RELOCATING FROM ROMANIA TO DUBAI: BENIAMIN ONCEA

We are very happy to introduce you to Beniamin, who relocated with us from Romania to sunny Dubai, where he works as a Backend engineer at UEA’s leading property platform!

Read more of Beniamin’s amazing journey in Dubai, starting from the relocation process to his every day life at this amazing new location!


1. What is the best part about being a tech professional in Dubai?

There are many good parts, but if I have to choose one, I would say it is the opportunity to work with a lot of highly-competent people from all over the world, which leads to using the best technologies and best practices.

2. What brought you to this area, what’s your background?

Frankly speaking, I was neither looking for a change, nor thinking seriously to leave my country. I worked for eMAG, which I’d say is the best company that I could work for in Romania and I was there for one year only. Thus the offer from Dubai came in a moment when I was in a comfort zone, really satisfied with my achievements. In the beginning I only wanted to test my skills and to see my level through this interview and tests.

3. What were your motivations to move to Dubai?

After I thought about moving here, the motivations came one after another. One important thing was, obviously, the salary, but I’d say that equally motivating for me were the technologies I was told I would work with, the expected level of knowledge among the people here and of course, Dubai: the modern and famous city where everyone would at least want to spend a vacation in. Another factor was my personal attraction towards new and big challenges.

4. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?

The workday is similar to what I had in my country, not a big difference. I start working at 9 – 9:30, I stay in the office for nine hours (one being for lunch break), thus I end up leaving around 18 – 18:30. The only notable difference is the shifted week, the workweek being from Sunday to Thursday.

5. What do you love the most about the day to day life in Dubai?

The easiness of life, the benefits brought by the modernity of the city and the fact that I am at the same time an employee and a tourist here; I can visit and discover a lot of places after work and during the weekends.

6. Would you say relocating and getting used to Dubai is easy? Why?

Obviously I can talk only from my perspective, but I’d say it’s easy and definitely easier than what I imagined before moving. That’s because of the many facilities brought by the modernity of the city, because the city is among the most safe in the world and because everybody can communicate in english (even though it’s an arab city).

7. What kind of projects are you currently working on?

I work for the leading property-portal in the Middle East and North Africa, which connects developers and agents with the end clients and facilitates properties transactions. Regarding the tech projects, right now I work in the refactoring team, on a project meant to bring to the application the latest updates in regards of technology (upgrade to Symfony4 PHP framework which was just released few weeks ago, ElasticSearch indexers written in Go etc). The expected result of this is a more solid and faster application and for the people, more knowledge and the satisfaction to work with the latest technologies.

8. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?

One of the most important aspects of the tech field is that it is continually changing, thus I consider that my greatest achievement so far is the attitude that makes me wanting to learn new things, never thinking that I reached the top and to be not only able, but also determined to keep improving day after day.

9. What is the app you use the most since you moved to Dubai? 

Do you have any favourite local apps we should know of? The app that I use the most is called Zomato, I order food through it every day (sometimes I use Talabat for the same thing). Other useful apps would be InstaShop, used to order grocery at home, 2Gis which is the best map app in Dubai, Wojhati – the public transportation app and, last but not least, Souq which is the biggest online shop in the region. I also use EmiratesNBD as the banking app and I like it very much, but this depends on what bank you want to use.

10. What’s the best thing about working at your company?

I don’t think I can pick one specific thing, but among the things that I like the most I can point out the friendly environment, the opportunity of dealing with people from all over the world (the employees come from about forty different countries) and things like the company-served breakfast, which can definitely make a good impression.

11. Where is the after work hangout?

This depends on the lifestyle of each individual, but there are for sure places for each type. There are clubs and pubs even in the building nearby; there are quiet places like some beaches nearby, the artificial islands (eg Palm Jumeirah) and the Dubai Marina which is really nice for a walk during the evening. There are also the huge malls (especially Dubai Mall and Mall the Emirates) where you can find almost everything, from shopping, food and Cinema, to skiing and ice skating. Dubai Mall is placed near Burj Khalifa and the fountains show in front of it can be watched every half an hour. In conclusion, many things for every taste.

12. Who is your professional role model?

I don’t think I have a specific professional role model, as I try to take the good things from all the professionals that I encounter. As role models in general, I’d pick Jack Ma and Steve Jobs.

13. What makes Dubai a good city for technology, startups and diversity?

I think the financial power is the main important thing, but also the placement of the city in a region with a lot of development potential. It’s like a flywheel, financial power brings high professionals from all around the world, which develop high-end technology and launch startups, things which attract more people and produce more money.

14. Which tech trends are you most excited about?

I’m excited about everything that brings value and makes life easier, thus I think Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things with everything they bring, are the two fields with greatest development potential in the nearby future.

15. What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employer?

Honesty (no exaggeration about the technologies the company works with, about the level of competence among the employees, about the overtime work; if possible, no exaggeration at all) – Flexibility (working hours, working from home and so on) – Salary (competitive, increases based on competence and without the need for the employee to ask for it)

16. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to a tech professional moving out to Dubai?

I think the most important thing is to not hesitate to take the chance and to not be afraid. There is really nothing to be afraid about and there is always a way back, but a missed chance may be missed forever.


Did you know that at Global {M} we do 75% of our work outside of the UK and Ireland, focusing on several key markets: Germany, Netherlands, Middle East, and Scandinavia? In total we have worked with 26 countries across 4 continents. We love relocating tech talent to new locations, helping them to accept new challenges and grow professionally and personally!