Expat Stories – Mark Doherty

Mark Doherty is Cigna’s Head of Distribution, Individual Health, Middle East.

Moving to Dubai

Mark is from Dublin, Ireland and has been living in Dubai for over 9 years.

This is his expat story.

What have been some of the biggest highlights from your expat journey so far?

I love to travel and Dubai is perfectly located to easily access so many places within a short flight time across the ME, Asia & Africa. I’ve been really lucky to experience so many wonderful places that I would never have traveled to if I’d stayed in Ireland.

The biggest highlight has to be the people I’ve met along my journey, particularly when I first moved abroad. They really helped me adjust and enjoy expat life!

What are your main responsibilities within your role?

I head up Cigna Global’s Healthguard sales team, across both the broker, and direct to consumer channels.

Together with a fantastic group of colleagues, I promote our individual health insurance offering, working in line with a strategic plan to achieve success for our business.

How would you describe your typical day at work?

I like to start off my day by getting up early and going out to visit our Broker partners. Visibility is absolutely key in this market, particularly as we are a new brand and new distribution line here in the UAE.

We’ve invested a lot of time and resource into training and educating our new distributors. My afternoon is typically spent in the office catching up with the sales teams or on internal calls with our Glasgow office.

What can you tell us about the development opportunities you’ve experienced within Cigna Global?

I’ve worked in the insurance industry for over 12 years. Since joining Cigna, I’ve been really impressed by the unique culture created that encourages participation in training, the access to leadership programs, diversity and also the social responsibility commitment to give back to the community. I’ve never experienced an organisation that is as invested in its people.

Especially working here as an expat in Dubai, it is really fantastic to be able to work amongst such cultural diversity. I think really benefits the organization and it’s absolutely fantastic to be able to mix in with colleagues from different backgrounds. 

What do you love most about your role?

I love the challenge that comes with starting a new brand in a new market for us. It has been an incredible learning experience for myself and the local team in Dubai, gaining so many insights over the past year.

It’s also fantastic being part of a global distribution team and being able to connect my colleagues across the globe who can help share their insights having faced similar challenges and successes they’ve experienced in their respective markets. This includes working closely with Andy Seale, Cigna GIPMI’s Global Chief Sales Officer.

What’s life in Dubai like? How different is it to home?

I’ve lived in Dubai for over 9 years and it really has been a life changing experience. I’m originally from Dublin, Ireland, and I made a decision at the time to live and work abroad as it was a chance to get a broader understanding of the world.

Dubai was the perfect place being a melting pot of different cultures with so many different nationalities. I met my wife here 5 years ago and whilst it is a transient place, Dubai is very much our home. Despite the summer humidity I can’t see us returning to the Irish weather anytime soon!

Finally, how would you describe your expat journey in 10 words or less?

A culture shock. Given me a better understanding of myself.

International Health Insurance

Expats often opt for private healthcare and it’s important to have this arranged before moving country.

At Cigna Global, we provide plans that are specifically designed for expats just like you, ensuring that you have access to a range of different options, and 24/7 support where and when you need it.

You can also rely on our many years of experience in looking after the health and well-being of our customers.

Find out more about our plans here.

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This article serves only as a reference and is intended for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, tax, financial planning, health or medical advice including diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any reference to products or services offered by Cigna are available except where prohibited by applicable law and subject to terms and conditions.

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