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How to work in UAE banks for more than 7 years and live in the tallest building in the world
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12.06.2019

How to work in UAE banks for more than 7 years and live in the tallest building in the world

Damira Tazhenova, 32 years old, hometown — Astana, manager on work with VIP-clients

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Kazakhstan — UAE


I moved to the Emirates 12 years ago to study for a master's degree in Finance and Banking at the University of Wollongong.

Initially, I wanted to study in the US, but the UAE seemed closer and safer. I decided to try and liked it.


About difficulties and first impressions


First impressions were good. There are many stereotypes around the Emirates, but in fact, Dubai is a cosmopolitan city where live people from all over the world, representatives of more than 200 nationalities.

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city where live people from all over the world

Dubai is a city that can be compared to Hong Kong or New York, where mixed different cultures. Therefore, all my stereotypes about the Arab country were broken.

I didn't have any special difficulties. At the University were many Kazakhs with whom we communicated, helped each other.

We were immediately surprised by the level of service in the country. I also had to adapt to life in such a mix of cultures. Only in my group were about 20 nationalities. It was an interesting and useful experience.

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About life in the UAE


People often come to the Emirates for the fulfilment of their dreams. But the country is tough and only the best is chosen. If a person wants to build a career here, you need to realize you are really a highly qualified specialist in your field.

The first time can be uncomfortable because a new country is always the beginning. The main thing is to clearly understand what you want, in which direction you will develop. Plan your budget and goals.

The UAE is very safe. Around the clock in the city light, a taxi on every corner, no one pestering anyone. Here a comfortable life, climate, good service, beach. Many Russian-speaking people live and work everywhere.

The UAE is very safe. Around the clock in the city light, a taxi on every corner, no one pestering anyone. Here is a comfortable life, climate, good service, beach. Many Russian-speaking people live and work everywhere.

You need to prove your solvency to rent a house in the Emirates. As a rule, the contract for the lease of the whole apartment is for a year. To do this, you must have a chequebook, a bank account. To open a bank account you need to have a stable income and work in this country. Everything is interconnected, and this can be difficult. So many people rent a house with someone.

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Emirates is an expensive country. Previously, there were no taxes, but last year introduced an income tax of 5%. This is compensated by a high level of incomes.


About features of education


All universities in the Emirates are branches of world universities. For example, I studied at the branch of the Australian University Wollongong. American universities had an American system of education, British Universities — British system. Our teaching staff was entirely from Australia.

All universities in the Emirates are branches of world universities

At first, it was difficult, because I had to learn much professional vocabulary. At first, I had to translate the term and then to understand the definition. In these terms in Kazakhstan is easier because you know the language and teachers are more loyal to students. In the UAE, professors are evaluated strictly by the level of knowledge and completed tasks.

Student life was intense. I had friends from Kazakhstan and other countries. We studied and rested on the beach. Spent a lot of time. We're still in touch, even though they've already left.


About work and features of work culture


In parallel with studying at the University, I worked in the Kazakh Consulate. But knew I wanted to work in a bank.

It was difficult to find the first job. I've been looking for a job for six months. Even flew to Kazakhstan, sent a resume from home, but persistently looking for a suitable place.

To get a job offer, you need to go through five to seven rounds of selection. It's hard, but if you want something, it works. I went through all the stages myself. Talent, professional qualities and confidence are of great importance here. It is important to know English, professional terminology and local legislation.

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My first job was the National Bank of Ras al Khaimah. I got a job there as a VIP customer service specialist and worked for two years. I worked with personal accounts of clients, accounts of their companies.

After I worked in the Bank of England, the local Arab Bank Noor Bank. Now I work as a manager in the American Citibank in the investment department for work with VIP-clients. In general, I have been working in the banking system of the Emirates for seven years.

We serve clients of different nationalities, and they usually live in several countries. In addition to the main service, we make an investment portfolio for them, and we are engaged in "wealth management." I serve about 100 clients from different countries, different categories. Many of them are included in Forbes lists.

In the Emirates, flexible working hours. You don't sit in the office from morning till night, and nobody stays late at work. There is no strict control over employees, and you can build your own schedule. The main thing is to carry out your workload and maintain excellent performance.

Features of banking service in the Emirates suggest we meet with customers where it is convenient for them — in the office, in training, at the airport. That's why you usually have a few meetings a day.

There is an opportunity for good professional growth — the country is full of opportunities

Many companies in the UAE offer a favourable social package. For example, we are covered by health insurance, mobile communications, gasoline.

In the UAE, it is important to constantly improve own skills to obtain international certificates. There is an opportunity for good professional growth — the country is full of opportunities. If you're competent, you know what you want, you can achieve a lot.


How the city has changed her


Moving affected me very much. For 12 years of living here, I have developed a mixed mentality, because there is no single culture. I grew up, realized myself here. Every month I travel around the world. I live in the world's tallest building — Burj Khalifa, on the 22nd floor, with a beautiful view. I love this city, and it gave me incredible opportunities. And I owe it a lot.