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To ask if anyone has worked in the UAE?

(69 Posts)
StudentMumArghh Mon 06-Nov-17 23:11:57

DP is considering going to the UAE preferably Dubai to teach for a year.

Have you or a partner ever done this? Would you recommend? Not sure whether or not we will go with him.

Does it affect your career negively when you want to come back to teach in the U.K.?

StudentMumArghh Tue 07-Nov-17 07:05:27


BabsGangoush Tue 07-Nov-17 07:07:18

Go. Think of the money.

BadLad Tue 07-Nov-17 07:25:34

Depends massively on the package he'll get. The cost of living is quite high there. Are flights to and from the UK (or wherever you are) and rent included?

I think you probably won't save very much if it's just for a year, unless you are able to work as well. I quite enjoyed living there, and still enjoy being there. You might like it enough to stay there for a few years. Or you may hate it - the inefficiency of much of the public sector lead to some frustrating moments for me. There is a living abroad on here, which you might want to try asking on. I've never been a trailing spouse, so I don't know how they might feel.

OK, now I'm going to sit back and enjoy a mumsnet Dubai thread.

jellyfrizz Tue 07-Nov-17 07:32:26

Lots on TES forum - Teaching Overseas.
Also britishexpat forums & expatwoman.

Karak Tue 07-Nov-17 07:39:26

There's been a thread on this recently. Is he actually a teacher? No reputable school will offer a one year contract and, unless he is the most frugal/budget savy person, he'll come out at a loss after one year if he takes moving costs into account.

That said, I know a lot of teachers who are happy teaching at the international schools and it's certainly much lower stress. The pay isn't incredible but if you don't have liabilities back home it's pretty good (you get your rent paid normally so if you're not also having to cover a mortgage at home that's a big savings). I think most teachers in the UAE would get a take home of between GBP 2000 and 3000 a month plus rent paid and flights once a year. It is expensive living here though so that doesn't go as far as in the UK.

You say DP. Do you have kids? What would you plan to do whilst he's gone? I would strongly recommend you get married before going if you plan to accompany him.

Karak Tue 07-Nov-17 07:40:24

Ps. Where are all the 'the UAE is evil' posts. Is it too early?

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Tue 07-Nov-17 07:41:37

Look up women's rights (or the lack of) before you decide if you want to go. It's not a place I'd want to live as a woman.

Also look up UAE and forced labour. UAE is built on slavery. I wouldn't go.

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Tue 07-Nov-17 07:42:47

Karak cross posts - that's a very flippant attitude towards human rights abuses.

Karak Tue 07-Nov-17 07:45:32

Ah. There you go.

Raisin can you explain what rights I don't have in the UAE as a woman please?

StudentMumArghh Tue 07-Nov-17 07:45:36

We're getting married next summer so that shouldn't be a problem and I'm planning on doing my teacher training next year. Possibly join him after I've completed it, I've seen many NQT positions advertised.

We currently rent and DP earns £24K, so £48k tax free per year is a hell of a lot more money.

Arealhumanbeing Tue 07-Nov-17 07:46:23

Don’t go. Think of the terrible human rights abuses.

deepestdarkestperu Tue 07-Nov-17 07:48:15

I didn’t think they’d offer a teaching contract for a year, isn’t it normally 2-3 in places like that?

BadLad Tue 07-Nov-17 07:48:21

Help yourself, Karak.

raisinsarenottheonlyfruit Tue 07-Nov-17 07:49:19


Karak Tue 07-Nov-17 07:49:23

If you go out as an NQT make sure you go to one of the top rated English curriculum schools as those have the best chance of being accepted in the UK. I know teaching couples at my school who love it and a decent school will provide good support (mine gives teachers' (school aged ) kids childcare to cover the additional hour of so the teachers are working after actual teaching finishes for example).

Karak Tue 07-Nov-17 07:54:51

raisin there's been a massive push on domestic violence here recently. Issue for expat women is often their residency is tied to their husband's job. If their husband gets arrested for domestic violence he loses his job which then impacts the whole family. The police often therefore go for stern warnings (but normally with the wife's agreement).

That said, the system isn't perfect but it's developing. It's lagging about 20 years behind the UK I'd say.

Islamic law only applies to Muslims btw.

LazyDailyMailJournos Tue 07-Nov-17 07:57:45

We currently rent and DP earns £24K, so £48k tax free per year is a hell of a lot more money.

Do your research. It's not really tax free because there are lots of fees and charges which are unavoidable and which amount to tax. The cost of renting is extremely high - does his remuneration package include an accommodation allowance? Have a look on Dubizzle to get an idea of renting costs. The standard is unfurnished as well - would the employer pay for shipping or give a furniture allowance? Remember that you'll have to buy everything you don't bring with you - from saucepans to sofas. Rent is also often paid yearly and upfront.

At the risk of stating the bloody obvious, it's hot. The summer months are roasting and you'll need your aircon to make it bearable. Water and electric is tied into DEWA - there's no choice of providers and I believe there's a 'connection fee' for being hooked up.

How's he going to get to work? Is the plan to live as close to the school as possible so that he can use public transport? If not then he'll need a car - which is another upfront cost. What about medical insurance? Flights home?

The above are just a few initial things that you need to consider. Have a look on the Living Overseas board for an idea of costs, but based on what you've said £48K doesn't sound as if it's going to go that far. And if the base salary is that low, then I suspect the remuneration package (accommodation, medical, flights etc.) is probably not that good.

StudentMumArghh Tue 07-Nov-17 08:04:57

It's just an idea we're looking into at the moment. We've seen jobs advertised between 50-70k with rent-free furnished accommodation, flights, medical insurance etc. included.

Karak Tue 07-Nov-17 08:11:13

In GBP? I don't know any teachers in anything near to that (except senior management). ADEC teachers get paid around the lower part of that but there's no schooling allowance. I can believe there may be some teachers making AED18k a month but I wouldn't have thought any were making 20k which is what GBP50k a year equates to. I'd be very wary of any jobs offering that much.

Cactusjelly00 Tue 07-Nov-17 08:15:06

Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
Would you even get a visa to be out there too?

Plus, once you take into account moving costs and anything you have to buy there (even if the house is furnished) and take into account the high cost of living (we were worse off on 400ish k dirham PA/80k GBP PA with rent included vs 45k pa in the UK). I'm not sure it's worth it for a year.
If you were to go at all I'd suggest looking into you working also and trying to bring in 70-100k GBP pa each and staying there for at least 2-3 years.
Things might've changed since then but we certainly won't rush back.

Cactusjelly00 Tue 07-Nov-17 08:15:56

I'm no use for teaching advice though since we aren't teachers. So average teaching salaries etc I've no idea.

SandLand Tue 07-Nov-17 08:31:30

Do some serious maths.
Very rare to find a 1 year contract. Most are 2+ years, and generally that's what you need to make savings. We are over the border, in a place even more hated than the UAE. We basically spent for the first 6 months, and then started saving. Not teachers tho.
It is very easy to get caught up in the expat lifestyle in Dubai, and spend heavily at the weekend. It's also possible to live like you do now, and save some decent money.
Our school apparently likes to employ teaching couples. Can think of 5 off hand in our 3 form primary.
Think about what you will do over the summer holidays. You will get ages off (we had 13 weeks last year, similar this year I'd guess - still waiting for the 2018/2019 term dates), and you will want out of the middle east - it's too damm hot. You can easily spend a lot of your savings travelling and staying places over 2 months!
Could you wait a couple of years, and both go over as qualified teachers? Or do your teacher training from there (Nottingham and Sunderland unis do long distance teacher training, I believe)

StudentMumArghh Tue 07-Nov-17 08:52:04

A lot to think about!! I think maybe waiting until I'm qualified and going out as a couple for a few years? Coming home for most of the summer?

LollyLarkin Tue 07-Nov-17 09:58:00

I lived in Dubai for 4 years and my DH was a teacher in a senior position at a good school. His salary (and people above him) was nowhere near 70k. He did lots of private tutoring in the evenings and weekends that made him more than his real salary so we were able to save lots while we were there but it is hard to resist the brunches and shopping, they all cost a lot!

Quality of life is excellent, the human rights issues are a problem but I’ve also lived in Singapore and Hong Kong and they have the same issues but they’re not quite so publicised.

I would question how much shipping allowance the school would pay, ours was a laughable 1k which doesn’t go far. Don’t be dazzled by the benefits, they don’t add up to very much compared to basic salary. Health insurance and your flights (basically “family” benefits) are only available if you’re married. If you’re not married it is illegal to cohabit. Medical care is great, as long as you have good health cover. I have never known anyone be offered a 1 year contract, no decent school would do this because it costs so much to bring expats in that they want you for a minimum of 2-3 years.

We’re still living abroad but friends have mentioned it’s difficult to get back into the state sector in the UK once you’ve been abroad. Similar to moving between private and state, there’s a weird suspicion and misunderstanding about people who have chosen a different path to the “norm”!

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