Excellent pay and conditions, a great social life and a standard of living arguably second to none – that's the winning formula that has attracted droves of UK citizens to work in the United Arab Emirates over recent years.

But how easy is it to fit into a society which despite many common points of references is still undeniably very different from Scotland – and is sheer loneliness a problem for people who might otherwise reflect they've “never had it so good”? What about the heat?

The first thing to appreciate about the UAE is that professional skills developed in the UK are not only appreciated but also amply rewarded. A quick look at the professional and technical ad sites targeting Fife is enough to disclose a wide variety of jobs on offer in the UAE. And given the Kingdom’s iconic academic reputation it’s hardly surprising the move from Scotland to the Mid-East has become something akin to a standard career option for many.

One normally thinks of the oil and gas industries, finance and engineering – but the UAE has also recently launched a recruitment drive for Scots teachers, which in the current UK employment climate can seem an option well worth examining in detail. The financial and career rewards are not in doubt, and the main issue for anyone contemplating a move to the UAE is whether a possibly long-haul stay away from home will “work” on a personal and emotional level.

For couples, and of course couples with children, the pros and cons are thrown into sharp relief – because of course we're then talking about a complete change of lifestyle for a family, with all of the upheaval which that implies.

On the plus side, it has to be said, is the considerable attraction of living in a vibrant and multicultural community where it is easy to make new friends and where the standards of everything from schooling to accommodation are widely reckoned to be very high.

The major down side is the blatantly obvious one of being separated for lengthy periods from friends, family, and the familiar way of life in Scotland – even if most of us might imagine we would scarcely miss the notoriously wintry and wet Scottish weather. Another is the relative ease with which it is possible – according to so many accounts it cannot be dismissed out of hand – to get caught up in the routine expense of a lavish lifestyle. Certainly the management of personal banking is going to be a crucial part of the equation, and getting on to a secure financial footing – taking in overheads like accommodation, transport and possibly education – has to be the priority.

Meanwhile the distinct Arab culture – rich, varied, and founded in proud tradition - naturally permeates many aspects of daily and business life, and needs to be understood on its own terms as with any country. But while some aspects are very different from Scottish practice they are hardly surprising to a generation used to foreign travel, and few appear to find any difficulty settling in to the Arab way of life – although with that caveat about not becoming ensnared in unsustainable debt. Most who stay the course appear to find it possible to live well and also make a very healthy profit. The UAE has a well-established Caledonian Club, which in turn acts as a conduit towards social contacts in the constantly-evolving ex-pat community, and the first-time visitor learning more about the Emirates will find plenty of Scots willing and able to show them the ropes.

But its members also interact thoroughly with the host community on many levels, within a national milieu which is multinational, proudly Arab, and also West-facing – a complex environment to the uninitiated, but one which many long-term Scots residents there find appealing.

For Scottish Development International, Dubai and the UAE generally are a steadily evolving success story – one in which Scots firms and talented, enterprising Scotland-based individuals are carving out rewarding new careers.