Finding a home from home when on business travel


The world is opening up for people who are looking for careers or even just experiences abroad. Emerging markets, such as those found in Africa and the Middle East are creating fantastic job opportunities for many people. The only problem is how to find the right kind of accommodation to create a home from home.

Stranger in a strange land

It is not easy to find your feet in a foreign land. Not only may there be a language barrier, but the facilities you are used to at home may simply not exist, especially if the economy is what is termed an “emerging market”. However, this is changing, and changing fast. In such countries, there has been a huge surge in infrastructure, with many property developers and real estate agents fulfilling the need for public and private buildings. Many of these property developers, such as the M1 Group who have a property portfolio that includes accommodation throughout the world and upon which Najib Mikati comments, understand that the accommodation they are building may be used by non-nationals and so tailor the buildings to suit foreign tastes.

If you are travelling abroad, whether for work reasons or for a gap year, and need accommodation, you would do well to begin your search early. Seek help from people who have already experienced living abroad and listen to their recommendations. They may even be able to put you in touch with someone who can provide you with a room or apartment, depending on your requirements.

The internet will be invaluable in your search for suitable accommodation, but do not let it make your decisions for you. Use the internet to locate a property, but refrain from entering into a lease or contract without having visited the site to ensure it meets all of your expectations and that there will be no unpleasant surprises, like a rubbish tip outside your window. Also, compare rental prices with other properties in the same area to ensure that you are not being ripped off.

Although it can be tempting, not to say comforting, to move to an area that has a substantial expat community, you may be missing out on a lot by doing so. One of the attractions of working and living abroad has to be the chance to experience a different culture, as well as the career advantage of picking up a foreign language, so also consider the areas less frequented by foreigners. You may even get a better deal by eschewing the pro-Western centres.

It is better to look for work before settling in the country, and once again, the internet will probably be your first resource, but not your only one. Networking with people who come from your intended destination may open up many career opportunities.

Working and by default living abroad is a splendid opportunity to broaden your horizons and improve your career prospects, not just for the immediate future but perhaps for the rest of your life. Make sure your bold decision is the right one by carefully researching your accommodation options beforehand.


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