I have only ever visited one other country and that was America, granted I spent a total of 4 and a half years there. America was good to me, but the time has come for new adventures and sights to see.
How it Happened
I initially applied for the opportunity to come and work in the UAE in the beginning of August after I heard that the USA will not be issuing new visas (for the specific visa type that I was on) until next year. Initially the news terrified me, I was upset because I had finally gotten a promotion in January- which ended early because of Covid. I had left most of my belongings behind in Arizona because I was under the impression that I would be able to pick things up where I left off. I, of course, now cannot.
I went through the first step in the application process and then my USA recruitment company said that they will be able to send some of us over again. When they made this announcement I was torn in two, because choosing America was easy. It was a safe option, it was a job I knew I would get if I applied for it. But then I thought about what I want, and I don’t want that life anymore. I have been lucky enough to see and experience all of the states I intended to (3 still outstanding) and living 6 months at a time was wearing me down. So I chose the riskier option and continued my application for the UAE.
When I passed through the initial interviews I was told that it can take 3-6 months before I will be placed (and because of Corona I expected it to be a little bit longer) so I bargained on only leaving South Africa in February 2021 earliest.
I received an email on October 27th saying I had an interview for a future employer in Abu Dhabi, and I am not lying when I say that I almost fell down the stairs to tell my family the great news.
Long story short:
On Monday I woke up saying my visa was approved
On Tuesday I received my flight details and did a covid test
By Thursday I got on the plane for Dubai
My Travel Experience
Traveling in these corona-ridden times seem extremely daunting, so I felt I’ll tell you a little about my own experience. It seemed extremely scary having to go for a Corona test and ensure that I did it at the correct facility that will give me a certificate that will be accepted for an international flight. Nevertheless, the last few days went like this:
- Tuesday: Covid Test at a designated Pathcare facility
- Wednesday: Collect the Covid certificate.
- Thursday: Fly a direct flight from Cape Town to Dubai.
- Friday: Arrive in Dubai
- Buy a simcard (they sell tourist sim cards at the airport that are valid for 90 days)
- Check into my hotel
- Visit Emirates Speciality Hospital for another Covid test
- Saturday: Receive Covid results via SMS & print it out
- Take a taxi to Abu Dhabi
- At the border get re-directed to an Abu Dhabi specific Covid facility
- At this facility I receive my tracker/watch because Abu Dhabi has a mandatory 14 days quarantine for anyone entering an this tracker will only be removed once you have taken another test on day 12 of your quarantine and it comes back negative.
- Head back to the border with my extra paper confirming I have received my watch and went to check in to a hotel for my 14 days quarantine
At the airport in Cape Town I met an amazing lady who kept me company until we got onto our flight, thank you for keeping me company in such uncertain times may you enjoy the UAE wherever you are right now. But so far I have only come into contact with helpful amazing people who have made this journey from one continent to the other a seamless and painless experience.
I firmly believe that being in Abu Dhabi right now is exactly where I was meant to be, because I tried so many different things, pushed so many opportunities that eventually I said “what will be will be” and this is where I ended up. Even when I received my visa and my flight confirmation, I told myself that I was only able to really get excited once I set my feet on UAE soil, and well- here I am as excited and ready as ever!
Please note: I am only one person travelling, and my experience can be different than yours.
If you have any questions regarding traveling regulations
especially the protocols that have been put into place because of Corona
always check the official government websites for updates and instructions.
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