Photo by Tim de Groot (

5 Years In Dubai, Now Starting New Life In Georgia

Who am I?

Hi, my name is Viktor and I’m 25. Since September 1 we live in Tbilisi, Georgia. With this post, I will start my endeavor to regularly write a little on interesting things happening (or that already happened) to me. The blog will cover mostly expat life in UAE and Georgia, IT/tech and father-to-be (i.e. being married to a mother-to-be) related topics.

What’s going on?

My wife and me have just left Dubai for good after living there for 3 years. Though being Russian citizens, our choice was Georgia as we had been deeply impressed by the country, its nature and people, while being on vacation there a year ago. Besides, its attitude to expats is very attractive — you can stay there 1 year with no visa having no problems with buying property, opening bank accounts and doing business.

Tbilisi, Georgia

So far we are not looking for any job, as we have always been dreaming of leaving stuffy offices and start doing something on our own.

My wife Ann has already succeeded on this way, leaving her legal job a year ago (with a 10 year experience behind her back) to become a certified yoga instructor. As for me, since childhood I was deeply engaged with IT and now I have enough time and possibilities to try implementing couple of things I’ve been thinking about lately.

More than that, Leo (yes, same as Leo Tolstoy) Razumov expects to welcome all of us in his world next January, so I believe with all this I’ve got enough stories to tell.

My first business trip to Dubai, 2012

What did I do before?

As mentioned in the title, I have spent my last 5 years in UAE: 2 years traveling there for business trips every 2 weeks and almost 3 years residing there. I’ll be brief about what I was doing in Dubai (later I’ll write a post about this) — initially I started working there as a consultant for multiple IT projects (mostly project and content management systems) for a big private Russian oil company, that had just started an ambitious upstream project in Iraq (keeping office there was and, still, is obviously risky, so they got their management bodies in Dubai until recently).

After 2 years I received a very attractive offer from this oil company to join their project management office as a reporting officer. However, after 9 months this office was moved to the oilfield in Iraq (yes, I worked in Iraq) and half a year later back to Dubai. At the time I left, I was working as a business analyst at the hybrid department operating as a typical PMO and a kind of an inner consulting group working on increasing business efficiency. My responsibilities included integrity analysis of development scenarios, business planning and reengineering, as well as IT support of this endeavors. It was a great job, but now it’s a great time to make a new step.

Rumaila, 2014

Why did we leave?

Since the time I was working as a consultant, I’ve been constantly thinking, that being employed at a big company, even having a high salary, is not the best investment of your effort and time — all the time you feel increasing someone else’s wealth (but not yours) and having very limited freedom (usually dichotomic — either you agree with what you’re told or you leave). However, since 2010 I worked for 2 different employers, gaining only now enough savings and bravery to exit this cycle. The final step was another coming relocation of the office to Basra, Iraq, that this time I couldn’t accept (though the nature of the work on my last position was very interesting). And frankly I don’t believe much in oil and gas long-term surviving — modern technology already offers much more sustainable energy sources, year by year leading to lower demand in fossil fuels.

Besides, living in Dubai appeared to be not that nice and easy one can imagine. Even if you never liked autumns and winters (especially if you were born in the region close to Siberia), you’ll miss seasons changing. Your eyes will become thirsty for greenery every time you go for vacation, and you’ll definitely start appreciating a possibility to get sopped in the rain.

What’s next?

By now, we have already settled in Tbilisi and now resting for a couple of days in Batumi (nice sea resort in Georgia). Once we come back, we’ll continue finding out, what is it to be an expat in Georgia. So stay tuned to know more about this — people, language barriers, renting apartments, banks and other stuff.

If you liked this post, please press “Recommend” and suggest topics for the next posts. You are also more than welcome to share your stories of moving to Georgia in the comments.

This post is dedicated to our cat Leon, who developed a deadly kidney failure while living in Dubai and was put asleep. Our best friend, that had moved with us from Russia, sharing all the troubles we faced in a new place.