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Posted by Karen Thornalley

Shirley Doran



I am a Relocation professional, having worked and lived in Dubai for the past 19 years, I started working in Relocation soon after arriving here.  In those days, Relocation was still very new and no one was offering the service and I helped set up one of the first boutique companies that is still running today. Over the years, I have moved from Multinational companies to eventually running my own Relocation company which I had for 6 years, and still operates in the UAE.

I was approached by a large Global Relocation company about 4,5 years ago to help them build their name brand here and took on that challenge where I built a wonderful team of over 30 mobility consultants in the office and on the road, and made our footprint in the local market here in Dubai.  The role was very exciting and I worked with some amazing professionals.

At the end of last year I was yet again approached for another set up which is where I am today – I head up Cielo Mobility which is a Mobility company with a difference.  We are a RPO company (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) where we work a lot in Healthcare and various other organizations. We are part of an Executive Search company and are linking recruitment and mobility together.  Another very exciting project in which I truly believe is very unique and which I am very excited to be working on.  Hiring the best possible candidate for companies then providing a great hands on service to show them where they will be living and starting a new life is paramount to retention of good hires.

I am fast approaching my 19th  year, my children now 22 and 19 spent their childhoods growing up here and my daughter has now returned to complete an internship here for the 2nd year of her university degree.  They have had an extremely privileged time here, getting to grow up in such a diverse environment with the best education, creating friendships with other children from different cultures and being able to travel to many destinations.

As a South African born in Cape Town,  I loved that we were living in a city where the sun was out everyday, my son Nicholas has returned to Cape Town, an amazing city  and to see what life is like in the land in which he was born.

I have very few memories of my working career back in South Africa; my early career started in corporate hospitality and then moved into Customer service and Public relations, until I relocated to Germany 1994.

Looking back I can honestly say that my proudest moment in employment to date is that I set up and successfully ran my own Boutique Relocation Company. I had a niche clientele that expanded through word of mouth.  Which was a reflection of my hands on one to one work ethic.

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