Rough & Confusing Days at a Private Event Firm in Mumbai, need for International Exposure, Career Growth, getting closer to Love Life are few of the reasons that led me to take this step to enter into a different market along with developing my career into Events.
Reached Dubai in September 2013, had my CV in order and did a master research for the Events Business & scope in Dubai after reaching Dubai. I came here, partied for 6 days at a stretch and then did my job hunt. The industry here is next level if you compare it to whats happening in India. Whether it be, Television, Radio, Events, Hospitality, etc, its all up tight and nothing close to what the standards & technologies used back home. But every place has its charm. Because my immediate past working experience was all about Music and Events, I wanted to excel into the same field but do something more than what i had learnt in my career so far. Close to 200 emails were sent out from my email account to about 140 to 160 Event, Music, Radio, Television, Media & Production Companies. Just about 10% of them got back, 9% out of that were companies that entertained and met me because I used some influence via friends, neighbors, acquaintances, family & old colleagues to get through HR. Am thankful to these people for removing time to meet me cause people normally do not do that here in Dubai. That balance 1% was the one that created the Spark, Was interviewed by a few companies and given an offer then and there. I was in a take it or leave it situation many times as i felt that there were chances for other employers to get back to me and didn’t know what would be the best for my growth. Due to the paucity of time and a good vibe when i gave my interview, my gut feeling took me to YAK Events. I had no idea who they were and what they were into, but from what I pictured them from the outside and what experience i hold today with them, I thank my stars for the exposure they’ve provided. Do realize that this was the only Employer that I met without any influence and things connected. All the other things like – how to work, what to work and whom to work for and stuff fell into place eventually.
Its not a struggle to get to work with a good employer, its just your continuous effort and positive approach that you get while your at work. Although I’ve heard of innumerable situations of Hire and Fire policy here in the gulf, its not like back home. Results have to be shown, results have to multiply. Network needs to increase. Recognition becomes a part of this journey then and you find your self in this great exposure that you don’t feel like leaving. You feel connected, you feel family. You might call in your comfort zone, but that’s what it turns out to be once you’ve done your bit. The appreciation and tap on your back is what makes you go the extra mile each time.
So yeah, that all well happened on the work front. Now Obviously, when you travel to any location whether for a job or for a visit or to meet some people, the next thing that comes to your mind after booking your tickets is “where am i gonna stay”. Its not like back home where anyone and everyone welcomes you home with arms wide open whether its party, or a drink or a movie session or a Play Station game or lets play some cards, etc… Its a little different and conservative if i have to say. And people follow a time table.
My Mom’s brother Deepak helped me stay along with his friend. We were 3 of us staying and sharing an apartment. Rent per month normally in a sharing decent house sheds of about AED 1500 to AED 2000 (Rs 25000 to Rs 35000 per person). I spent about 11 odd months in this apartment and bonded greatly with Nikhil, Jigar & Savio. I was blessed to have being staying along with them and they treated me like brother. We had the best bachelor days of our lives i must say. This below was the kind of room i was staying in earlier just to indicate what you get what you pay for.
I’ve now moved out of this place, rented up a place at Centrium Tower, IMPZ, opp Sports City and staying with my beautiful wife Cleona. i dont have pictures of it, but here is a link to what one of the walls looked like as it was designed by Cleona.
They Say, you cant clap with one hand….
Food – I can go on and on… There is so much of variety, its mainly because you have close to 200 nationalities staying in Dubai. Coming from a land of spices, obviously Indian and Pakistani cuisine topped my list of everyday restaurant. When i stayed as a bachelor with these boys, i usually ate and loved eating out for the obvious reason – You save time of cooking, you dont have to clean your mess, you get what you want on your table, etc. Saying that, a decent meal like a biryani would come for about AED 20 (Rs 340), but you get so many side dishes along with it and that too it comes without a price. So normally when you order for a main dish like a kebab or biryani or pulav, the waiters normally also come along with some salad, dal and curry. They make sure you feel good and full by the time you leave. Nothing like a rainbow chai to end your meal. Now that comes for AED 1 (Rs 17). Can you believe spending Rs 17 for a Cutting Chai ??? SO thats the kind of Ratio of expense here when you compare it to India. You guys have no idea that over time, Local Arabic Food became my favorite. I still Love it. The Shawarma’s, The Falafels, The Hummus with Olive Oil. These things you cant miss out on. and its a Lay man food here. Like how you have Vada Pav back in Mumbai, out here its the Shawarma. Shawarma varies from AED 5 to AED 10 (Rs 80 to Rs 170) depending upon location and also Restaurant. I wish i Could share with you the ictures of the Kind of food that i have had, but there is so much to explore that i definitely do not know where to start from. All you will find Cafeteria’s at every junction. They are basically a copy of McDonalds, Or KFC offering burgers, fried chicken, fish and fries and they excel in making fresh Juices. You cannot go hungry in Dubai. Thats why you generally put on weight when in the gulf. I have not yet tried the Philopino Cuisine and maybe i might not end up trying it also. Egytpian Rice is great. Its combination of Rice, Noodles, Spaghetti. Its Called Koshari and its the most populated food I can say. When i say populated i mean it has – Rice, Noodles, Macroni, fried Onions, Peas, Black Dals, Tomato sauce (not ketchup), Chilly Flakes, Vinegar and atleast another 12 spices. A Take Away comprises of at-least 6 boxes, you then end up mixing these contents depending on what you like or dislike. i had it once, wanted to have it more, but never got the chance or maybe i just forgot about it. I was offered to eat this by one of the Bouncers and promoters working for Mamma Mia during their Tour in Dubai that YAK Events organised. You also get the Indian Chinese here and it takes you back to those Discovery Days in Andheri. You will not be short of India or Mumbai restaurants here. Almost all the top chain of restaurants like Mahesh Lunch Home, Kobe Sizzlers, Mumbai Chowpatty, Haji Ali, Jumbo Vadapav, Persian Darbar, Moti Mahal, etc are here. There is this place called Burdubai, where i used to stay earlier, trust me, you’ll feel like your staying in Juhu or Andheri Station.
Dubai Is a beautiful city, I term Dubai as – You respect this city, this city will much respect you back. You do your bit and this city gives much more than that back. There is nothing as Mandavli out here. It is strict for the very right reason. But every reason has a fee to be paid for. A Nominal fee like crossing the road (Jay Walking) at a non designated crossing will fetch you a fine of AED 200 (Rs 3400) and it goes higher for other silly things (as per you) that you commit as breaking local laws here. Its improves you as a person for sure. Dubai fines listed here.
There’s so much to do in Dubai. Firstly getting your Drivers license is so damn important and difficult, specially when your a working individual. A Friend Richard helped me out for a quicker response. Drivers license takes a good 60 to 150 days to procure, depending upon your past driving experience. Get this knocked off as soon as you touch Dubai, its worth the investment of about AED 6000 (Rs 1,00,000) if your a fresher and about AED 4500 (Rs 75000) if you have driven in the past for more than 2 years back home. I got my 2 wheeler license first at about AED 4000 (Rs 65000) cause I was eagerly waiting to ride the roads of Dubai…. I did a couple of short rides here and there, although i need to catch up to a Harley soon.
Dubai has so much to explore and it cannot be done in just months, eventually and gradually, you can keep ticking off things from your To DO list. i had the company of few friends like Roy, Joshua, Brendan, Prashant, Krisann, Nikhil, to knock of some of the basic cravings from my list that were swimming,
working on First Broadway Musical,
fishing at Night & BBQ
driving and riding at 140 kmph.
All in All… Its been 18 months here in Dubai, life is good. Try it.
The only difficult thing here is to save. How much ever you earn, it all just goes away. But am sure am gonna start budgeting myself in the coming months, cant just keep spending and spending….
See you until my next Blog. Follow / Subscribe: