I had never been to the Middle East prior to my secondment but it was part of the world that I had always wanted to explore. When I was given the opportunity to spend six months in the Dubai office with the Litigation, Arbitration and Investigations team, I jumped at the chance.
Whilst my experience was somewhat unusual as I was out in Dubai during the COVID-19 pandemic, I still managed to have an amazing time on secondment. That is testament to how friendly and welcoming everyone in the Dubai office was. Despite working from my apartment for the majority of my secondment, I felt fully integrated in the Litigation, Arbitration and Investigations group. I was exposed to a variety of contentious matters ranging from construction disputes to advising clients on complex regulatory and compliance issues including potential breaches of international sanction regimes and anti-bribery/corruption legislation. I was afforded a high level of responsibility which was absolutely invaluable to my development as a trainee, particularly as I qualified into the Litigation & Regulatory group in the UK on return from secondment.
Outside of work, I made the most of everything Dubai has to offer (COVID-19 restrictions permitting) including weekend brunches with a group of trainees from other law firms around the world. A personal highlight would be taking the last few weeks of my secondment as annual leave and hiring a car with a fellow DLA trainee. We used our time off to explore areas outside of Dubai which included travelling to Ras Al Khaimah’s Jebel Jais (the highest mountain in the UAE) to ride on the World’s Longest Zipline.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Dubai to anyone considering it. The secondment was certainly an unforgettable experience during my training contract and a great opportunity to build both professional and personal networks across the globe. I can’t wait to return!