Experiences of Dubai - good and bad?

(13 Posts)
OTheHugeManatee Thu 23-Jun-16 16:12:55

DH has been offered a potentially huge opportunity. It would mean moving to Dubai, probably for min. 5 years. I'm 30wks pregnant with DC1 and we've just finished renovating a beautiful house so my immediate reaction is I'm not really keen! But I feel like we'd be mad not to consider it.

Any MNers living out in Dubai? What's it like? Good and bad points - please tell me! What is the expat community like? I worry I'd be a bit isolated especially with a young child but perhaps it'd be great.

RosaHibiscus Fri 24-Jun-16 15:59:28

We are moving in August. I have heard mixed things, but many tend to be more on the positive. We are giving it a go smile
Would you have the baby here in move afterwards?
Good luck with your decision. It's never an easy one

Itsabeautifuldaytosavelives Fri 24-Jun-16 16:46:34

My DHs work are talking to him about a secondment in Dubai starting in September ish so would be interested too. We have a 6 month old so worried about being isolated too. Watching with interest!

PrimeraVez Fri 24-Jun-16 18:56:31

Good: Much higher standard of living, able to save and send a significant amount of money back home each month, a great outdoors lifestyle for some of the year, able to easily travel to places such as Oman, Jordan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, huge expat community, a chance to meet people from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds, excellent private healthcare, very safe

Bad: missing friends and family and many of the associated birthday parties, weddings etc, weather is unbearable for at least 3 months of the year, being part of a social hierarchy that leaves a bit of an unpleasant taste

PrimeraVez Fri 24-Jun-16 18:58:22

Meant to add, I have a baby and it's been great - because so many expats are without family nearby, everyone sort of supports each other and there are so many classes, clubs, meet ups, coffee mornings etc that are all really accessible.

Isthiscorrect Fri 24-Jun-16 19:47:46

Ok. It's a great place, loads of mums having babies, just had babies, toddlers, young children, tweets, teenagers and those of us who still live here with our children having been through the system. There are good schools and nurseries, very very expensive, please make sure costs are included in your package.
There are no end of activities for little ones. Join British mums Dubai on FB, expatwoman.com and mamavents Dubai for more info.
It isn't perfect but quite frankly nowhere I can think of is actually perfect. Loads of opportunities for meeting new people. To get more specific advice you need to start with where your husband will be located for work, then schools can be recommend and then places to live.
Everything you've heard about the heat is true, this week has been really windy and hot, 45 at lunchtime daily. Humidity is expected to be 85% this weekend but hey everywhere is air conditioned. It's not third world we have M&S including food! Debenhams, boots, Zara, top shop , etc. There is a lot of extra stuff to do if you seek it out, people do complain about being stir crazy but it never lasts.
Good luck. Feel free to ask more.

Tweennightmare Fri 24-Jun-16 20:02:31

Good: Expat lite no language problems, English largely spoken lots of English home comforts like marks & spencer, debenhams , Zara etc
Schools: huge choice and growing of British schools
expat community: very well developed lots of opportunities to make friends
Entertainment: water parks , shopping great restaurants, alcohol restricted to restaurants linked to hotels but loads of choice, beaches, lots of bands have now included Dubai on their tour circuits, rugby sevens, Dubai World Cup , tennis and golf championships
Cheap petrol, option of having a maid and never having to clean a loo again

Downsides: Very expensive to live, you soon get used to paying £40 for a bottle of wine! and £5 for raspberries!
Shockingly hot in summer,
Openly racially discriminative society
Scary driving on the roads
Lack of security in relation to job, visa totally linked to job security . I have seen many friends lose their jobs and having to leave at short notice
Children and you are continually making and losing friends as very transient population, can be very unsettling after a while

OTheHugeManatee Sat 25-Jun-16 20:39:21

Thank you for all your answers!

Might be a mad question but has anyone taken pets there? Is that even feasible? I am a bit of an idiot about our cats, would miss them terribly and certainly could not rehome.

YellowOlives Sat 25-Jun-16 23:09:37

No problem to take pets. Loads of people do. We moved our cat and it was a simple procedure. Costly, but straight forward.
Dubai Kennels and Cattery are a popular choice. Contact them and they'll send you the details of a pet handler in your area. They then tell you exactly what you need to do. Am sure there are lots of other companies also doing it. Most vets do I think.

Ifiwasabadger Mon 27-Jun-16 20:48:51

Cannot say enough good things about living in Dubai, do not believe any of the naysayers.,it is open, tolerant and an amazing place to bring up children.

8 years in and I can't imagine leaving. I could write pages and pages about how much we love it.

FrikkaDilla Mon 04-Jul-16 23:19:52

We were there for 2 years. I hated it with a passion. The lack of freedom - unable to walk (weather/traffic/lack of pavements). Lack of nature (it's too hot for much to survive). Bad manners ( I wouldn't know where to begin to explain this on a forum).

However, if you like shopping malls and don't mind really wide social divides and don't think you'll be stressed out by trying to organise the simplest thing (phone line in house, electricity suppy etc) then you might cosider it.

Do some more research first though.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Wed 06-Jul-16 22:38:38

Have you seen the Expat Insider Guides website? Lots of great advice and guide on moving to Dubai there....

OTheHugeManatee Thu 04-Aug-16 14:07:07

Thanks for all your messages people and sorry it's taken a while for me to respond! It's really helpful to hear your experiences, good and bad. Especially that it is possible to take pets. Our cats are very much part of the family and while I could bear to move location I would be heartbroken to leave them behind.

I'm 36wks pregnant so even if we do decide to go, it won't be for a while. It's a very firm offer and they are proposing to fly us out to visit / discuss further later in the year. I guess we'll see...

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