would not be returning home soon and that Dubai would be a long-term stint.”

There were several reasons that encouraged Paul to stay back in the UAE. “Having grown up in the UK, the obvious difference in weather was a big factor,” he said. “But more than that, it’s the culture and pace of life I have grown to love. I feel extremely safe living here, and really enjoy the diversity of the people. It’s a clean, vibrant and ambitious place and I want to be part of its future growth.”

Paul Winnick
Paul Winnick

Paul is not alone. A recent survey has revealed that more than two-thirds of the employees in the UAE will stay in the country for the next five years or more. Career prospects, safety, living conditions, salary, economic context, geographical situation and cost of living are the main reasons that employees choose to stay and work in the UAE for a longer period, according to the 2024 UAE Salary Guide released by Michael Page.

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Safe and secure country

Paul’s sentiments were echoed by Jordanian expat Sameh Alramini, who said he considered the UAE home. "I've been here since 2016, settled and grateful,” he said. “The reason I want to stay is firstly security. Comfort and well-being of myself and my family, as well as the social justice in this country is exemplary. Fourth, and maybe most important, the future of my children is in line with the country's vision of development and sustainability."

Sameh Alramini
Sameh Alramini

For Bangladeshi expat Farah Shams, UAE is home. “I was born and raised in this UAE,” she said. I do long hours at work, travelling between emirates and I’m totally at ease doing so given the high levels of safety in the country. Diverse cultures and tolerance are other factors that are attractive to me. It's like a mix of a grounded yet fun and comfortable lifestyle.”

Farah Shams
Farah Shams

As a dancer, Farah finds the UAE the best place to chase her dreams. “One can comfortably achieve a work-life balance, be it sports, dance or theatre,” she said. “The UAE has promoted media, literature and art exceptionally well.”


For Paul, investing in the country is something that he wants to do. “I have not invested in property or stocks as of yet,” he said. “I am part of a startup so I feel there is some level of investment being part of a new company launching in Dubai. As I intend to stay here long term, I will look to buy property in the not too distant future.”

Living with his family in the UAE, Sameh aspires to invest in a home and embark on a long-term venture to start his own business. He said he has never thought of leaving the UAE. "It's crazy to leave a successful country in all fields, that has a purposeful and successful future vision,” he said. “The people of the UAE are among the kindest, and the leaders are focused on the future of the country, the well-being of their people, and the well-being of everyone residing on this land."


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