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Husband has job offer in Dubai- I'm not keen

(97 Posts)
amhurst Tue 15-Oct-13 13:30:43

Just trying to work out which of us is BU? Is he selfish or am I? I'm 5mnths pregnant with little boy of 4 and just don't want to take on everything move wld entail. Don't live in home country but Dubai wld be even further away from elderly parents etc...It's v hard to be the one saying no to new opportunities but nothing about being in the searing heat of Dubai currently appeals..but am I being unreasonable putting the kibosh on this? Any experience similar to this out there? Many thanks!

suebfg Fri 18-Oct-13 07:18:20

As we wouldn't have obtained a debenture at a Dubai school, that restricted our choices. Plus I'll admit that having DC at one of the best schools in the UK was always going to be a tough act to follow and ultimately we felt it was going to be impossible.

desertgirl Fri 18-Oct-13 05:53:08

Sue, I came here for a job, which I'm still in, 2 kids later. It depends what you do, and how important doing the school pick up is to you - I do drop off only, and I live close to a school I'm very happy with.

I went to both state and private schools in the UK. The state school was better academically. It really isn't possible to make the sort of generalisation that private schools in the UK are 'better' or to generalise about Dubai schools - you have to look at where you could get places, and compare those schools to the actual schools your children are in now.

Teacher turnover is all at the end of the school year, afaik, and does seem to be worse in British (English) curriculum schools than our IB school, though I know long term teachers from both. Friends do leave, it is hard as an adult never mind a child, but it is part of expat life (and can happen in the UK!)

suebfg Thu 17-Oct-13 18:02:50

My DH was offered what we understand is a very attractive package in Dubai by a large multinational. However, this did not guarantee a school place and it was an allowance for schooling and housing which would not have covered the costs. The school fees weren't an issue for us as we already pay private but we didn't feel we would get the same quality. Seems you pay private fees for state school education in many cases in Dubai - from the research we had undertaken. Plus another factor we hadn't thought of originally is that Dubai is a very transient place - which applies to children's school friends and also importantly teachers. We felt this could be disruptive to DC education.

Plus, I was advised by a number of people that I would find it difficult to work and juggle the school commute because of the bad traffic, school hours, working hours etc. When my lack of earnings got factored into the equation, the sums just didn't balance and I didn't want to forego my career for the sake of a few years of sunshine - which effectively would have been the main attraction.

CuntyBunty Thu 17-Oct-13 15:58:34

I didn't mean to offend or upset anyone, certainly not you Theadorakis (sorry sp/I phone). That expat website just looked awful and the people on it so exploitative and to be stuck on a compound with those sorts (certainly not the majority) would have me locked up. I hope I didn't infer that everyone was like that.

amhurst Thu 17-Oct-13 12:34:25

Thanks for the hit list of things to watch out for ..schools, commute etc as if this does turn into a reality..which it might do as part of me can't help but be slightly prepared to go the extra mile shld it really, truly and absolutely be something he feels he can't possibly miss out on...who knows. Maybe he'll read some of this and change his mind! Thanks again for replies..he's been away for a couple of days so we haven't had to 'talk' about it for awhile which has been welcome

Theodorakiss Thu 17-Oct-13 09:45:39

I live in a stand alone with only Qatari neighbours. We have just cycled to see the flamingoes in a nearby compound where they have just arrived in migration.
I do however Botox etc just like lots of people in the UK.
My company, unless offshore, have an extremely strict family friendly policy, weekends and public holidays, school plays, sick children etc are sacred.

desertgirl Thu 17-Oct-13 01:59:08

Cutitup, why would you want to live in an expat community; plenty of other places to live.

2rebecca, can't think of the last time I was 'beautified', the desert is gorgeous for several months of the year - sure, Dubai is not for everyone but there are plenty of normal, nice, people living here too; I don't mix with the designer clothes and 'bling' crowd. And while I have a, technically, live in maid, who much prefers it to when she was living out, her quarters have a separate entrance and we don't have the 'someone in your house' issue that we would even with an au pair in the UK. And with my job and the kids, I would need live in help of some sort, or an extremely flexible child minder!

2rebecca Wed 16-Oct-13 22:56:51

I wouldn't go to Dubai, but neither of us would apply for jobs in places we have no intention of moving to. It's not clear how he has this job offer. Did he deliberately apply for it, in which case it's a bit late now to be deciding if you both want to go there or not or did someone just mention he could have a job there if he wished but he still has his UK job?
I think job moves shopuld be carefully planned. I can't think of anything i'd enjoy about Dubai. I hate hot weather and enjoy my freedom and walking and cycling alone and hate shopping and being "beautified"

Cutitup Wed 16-Oct-13 22:36:27

Dubai can be a great place to live if you have these elements in place:

Better salary than current
Accommodation paid for in an expat community
Guaranteed place at a good school near your accommodation
2 paid flights per year for the family
Understanding of expectations from employer - ie.,hours. Some companies (particularly companies that aren't Western) have unreasonable expectations of an employee's availability at short (no) notice.

Most people have to battle for school places. I say if your company wants you enough, they will sort it out for you. Of course, I realise that these packages are as rare as hen's teeth.

If you get all these, I would go.

I lived there and liked it very much. Preferred Saudi though. And Oman.

suebfg Wed 16-Oct-13 21:20:08

DH had a job offer in Dubai recently. We pondered very hard and although there were some aspects that appealed, we turned it down because:

- we didn't think the education in Dubai would match what the DC have in the UK
- crazy driving on busy roads
- a feeling we wouldn't fit in with the expat community, live in maids culture etc
- extortionate rents and prices that would quickly eat into the tax free income

DH has travelled to Dubai many times since and has colleagues in the region. His view is that we made the right decision. Do your research carefully.

marzipanned Wed 16-Oct-13 21:13:43

Amhurst, in regard to your general question about has anyone given something up reluctantly, yes, I have.

It was a hard decision for me and entirely made from my love for DH - it was something he really, really wanted, and so I, in turn, didn't want to deny him that. It was a couple of years ago now. Do I miss our old life? Constantly. Do I regret our new life? No. And it certainly hasn't had a negative impact on our marriage - like all the challenges we've faced (because it's been tough on him as well, albeit for different reasons), it's brought us closer.

Being a bit cryptic here but happy to give more details in a PM. No Middle Eastern moves involved, though, so not sure if I could be very helpful!

Beastofburden Wed 16-Oct-13 21:03:26

I think it might depend on whether you clearly knew what you were doing when you asked him to give it up. If there is any sense that you are being prejudiced or ill informed when you ask, or you have silly or selfish reasons, I think it could rankle.

In your shoes I would seriously consider saying that you will give it a go, but only with a clear exit strategy in case it is not making you happy after six months. And I would be more likely to do it, if it was agreed as a little family adventure for a couple of years and you would save all that lovely tax free money to buy a great family home when you got back.

complexnumber Wed 16-Oct-13 20:28:42

Living in Muscat atm, contact me if you need info.

amhurst Wed 16-Oct-13 20:06:13

First time I've used the forum and it's been so worthwhile..really useful to hear everybody's point of view..really appreciate the time taken to respond. Driven to writing because I feel it is one of those questions that cld snowball into a really rancourous knot in a marriage - blaming untaken paths etc for any actual problems etc etc..Anybody asked somebody to give up something - which they did but reluctantly? Doesn't feel like its a recipe for marital happiness??

Happy to hear some of the positive stories re Dubai but mostly for the people involved as I know how much effort involved in setting oneself up in a new city..but personally all the trappings feel cold comfort..

DeepPurple Wed 16-Oct-13 14:58:07

OP you can work in Dubai if you want to. There is no such thing as a childminder in Dubai so you would need to hire a maid or a nanny.

I've been here 2 months and do not feel isolated at all. I have a car so I can get about. I've made lots of friends already and DD is 3 so she is in school every morning so I have time to myself and the afternoons with her. There is tons to do inside so I can't say the heat has bothered me at all. In fact, the air con is on high everywhere so I have to take a cardigan with me for DD! It's cool enough now to sit out on an evening.

desertgirl Wed 16-Oct-13 14:48:53

Why would she not be able to work if she wants to?

And people comparing the UAE and Saudi - bizarre.

Theodorakiss Wed 16-Oct-13 12:17:04

Leo, exporting LNG to the UK is my life. If you didn't buy it, we wouldn't make it. Ethics firmly in tact on my side.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 16-Oct-13 12:01:24

I've family there and been a few times. I would live there tomorrow. I am always envy when I hear people have got the opportunity to go.

mateysmum Wed 16-Oct-13 11:57:45

Milkjug - i lived in Arabian Ranches for 3 years until pretty recently. Things have really changed up there - the villas are still badly built of course, but it is definitely not "godforsaken". As Dubai has grown, it's almost at the centre of things and rents are more expensive than Jumeirah - a real turn around from a few years ago. There is all sorts going on there if you know where to look.
Having said that after 8 years as an expat, I'm glad to be back. I enjoyed Dubai but the UK has so much more soul.
Oh and for the other Dubai expat bashers. We're not all drunken lady lunchers who exploit their maids.

Leopoldina Wed 16-Oct-13 11:46:02

and not to leave your other jibe hanging, "along for the ride" isn't about patronising stay at home mums. How on earth do we know whether the OP currently works or not? the point is that if she is to follow her husband to the UAE, the likelihood is that she will be along for the ride and unable to continue whatever it is that he does. But do continue with the anger, you seem to need to let it out.

Theodorakiss Wed 16-Oct-13 11:44:34

I wouldn't want to live there and agreed I am very defensive but the same saddos jump on every thread and say things that are completely untrue. If I listed the reasons why I would never, ever set foot in Isreal would that be ok? I apologise for being mardy but it really upsets me.

Leopoldina Wed 16-Oct-13 11:44:08

ah, so that's why you don't understand the OP's questions about what life would be like if you're unable to work and stuck in an expat compound. Could also insert generic ethics / gas industry gag here but you've doubtless heard them before. And no, I was working in NY, studying in Paris.

Milkjug Wed 16-Oct-13 11:39:47

Like it or not, Theodora, whether or not you are the spouse whose job took the family to Dubai will make a huge difference to your experience of the place.

Theodorakiss Wed 16-Oct-13 11:35:58

Leopaldina, I work in the gas industry. I sponsored my huband in Dubai. Along for the ride? I have always been the main breadwinner, even in the NHS before I left the UK. But nice phrase, way to go patronising stay at home mums. How about you? Just along for the ride were you?

cory Wed 16-Oct-13 11:12:42

Imo any decision affecting a family should be preceded by a careful evaulation of the likely consequences for each and every member of that family together with a plan for outweighing any negative consequences for each member
(if your career suffers from this move, what can we do to make sure your needs are met now or later/if we take ds away from his local school what opportunities can we offer him in our new setting etc etc).

I was offered a job in Norway a few years ago. By no means a shitty hellhole and the job would have been a wonderful opportunity for me. But by the time we had evaluated the likely consequences for each of the 4 members of our family (I would get a better job than here, dh would struggle to find any job at all let alone one at his level of competence, dd's health was likely to suffer from the climate and ds would probably be about the same), we found the total of negatives outweighed the total of positives. We didn't go.

Sometimes I think families do have a tendency to count the man's satisfaction at a higher rate than that of other family members.

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