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Nannies in Dubai - what's it like?

(7 Posts)
BestestBrownies Wed 03-Oct-12 15:25:24

That's it really. If any of you lovely MNetters are or have worked for a family in Dubai what is it like? What are the pros/cons? Would you recomend it?

BestestBrownies Wed 03-Oct-12 16:30:07

recommend even..... anyone?

Frakiosaurus Wed 03-Oct-12 18:57:52

As with anywhere overseas (and I have no experience of Dubai specifically) it can be an amazing experience but one you definitely need to go into with your eyes open.

Question your motivation carefully and weigh up what will make you happy in a job. High paid roles are high paid because you are expected to do a lot of work. Be realistic about whether you can establish a new social network and accept the restrictions you will probably have on your movements. Be prepared to work not only with children who don't speak English but also other household staff who may have quite different views on the way children should be treated and what they should be expected to do for themselves.

I am not the biggest fan of agencies but I doubt I'd go overseas without a good one who have experience of getting nannies out of difficult roles. Don't rely on their contract though - it needs to be airtight, not just watertight. Also never give up your passport.

The ME in particular may have a western veneer but there are a lot of deeply seated traditional values even in families with a modern outlook. When families get a European nanny, especially a British one, they are not only expecting high quality childcare but also a buy-in to a set of perceived values and a culture which doesn't necessarily reflect the world today, or even 20 years ago.

All that said wouldn't have swapped my overseas experiences for anything, even the negative one!

BestestBrownies Wed 03-Oct-12 19:08:33

Thanks Frakiosaurus for your very thoughtful post smile

I had heard the passport thing from someone in RL already, but yes lots to consider. I don't know any other nannies in RL who've had this experience, and tbh it all sounds too good to be true, so am trying to get some good old MN advice.

Has anyone actually done it and lived to tell the (hopefully happy) tale? Or is doing it now?

Frakiosaurus Wed 03-Oct-12 19:35:14

If its too good to be true it probably is grin

That sounds cynical but it's well worth living by when looking for overseas jobs.

Are you on the nannyjob boards? A fair few people there have done stints out in the ME if not Dubai itself.

mrswishywashy Wed 03-Oct-12 20:06:47

I've worked in the ME although not Dubai, I worked in Bahrain twice.

I really enjoy the culture, I worked in high profile homes and had to do plenty of deep breaths at times when you are asked a lot of and when dealing with other household staff.

The families I worked for were all Western educated and had spent many years abroad in UK/France/America. They did at times feel restricted by their native countries but still obeyed all the rules.

The trickiest time of year is during Ramadan. It is illegal to eat/drink during the daylight hours and all the shops close down during the day hours leading not much to do on days off.

The children can be lovely but very demanding as often they are never told no and there are not expectations from them. However it can be quite a vibrant lifestyle with lots of parties, outings, activities and travel.

I would recommend the experience to anyone but make sure you interview carefully that both sides no what is expected of each other and go through an agency who can help with finer details of working abroad.

BestestBrownies Thu 04-Oct-12 01:56:37

Thanks for your reply mrswishywashy. I will have to write down a list of questions for the agency I think. From the ad, I'm assuming this particular family spend summers in London and winters in Dubai, so cunningly avoiding the Ramadan issue wink

I think I will go for it, but as you both say, with eyes wide open.

Thank you for responding and sharing your experiences/thoughts smile

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