Following on from Annabel Kantaria’s fascinating insight into the antics and shenanigans that expats living in Dubai allegedly get up to, we thought we’d publish a bit of an expat exposé ourselves. (Annabel is a regular columnist for the Expat Telegraph, and she’s well worth following on Twitter if you want to keep up to date with the glitz and glamour of the Dubai lifestyle @bellakay)
In her most recent column entry she highlighted some of the ‘sexpat’ behaviour that takes place, and the related gossip that abounds around the Dubai expat social circle. But is Dubai different as an expatriate centre? I.e., are the expats attracted to this particularly glamorous playground risk takers and fun lovers by their very nature?
Well, from the collective experiences of the Shelter Offshore team - who have lived for long periods of time in more than 20 nations between them – we can categorically state that the expat lifestyle is an exciting one filled with more thrills than spills, and more alcohol than is probably healthy, no matter which nation you favour! So, if you’re thinking about moving overseas and seeking a more exciting life, what might you be in for?
Expats, by their very nature, tend to be more confident and adventurous…after all, making the decision to leave all that’s familiar and forge a new path in a foreign country takes guts.
Many expats also go in search of improved fortunes – whether that be in the form of cold hard cash, or a change in living standards afforded by a change in lifestyle for example.
As a result of all of these factors, you’ll always find a hardcore bunch of partying expats who are quite determined to wring the very best out of their new life abroad.
This can take the form of socialising and drinking (it usually does!) – or it can take the form of expats who make the very most of the assets their new nation boasts. Across the Mediterranean region there are those who spend all their leisure time on the beach or on the water. In Dubai these expats shop til their drop and then party until they drop again.
Because expatriates cannot be defined as a demographic group as such – i.e., they are from all nations, from all age groups and from all walks of life - you often find groups of expats breaking off and forming their own smaller circles of friends, particularly in nations where there are many immigrants. You may have a collective of expats from Britain for example, or you may find expats of a particular group age or social background grouping together.
The antics and shenanigans of these smaller collectives reflect everything from the age of the ‘members’ to their ethnic background for example. However, wherever there are Britons there’s generally alcohol!
Popular expats hotspots – from Hong Kong to Sydney, from the Dordogne to Dubai – will boast so many immigrants that they can sometimes seem to be the dominant voices you hear when you relocate. But we would really advocate integration!
The expatriate lifestyle is a brilliant one – it offers up so many opportunities and positive experiences – but you will only ever get the most and the best out of your time abroad if you spend time getting to know your new nation and its people.
Yes the partying and socialising, the improved lifestyle benefits and the almost constant feeling of being on holiday that so often accompany a relocation overseas are all massive positives…but ensure you also embrace the new nation that you’ve moved to become a part of.
From the language to the history, the culture to the people, each nation will offer you so many new opportunities. So, make the most of the expatriate lifestyle on ALL levels…and temper your alcohol intake even though few other expatriates do!