Where Diversity Dances

A funny phenomenon

Many UAE residents share a common story: they came here long ago, lived, worked and then left after a few years in search for greener pastures… only to return once again to build their lives here. While the UAE – like any country – has its darkness, it also has a bright and expansive light that attracts those who seek to see the world for its opportunities, rather than its obstacles. After years of international travel through the USA, Canada, Pakistan, Spain, Thailand, Costa Rica and Singapore, I – like so many others – have returned to the UAE to partake in its many gifts: cultural diversity, individualized pace, simultaneous ease and excitement, and a chance to do what I love.

East dances with West

America has been called a proverbial ‘multicultural melting pot’, Canada a ‘cultural mosaic’, and the UAE, I would say, is a ‘dance of diversity.’ The country’s population (approximately 85% consisting of expatriates) is the gift that keeps giving. The people inspire cultural traditions and unique ways of life to thrive and dance together, creating something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re a single wanting to mingle or a family of four fashioning a future, the UAE offers something for everyone. Want to indulge in delicious dining, or are you more of an ultra-conscious, organic-only vegan? Options like Pierchic, Nobu, or BeStro and the Organic Foods & Café will tempt and tease each person’s pallet beyond satiation! Whether you worship in a temple, a mosque, a church, or amidst the glories of nature, the UAE offers ground for you to kneel upon. If you dream of accumulating wealth in the bustling downtown core, earning more than you can in your home country, or living simply amidst the tranquility of the desert, the UAE allows each one of us the opportunities to fashion our very own lifestyle.

Words for the women

When it comes to relocating to the Arab region, women tend to be particularly cautious. I understand the fears that come with being a woman traveling new lands and know that living anywhere is not without its challenges for a woman.

The UAE has come a long way in gender equality, leading amongst other Arab nations with the highest proportion of women working in leadership roles. Recently, they appointed Ministers of Youth, Happiness and Tolerance, all awarded to female representatives.

Living here, I feel safe and free to walk home late at night, start a business, drive, create a family, own a house, complete a PhD, get a low-interest loan and pretty much do, wear, be and create whatever my heart desires. As a woman, feeling safe and free to follow my dreams is another gift that sets this nation apart from its Middle Eastern counterparts.

Why teaching in the UAE is different from teaching in other countries

Fact: the UAE wants expatriates to come, live and work here – particularly teachers! Education is an always-expanding field. According to the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), enrollment in private schools in Dubai grew from 99,367 students in 2001-2002 to 225,009 in 2013-2014, showing that schools are consistently flowering, even in times of recession.

This nation is hungry for innovative educators and generously rewards those who accept the invitation to teach in UAE. Unlike other countries, the UAE is an easy place for a teacher to transition to, meet like-minded people, buy property, hire help, socialize, and create a comfortable and balanced life.

The grass is always greener where you water it

After extensive travel, I realized that every country has its pros and cons, and that home is where I feel most supported to create my dreams. Teaching jobs in UAE not only offers numerous opportunities to do this, but also provides support to gracefully rise above the challenges that come with being a woman navigating a globalized world. And so, I have returned to Dubai to water the proverbial grass – and it grows and thrives, despite the desert landscape!

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