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My Dubai Experience – Life in Dubai as a British Expat
November 14, 2017|General

My Dubai Experience – Life in Dubai as a British Expat

My Dubai Experience – Life in Dubai as a British Expat

I moved to Dubai in January 2016 to be with my girlfriend who was living there at the time, and I returned back to the UK in May 2017.

This is my personal experience of living in Dubai as a 27-year-old British expat. This of course, doesn’t represent the views of others that live there. So naturally, some may agree with what I have to say, and others may disagree entirely.

I’ve tried to keep this brief and to the point cos ya know we’re all short on time, so if it doesn’t read or flow well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Lifestyle

In Dubai the average person (from the UK) can be exposed to a world that would be beyond their reach back home, glamourous hotels, yacht parties, sports cars and swanky bars.

Luxuries are more easily accessible when you have a higher disposable income and they cost less (there’s no tax on income and at the time was there no VAT to pay on goods).

I was fortunate enough to indulge in some of these opportunities that wouldn’t have been afforded back home (for which I am really grateful).

It’s a flash and lavish lifestyle that looks great on social media, and while these fancy activities are more easily accessible for the average Brit expat, it doesn’t make it sustainable. Many pile on up debt on their credit cards or take out loans to keep up their appearances.

I’m a pretty unmaterialistic person, so while I did enjoy parts of this lifestyle that I was exposed to, it was mostly wasted on me. It felt hollow, like I hadn’t achieved it, perhaps it’s because when something becomes seemingly accessible to everyone it losses it’s appeal or the type of people I was sharing these experiences with.

Myself and Surena at Dubai Polo - it was mint. One of the many things i'd never have experienced back home.

Myself and Surena at Dubai Polo – it was mint. One of the many things i’d never have experienced back home.

Weather

The weather in the winter is fantastic, it only rains for a handful of days per year, which means it’s mostly sunny for the rest of the time. However, there’s a price to pay. From May to September the weather reaches unbearable temperatures of almost 50 degrees Celsius (that’s about 120 Fahrenheit for any Americans reading).

Have you ever tried sitting in a sauna while someone blows a hot hair dryer in your face? Yeah me neither, but that’s what it feels like. So for almost half the year you can’t really venture outside, you spend your whole time indoors doing whatever you can to keep yourself entertained while you wait for winter to come along again. It’s shit, I’d take a dark and cold winter in the UK over a Dubai summer any day. At least if it’s cold you can add a few layers and still venture out.

Socially

Dubai’s roads are similar to the U.S. where you have many highways, so if you want to do anything you’ve got to drive there.

There aren’t really any high streets you can wander so everything is sort of centred around shopping malls and hotels (which have bars attached to them where you can drink alcohol).

After living most of my life in the UK I’d just become used to walking around and exploring, the way Dubai is set up kills any sense of adventure or spontaneity.

Once you’ve explored all the touristy bits there doesn’t really feel like there’s an awful lot to do, most people seem to spend their time shopping, going to the cinema or attending brunches (this is where you pay a set amount and you can eat and drink as much as you like until you can’t feel anymore), these all seemed to be forms of escapism to help people forget where they are.

The People

I did meet some lovely people in Dubai, but they were few and far between. In general, I found that Dubai was home to pretentious, self-important and arrogant people who only wanted to know you if you’ve got money or if you can be useful to them in someway.

It can be hard to form bonds romantically or on a friendship level, something that’s made even more difficult due to the transient nature of the place.

Work Environment

I worked in digital marketing, and while I can only share my experience of this one particular industry I’m confident that what I have to say would apply to most other industries in Dubai.

Dubai gives off the impression that it’s a hugely advanced city, it has “the best” this and “the biggest” that, but the reality is it’s really far behind.

To give it it’s due, it’s a young country, so it’s playing catch-up. What this means though is that for a lot of industries there’s either no competition, or any competition you do have likely isn’t very good.

There’s also a lack of talent in the region, this means you can be average Joe back home, and top of your game in the UAE. It’s akin to a university graduate going back to kindergarten, sure it feels great to know all the answers, perhaps even an ego boast, but in the long run you’re only screwing yourself over.

This can create a false sense of career progression, and if you stay in Dubai too long you can run the risk of becoming stale and outdated.

Summary

I’m not the right type of person to enjoy living in that kind of environment. I missed walking around, seeing nature and greenery, being around normal people and having freedom of speech.

I’d recommend Dubai as a holiday destination, a stop over for a few nights if you’re heading to or from Asia or a week if you’re looking to chill somewhere with guaranteed sun.

In terms of living there, just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean you will too.

If you live in Dubai it would be great to hear your view in the comments section below. I wrote this post to help people understand what it was like living there.

4 coments
TsoHost Review From An Internet Marketer
October 18, 2015|General

TsoHost Review From An Internet Marketer

TsoHost Review From An Internet Marketer

Get 10% Off at Tsohost

If you’re thinking of using Tsohost for your hosting then you can get 10% discount using the promo code ROFE10 at the checkout. Top tip, use the code on their annual package (as opposed to monthly) to get a larger discount. Visit Tsohost.com

As someone who runs a small portfolio of websites, I’m often asked who I choose to use as a webhost, and why. I’ve tried a handful of hosts over the years, and I’ve found that Tsohost have hands down been the best, and they come highly recommended from me.

Here’s why I recommend Tsohost

  • Uptime – Since moving my sites to Tso I’ve never once had to complain to them about my website going down, this is something that was happening far too regularly with my previous hosts (Domainmonster & 1and1 if you’re wondering). Every time my sites go down it costs me money, so it’s important for me that they stayed up a running. I even pumped a lot of traffic to a viral type site of mine (400+ real time users according to google analytics) and it seemed to cope very well without any noticeable difference in load time, impressive.
  • Customer service – I’ve contacted Tso a few times, and sometimes quite late at night too. There’s someone always on hand to help. It’s not just that there’s someone there to help, it’s that the people there know what they are talking about too, this makes life so much easier when they understand your problem, it avoids frustrations and means I can get things resolved quickly too.
  • Free site migration – If you already have an existing host and are looking to move away from them then Tso provide an excellent service where they can do this for you. You just simply need to provide them with access and logins to your site and they will do all the work for you. Great if you’re not so confident doing this yourself (I’m always worried I’ll fuck it up). Point to note is that I do think the number of free migrations varies depending upon which hosting package you choose to go with.
  • Price – I found the price of hosting to be very reasonable and with prices starting from £1.25 a month and going up significantly higher they can accompany users who need a light, moderate or heavy package.
  • Server location – a minor one here, but I own sites that are UK focused that get their traffic from favourable rankings positions in search engines. There’s some SEO benefit (admittedly very minor) in having your host’s server location in the same country that you want your site to predominately rank. Tsohost have their servers based in the UK, which was obviously useful for me.

The negatives
From a hosting perspective I can’t find any negatives with Tso, if I had to be nit picky then I’d say that their backend interface wasn’t instantly clear when I first started using them, however it was obviously new to me and would naturally take time to get used to anyway.

The only other minor thing (granted it’s unrelated to hosting) was that I needed to purchase an SSL certificate for one of my sites, and I felt their price (I think it was £49.99 for a year) was a little bit more expensive than some other competitors, however I didn’t mind so much as I know their service is far superior to anyone else I’d used before.

Questions
I hope you found this review helpful, if you have any further questions on Tso feel free to contact me or leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.

Click here to visit Tsohost.com

3 coments
From £5,000 to £100,000+ A Year
August 2, 2015|General

From £5,000 to £100,000+ A Year

From £5,000 to £100,000+ A Year

I wanted to write this to demonstrate how practically anyone with digital marketing knowledge can earn £100K+ a year within 8 years by starting out with £5,000.

Now I should start off by saying that what I have to share is realistic (no bullshit), so it will require time, patience and discipline. While it’s theoretical, the fundamental principles here work, and it’s something I personally try follow myself. I also know that this isn’t the quickest way to make money online either, but it’s what i’d consider a ‘safer’ route, which I’ll explain later in this post.

I appreciate not everyone has £5,000 lying around, but you can start off with less money (but it will take you longer to hit £100K+).

So how is this possible? It’s so simple that I’m actually surprised at the amount of people that aren’t doing this. The key is buying existing and already profitable websites, and then using the income generated to buy more profitable sites. By repeating this and reinvesting your income, over time your earnings mount up. You’ll also be creating money earning assets in the process, which you could always sell if you want/need to.

If you start off with £5,000 and buy a website for the amount it would earn over a period of 18 months, and then continually reinvested all your profits, below is the amount you’d earn over a 10 year period. After 5 years you’d be earning close to the average UK salary of £26,000. Take a look below.

Year Reinvested Profit Average Monthly Income Payback At End Of Year
1 N/A (intial £5K investment) £277.78 £3,333.33
2 £3,333.33 £462.96 £5,555.56
3 £5,555.56 £771.60 £9,259.26
4 £9,259.26 £1,286.01 £15,432.10
5 £15,432.10 £2,143.35 £25,720.16
6 £25,720.16 £3,572.25 £42,866.94
7 £42,866.94 £5,953.74 £71,444.90
8 £71,444.90 £9,922.90 £119,074.84
9 £119,074.84 £16,538.17 £198,458.06
10 £198,458.06 £27,563.62 £330,763.43

If you’re curious as to how much could be made with a different initial investment I’ve added a google spreadsheet here. You can edit the initial investment amount, and the monthly multiples for which you’d buy sites for and it will automatically update so you could see potential earnings over time.

Where to find websites
There’s a few places you can keep an eye on, such as flippa and acorn domains, uk business forums etc. It’s worth noting though that sites listed for sale at these places get put in front of the eyes of many other digital marketeers which can push up prices. So you might struggle to buy a site for 18 months revenue, although it is possible as I have done it myself. If you want to find the deals, then you’ll have to put a bit of ground work in and go where they aren’t in front of everyones eyes.

The important thing when you’re looking to buy a site is that you do your due diligence. Failure to do this properly could result in the purchase of a site that was only ever destined to fail. For example, sites that have had questionable seo tactics done to rank them which show good traffic and earnings now, but in a few months time will be penalised by Google.

If a site is getting most traffic via SEO, I try to go for sites that have a decent history of traffic and earnings. This shows to me that it has been able to survive the ever-changing SEO landscape, and should hopefully be able to maintain earnings moving forward. I always try and get a second opinion too.

You could also opt to buy sites through a broker such as Empire Flippers or FE International, you’ll usually require a bigger budget here, as these are higher end sites, and don’t expect to pay 18 months revenue for a site either. BUT what you will get is an expert who can help you through the process and due diligence, which would offer you some piece of mind. FE International have actually done a really good piece on due diligence here.

Now I mentioned earlier how I thought this was a ‘safer’ route when investing online. What I meant by that was that if I had money to start an internet business from scratch, it may or may not work. Regardless of how confident you are, it’s unknown. Whereas buying a site that is already earning, you already have proof that it works. While it still carries risks, it’s less risky.

Of course there are some flaws with the above ‘plan’, and i’m making assumptions that all funds get reinvested, sites are continuously acquired at 18 months revenue etc. But the principle is there and the numbers don’t lie (unless i’ve done my calculations horribly wrong).

I’ve now made it a ‘test’ of mine and think to myself “If I can make this investment back in 18 months or less I should probably try buy it” – provided I have the funds of course.

I was actually inspired to write this post by Ryan Gibson, who around a year ago now used interest free credit cards to fund his website acquisitions. Ryan has now recently paid off the cards in full, and everything he makes from now on is 100% profit. A wonderful achievement!

The internet is a big place now, there’s opportunities to invest in websites and make money for everyone. If you’re not doing it already, I really do suggest you give it a go.

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About Me

I’m Mark, but you can call me Rofe. I'm an internet marketing guy based in London Dubai.

I believe the internet is full of money making opportunities, and I seek to take advantage of them where I can.

If there’s a way to make money online I’ve probably tried and failed at it, and then attempted it again with some degree of success.

I’ve tried my hand at affiliate marketing, lead gen, ecommerce, trading domain names, adsense, and I’ve even created a novelty gift.

Here I share my journey making money online, my outlook on life, and whatever other stuff I feel like. Thanks for dropping by.