Living in a big city is the dream of many people.

But it’s not always as glamourous as it may seem.

I’ve spent many years of my life in New Jersey, struggling with working in several jobs, while at the same time striving for my bachelor’s degree.

My life used to center around an exhausting routine of work. Work never ended. It took up all my time, to the point where I didn’t have any time for myself.

I later moved to California, and nothing really changed. I still had an exhausting job with a demanding work environment. Deep inside, I felt I deserved better. I knew I needed better.

I used to look forward to sitting by the TV at the end of each day. After all, it used to be one of the few moments of rest that I had.  

I vividly remember following the documentary Giant Structures about Burj Al Arab, from its design to operation.

I was fascinated. It drew me in.  An idea slipped into my head. Why not break out of my routine and move to a completely new environment? There may be a better life for me in the Middle East.

I come from a very diverse cultural place, so I didn’t think twice about challenging myself. I decided to give it a shot.

I arrived in Dubai back in 2013, and my first impression was that it was a large and diverse city.. quite warm, but I was very optimistic!

My optimism soon started to deteriorate. It changed to worry, as the days passed by without a single job offer in hand.

8 months passed. I ran out of savings. So I decided to pack my bags and leave, back to where I came from.

But a call changed everything..

Today I am an asset and property management specialist at Magic Planet - Al-Futtaim Group

At the time, I was the only woman in my department.

Today I see life from a completely different perspective. I am living a balanced life, and have lots of friends surrounding me.

I enjoy the warmth of Dubai, I love its modernity, and I am enchanted by its history and heritage.

I am Kashmala Nayyar, an optimistic person interested in history and humanitarian studies. I love traveling, but I am in love with my new home.. Dubai!

This is who I am.