Well dear readers I haven’t told you officially yet so here goes → we are leaving Dubai. Gulp. Yes. Stu and I have decided to return to our homeland, South Africa, and try our hand at our own venture. After 6 years in the sand we feel ready for a new challenge. We won’t be going back to Jozi (Johannesburg) but instead will make a new home somewhere along the Garden Route. A lovely part of the world indeed. We won’t get into the nitty gritty of why we had to make this call – suffice it to say that our circumstances changed on the employment front (as they can so quickly here) which forced us to evaluate if we wanted to spend a large chunk of our hard-earned savings renewing our lease at the end of June. What with the challenges of losing our sponsorship and potentially going it alone with our own business here we felt the prudent thing was to change direction.
It has been a bittersweet few weeks I must say – I will certainly miss the great new friends I have made here in the UAE, with so many cultures and nationalities thrown into one place we really have been exposed to some lovely people from all over the world. I have also loved how easy it is to travel pretty much anywhere from here, and having the opportunity to save a few bob despite some variable employment experiences over the last few years has allowed us to do that. However I am excited to be returning to the country that will always be home and which is indelibly in my blood. I am excited to be nearer to (old) friends and most of my family, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to some trepidation about returning to a place with a rather disturbing political situation. I am not looking forward to having to put my old “street smarts” hat back on and locking my car door everywhere I go. Living in Dubai certainly makes you complacent I think. And of course not paying tax (or the obvious kind shall we say) will most certainly be missed. But for all that I am excited about our new adventure and being back in a beautiful place filled with wonderful people.
So anyway before I wax too lyrical let me get to the point. As part of a discussion I had with a friend the other day about the wrapping up of various things here – cancelling services and selling cars – she urged me to put together a “Dubai exit” checklist for those that will follow at some point in the future. Which I have started to do. So here is part one for your enjoyment.
*Bear in mind this is from the point of view of being the wife (i.e. sponsored) staying behind to wrap things up once hubby (the sponsor’er) has departed. The list is in my logical order but that may not be chronological in all cases.
Don’t forget to work your way through any stocks of wine or liquor you may have before you go – have a few final braais – you can’t ship that stuff so don’t waste it!
Ok I am sure that’s not everything, as I go through the process I will update my list, and update you.