Roberta Di Siena, my story...
On September 26th of 2008 I took a one-way flight to Dubai.
I had a permanent employment contract with the law firm Meyer-Reuman following the wealth of experience I had gained in Milan, where I had moved after graduation from my Law Degree.
I had visited Dubai for the first time in 2007, following winning some money in the lottery and as a result bought my first ticket. From that moment on I was always fascinated. As soon as I had my feet on the ground here I felt a feeling of wellbeing, joy and enthusiasm.
Obviously, the decision to drop everything and make the leap took me some time (a year in the end). At the time, I had a job with one of the 25 largest companies in the world, owned a flat in central Milan and a great quality of life. However, it was not enough for me and I needed to explore the opportunity I saw in Dubai.
Therefore, I started seeking out opportunities and sending out my CV and around a year after my first trip to Dubai I went back for a job interview. After few days I received an offer of employment from the Law Firm Meyer-Reuman and I could not resist. Straightaway, I resigned, rented out my house in Milan I bought a one-way ticket.
It's been ten years since that day and I have never had a single regret.
Today I have my own consulting firm and I mainly deal both Italian and wider European companies that are seeking to invest in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf Cooperation Council. I have settled here: I have a partner from Bahrain and a flat in Dubai Marina overlooking the Gulf of Arabia and of course many friends from different ethnicities and cultures.
Dubai is a wonderful city, full of opportunities to be capitalised on, but at the same time that needs to be done carefully using a lot of caution.
One piece of advice I would give to anyone considering investing in Dubai, which can be a life changing experience both personally and professionally, is to do so with one's eyes open and ensure that one has the support of people who are highly experienced at dealing with these types of situations.
“Success comes when the opportunity meets the preparation.”
I work helping companies and small entrepreneurs investing in this region. I pride myself on giving dispassionate and direct advice which helps my clients achieve the right solutions. I also have a network of partners and external consultants to ensure that whatever the client's problem, we can reach a solution together.
What I can say is that after a decade in Dubai, the market has changed hugely and in particular new legislation has been introduced in order to protect foreign investors.
That said, change in this part of the world is a constant and my key motto would be "you can never be too careful".
Roberta Di Siena