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Living Between Two Countries - UK and Dubai

Updated on September 2, 2011
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Marian (aka Azure11) lived in Dubai for 7 years and now travels over there once or twice a year for business and pleasure.

Living in 2 Places

Many people would love to have 2 homes in different parts of the world and in fact there are a large number of people who do spend time in one or more countries so I thought I would share some of my experiences of living in two places and the pros and cons of doing so.

The two countries I live between are England and Dubai. I was born and brought up in the UK but did always have a passion for travelling to different places and have spent time living in France and Australia in particular so when the opportunity came up to move to Dubai in 2004 I know that was something I would have to take advantage of.

Initially I spent all my time in Dubai and enjoyed life in the sunny Emirate. But after spending a number of years there I knew that it was time to do something different. I hadn't really ever wanted to go back to the UK but I saw that as a stepping stone to making a change so back I went.

However, after a while there I was missing my friends in Dubai, the opportunities there were in my line of work and the weather, so I decided to split my time between the two places.

It's a tough life when you have to choose between lying in the pool or braving the weather of the UK...
It's a tough life when you have to choose between lying in the pool or braving the weather of the UK...

Problems and Solutions

So, as with everything, there are pros and cons to living in two places. To start with I do not have a high paying job (I work as an artist) so the option to have 2 houses and two of everything was not really financially possible. However, there are solutions to everything so it is just a question of finding them.

I have a house in the UK, but to actually pay the bills when I am not there I need to rent my room out. I already have a lodger in one room so I put all my belongings in the 3rd bedroom (my studio) and I rent my room out for a few months. It is not always easy to find someone for this amount of time but there are websites out there where you can post for short term lets.

Summer in the UK can be lovely!
Summer in the UK can be lovely!

Pros and Cons

So the pros of living in two countries are:

  • I can pick the best places to be in for the best weather - Dubai in the winter and the UK in the summer
  • I have friends in both places and when I have been away from one place it is great to come back and catch up with them
  • It just makes life more interesting!
  • If there are business opportunities in either I can capitalise on those
  • I have a bolthole to go to if I need to escape!
  • I have a lovely place in the sun where friends can come and visit
  • There are lots of different and fun things to do in Dubai

Obviously there are also cons to living in two places and some of these are:

  • I have to keep up and pay the bills on two homes
  • Flights can add to the cost of living and can be expensive
  • I might miss out on important events in one place as I am in the other
  • I have to have 2 of a lot of things
  • There is always something that I want that is in the other house!
  • Spending long periods of time in two places would not be great for a relationship!

Overall it can be a bit of a complicated situation and is certainly more costly than just living in one place but at the moment it is a great opportunity and I am thankful that I am able to do it. I can miss the miserable weather of the winter in the UK and go and sit by the pool sunbathing or go and play on some of the amazing golf courses that Dubai has.

I expect that someday I will have to choose again where to stay but for now I will be my usual indecisive self and bounce backwards and forwards between the two places!


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