I’m moving to Dubai!

No really, I’m actually moving to Dubai

I still can’t quite believe I’m typing these words. But yeah, my life and my blog are about to get a Middle Eastern theme because I’M MOVING TO DUBAI.

If you follow me on Twitter or you’re a fan of my Facebook page, you’ll know I was being a bit cloak and dagger about why I was in Dubai for a day recently. The truth, I’m relieved to finally be able to announce, is that I was there for a job interview.

Here’s me looking all glossy while I sh*t myself about what I’m about to do.

moving to dubai

You know when you think that life is pretty much sorted and then something comes along and pulls the rug from under you? Yeah, that’s exactly what happened to me. And I kinda think that having your life turned upside down every once in a while is a good thing.

Why redundancy may just be the best thing that’s ever happened to me

I had my Digital Marketing job and I was settling into life in the North East. Then, I was made redundant. Not just me, the whole office. For some reason, I felt incredibly calm about the bombshell. I just kind of knew that I was going to be okay.

Hello unemployment, Jeremy Kyle and blogging alll day errryday.

Or so I thought. The sweet freedom of being jobless lasted a whole three days, because I landed another amazing job in the heart of Newcastle. I started immediately. I was really happy about it, because I knew it was an excellent career choice. I want to build upon my existing SEO skills, immerse myself in creating content for brandsย and gain more PR experience. Thereย was no better place to do it.

When moving to Dubai became a real thing, I was completely torn. Aside from my personal life, I knew I’d be leaving a good professional gig to pursue this.

So how did I get a job in Dubai?

Right before I was handed my redundancy cheque (oh hi free money), I was approached by a huge international brand. They’re building a new digital team in Dubai, and they want me in it. Am I interested?

Uh, what? I honestly thought it was a prank and some nasty pasty from the past was out to humiliate me. But after extensive research (read: LinkedIn snooping, the professional version of Insta-stalking), I realised it was all real. Before I knew it, I was on a plane to Dubai for an interview at the company’s HQ. Oh, and I flew Business Class, so that was pretty bloody cool.

I’m not going to tell you which amazing company I’ll be working for in case I’m not supposed to – but I will say I hugely admire them, they’re one of the best companies in the world to be employed by, and there’s an element of travel involved that makes me feel a bit sick with excitement.

Just go with it

I start in January. I never would have envisioned myself moving to Dubai in 2016, but that’s what’s about to happen. To be honest, it’s not a place that has ever particularly appealed to me. However, I hate cold winters and I’ve always dreamed of flitting away to a warmer climate, so I have a feeling that me and Dubai are going to get on just fine.


ships in the harbour

The stars aligned for me to make this happen. That’s the only way I can comprehend the turn life has taken. I didn’t go looking for this adventure – it came to me. It banged on my door and demanded my attention. I know it’s my hard work that attracted this opportunity, but I feel like this isn’t on me – it’s down to fate.

This must be meant to be.

I read a quote recently that has encouraged me to just put faith in whatever the universe seems to be conspiring for me. It was something about how, when your world is turning upside down – you shouldn’t stress. Because how do you know you won’t like the other side better?

A non-comprehensive list of things I’m worried about as I prepare to move to Dubai

  • Where will I live?
  • How will I handle the heat in June?
  • What if I get lost all the time?
  • Will anyone be nice to me?
  • Will the job be as good as it seems?
  • Will I get homesick?
  • Will the cost of living be ridiculous?
  • Will I actually be able to spend my weekends at the beach?
  • Will my family be able to visit?
  • Will all the general admin involved with moving abroad make me so anxious that I change my mind?
  • Where will I buy groceries?
  • How is living in a hot, Muslim country going to affect my wardrobe choices?
  • What if I come back and my life in the UK has fallen apart?

I could totally go on but you get the gist. I’ll share my findings once I’m out there.

So, what’s the crack with my blog?

Obviously, there’s going to be a huge focus on expat life in Dubai on While I’m Young next year. I hope to share what I’m sure will be some ridiculous accounts of acclimatizing, finding the best brunches and (hopefully, please God), making friends.

Of course, I’ll be taking every opportunity to travel from my handy Middle Eastern location. The word ‘opportunity’ has been popping up a lot lately. I’ve always said that While I’m Young is about taking every opportunity life offers you, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. I could never turn down Dubai. And really, while I’m young and skinny(ish) is the prime time to go on such an adventure.

Wish me luck! I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Follow the Middle Eastern adventure on Facebook, Twitter, Instagramย andย Pinterest. Would you move to Dubai? Have you been? Leave me a comment!



    • Dannielle Lily
      January 2, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      Thanks Angie! All the best for 2016 ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Gerry Mould
    January 1, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    I knew you would get the job, well done and good luck.

  2. January 1, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Congrats for the job! I really hope you will adapt to life in Dubai, I could not. But, heat in June? ๐Ÿ˜€ You mean heat in April, May, June, July, August, September, October, …? ๐Ÿ™‚ Bring lots of layered clothes to survive the AC. Good luck girl! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. January 1, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    Ps, if you need some advices about clothing, buying groceries there or so, drop me an email, I”ll be happy to help!

  4. January 1, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    Super excited for you Dannielle, I hope you have a great time out there – I’ve heard so many great things about Dubai! Wishing you lots of luck and a happy 2016! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. January 1, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Wow!! Huge congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚ How exciting! I would totally love an opportunity like that to come along and land on my desk, but I’m still waiting! How long is the job for? is your boyfriend coming with you? Are you going to learn Arabic??? Can’t wait to read all about your middle-eastern adventures ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Bee
    January 1, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    Oh my word Mrs, despite the slightly terrible start to this story you are clearly at the other end and it’s looking pretty sweet! I hope you have the most amazing time, you’ll ace it girl.
    Bee | QueenBeady.com

  7. January 2, 2016 / 12:21 pm

    Good luck! You’ll love Dubai. I lived there for 4 years and it was awesome… even wrote a book about getting settled in that would answer some of your questions. It’s called @Home in Dubai. There’s a very vibrant and supportive expat community so you’ll have no trouble making friends. Happy New Year and safe travels!

  8. January 2, 2016 / 1:47 pm

    Good luck with your move Dannielle! How exciting, wishing you all the best for your new adventure In 2016!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. January 2, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    What great news!!!! Congratulations :-). You were so zen about being made redundant, l knew you would bounce back quickly!!! Yeah!!! and the first picture of you up top is so lovely!!! Happy New Year and l hope you have a fantastic one.

  10. January 2, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    Wooozer amazing news dubai is a crazy amazing place what a fab job opportunity I can’t wait to hear more!

  11. January 2, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Wow! What an incredible opportunity! I got so excited for you just reading this post and wish you all the best in your new adventure! I remember reading a quote recently saying ‘today is my adventure’. It’s a mantra I want to adopt more in my life! Enjoy!x

  12. Steph
    January 3, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    Love it! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. January 3, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Congratulations! Sounds like a dream job to be sure. Looking forward to your Dubai themed posts – that should make for some amazing eye candy for us! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. January 4, 2016 / 8:39 am

    Having lived in Abu Dhabi and Dubai I think it’s easier to make friends there than it would be moving to a new city in the UK. You’ll be homesick for a little while but it will be loads of fun and a great time of year to head out and get acclimatised. In the summer just stay in more, a bit like winter in the uk!

  15. January 4, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    Sounds like an AMAZING opportunity. Congrats to you and I cannot wait to hear about what it’s like to live in Dubai. Don’t worry (impossible) – it will all come together, even the friends thing.

  16. January 6, 2016 / 8:30 am

    How exciting!!! Congrats and good luck! Believe that is something you have created for yourself, because they wouldn’t be knocking on your door if you haven’t built your skills and experience. Give yourself credit for your courage in taking that step into the unknown. Keep it up!

  17. January 13, 2016 / 11:04 am

    brave! best of luck x

  18. February 13, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    kudos, hows it going in Dubai so far?

  19. March 10, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    It is really exciting the you are moving to Dubai! It is definitely a strange place. I have a friend who is working and living there for five years and I am planning to visit her this summer! I wish you good luck with your carrier! Thanks for sharing!