Muna Hossaini came to the UAE in 2006 to work as a TV producer. It was the Canadian's first experience of living overseas, and she loved it.
So much so that when she was made redundant in April 2010, she had "mixed feelings" about returning home to Toronto to live and work.
She stayed in Dubai for a while, working as a freelancer for various TV production companies, but the work was "not exciting enough" .
"I really wanted something that was going to get me further in my career and offer me stability," she said.
After a trip through Europe to gain some perspective, she felt overwhelmed with the thought of moving back to Canada.
"I just didn't know when and how I should start to look for a job elsewhere."
The recession opened her eyes to "being smarter with money".
After contacting her former employer in Canada, she realised jobs there were few and far between.
Then in October 2010, a few months after she had held her goodbye party in Dubai, she was called back to the UAE to work.
The job was only freelancing, but within a month she was offered a full-time position producing digital media.
Ms Hossaini, now 30, said that living in the Emirates is different than living in places like New York or London, because the UAE gives people "the chance to shine and grow".
"If you work hard and show your skills, you can really move fast."