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Nannying in UAE

(13 Posts)
PotOfYoghurt Thu 17-Nov-16 22:21:30

I've never done it before. Considering a move out there next year.

Are you/have you ever been nannying out there? Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Pros and cons? Dos and don'ts?

Any and all advice and experience very welcome. Thank you!

BackforGood Thu 17-Nov-16 23:12:33

You have to be aware it is a very different culture with very different laws.

For example This reported on the News today.

Going back to the 80s, my friends parents lived out there for a few years and I went to holiday with them for a while and mixed with a lot of ex-pats. They had to be so careful - couldn't walk down the street holding hands, couldn't wear what they wanted, if were involved in a car accident, it was their fault for being in the country (even if other driver drove through a red light), no alcohol etc.,etc.

I would have liked to have hoped things had changed as Dubai has developed so much and become such a popular destination and business and tourist centre, but the news story doesn't seem to indicate it has.

ThisIsReallyNotMyName Thu 17-Nov-16 23:17:45

Hi OP, whilst I haven't had any personal experience, two friends went out separately one in 2005 the other 2012 to work for very different families. They both ended up coming back early as they absolutely hated it. They couldn't go out alone, felt very isolated, one treated like a skivvy and hit on by the father and uncle who seemed to think it was their right. The other also preyed upon by the father and the mother spat at her as she was leaving (in a hurry), they also withheld her passport and she had to get consular assistance. I'm sure there are lots of people with great positive stories (hopefully), but I'd certainly never recommend it to anyone, for no matter how much money.

nannynick Thu 17-Nov-16 23:45:21

Never nannied abroad.

There is a documentary in some cinemas this month called Nanny Culture which is about a nanny working in UAE. Could be worth a watch.

PotOfYoghurt Fri 18-Nov-16 07:38:12

A good start to the thread. Thanks both, the only person I know in rl who has nannied out there in Abu Dhabi enjoyed it, so I'm grateful for the other side of the experience too.

Nannynick, I saw a post about that. It's on my list of things to do if I can get to a cinema showing it. Although you have to wonder what family would allow themselves to be filmed for a documentary? And did the nanny take that job over other, more suitable, ones that refused to be filmed?

onecatmiaowed Fri 18-Nov-16 07:48:24

Did you read the news story BackforGood posted?

I couldn't live in Dubai, because this kind of thing is just too worrying IMO.

The general gist:

"A British woman has been charged with having extra-marital sex in Dubai after reporting she was raped, according to a UK-based legal advice group.

The Detained in Dubai group said the woman was arrested after she claimed she was raped by two British men.

It said she has been released on bail but her passport has been confiscated ...

The woman, who is in her 20s, was reportedly attacked by two men from Birmingham while she was on holiday.

According to Detained in Dubai, the alleged attackers have had no charges filed against them. ...

Detained in Dubai said the woman may face trial for the charges - for which possible punishments include imprisonment, deportation, flogging and even stoning to death.

Radha Stirling, founder and director of Detained in Dubai, said the UAE had a long history of penalising rape victims "

Then there's the fact the Dubai has been built using modern day slaves. I wouldn't feel comfortable to be part of that either.

ittybittyluna Fri 18-Nov-16 09:28:46

I've never nannied in the UAE but have nannied abroad.

All I would say is speak to a few nannies who have done it (I have several friends who loved it, and came back three years later able to buy a house). It's hard work, you often work six days a week, and the culture is completely different (again, several friends were terminated with virtually no notice after getting a good review from bosses - seems the mums don't do negativity or criticism). Another friend was assaulted by a maid while she was holding the baby, the maid told the Sheik who instead of dealing with the problem, deported the maid and sacked my friend.

Always retain your passport (have it written into your contract), be flexible, and find a good agency who have a good track record of supporting their nannies.

I personally wouldn't go. Human and women's rights in that part of the world are notably lacking. It can be lonely, but there are nanny groups - you just have to find them.

PotOfYoghurt Fri 18-Nov-16 21:51:51

The article was actually my reason for starting the thread. I've been thinking about what direction to take next year and have been turning the UAE over in my head, like a pp's friends saving for a deposit is my goal. Finding it very hard to do in London.

But upon reading the article it threw up a lot of questions I've had to ask myself about my moral stance on living somewhere like that and whether it's something I want to contribute to or not. Previously my only absolute definite no was Saudi Arabia, but now I'm not so sure.

Ideally I'd like a live in, London based rota job of two weeks on, two weeks off that pays extremely well. But they're few and far between.

aforestgrewandgrew Sat 19-Nov-16 10:06:47

OK, so your main goal is to save for a deposit. There must be an answer, surely, that doesn't involve you living somewhere wherenas a woman, you lack basic rights we expect here.

What other options are you considering?

RentANDBills Sun 20-Nov-16 10:00:55

I haven't nannied in the UAE but I have nannies abroad and it is very hard work.

I HAVE worked for UAE parents in the UK though and their child-rearing culture is very different to ours. Largely there is a focus on "keeping children young" so doing a lot of things for them rather than teaching independence. Often what the child says goes too, which is obviously incredibly difficult. Be prepared to not be allowed to instil any discipline, or have your word undermined.
I find this is somewhat a trend with HNW families in general, but obviously it is unfair for me to make such a sweeping sentence but its true

If you're looking for the money and don't mind hard work, look for jobs in Russia. The pay is similar (£800-£1200 net per week) but they aren't as archaic in their values and laws.

The high paying jobs come with a price - you need to absolutely dedicate your life to the job for the time you are there (often working 24/6 or even 24/7) and be prepared the be treated like a 2nd class citizen.
Generally you will be looked down upon by the other staff too, because you don't really "fit in" - nannies aren't like the other servants, its a very lonely position in a household.

On top of that, consider the difficulties of living in country where you don't know anyone, you do not have time (or are not allowed) to socialise, do not speak the language and cannot travel around easily.
On top of all of the other difficulties that come with being a live in nanny - being on call, have little privacy etc etc.

I earnt A LOT of money working abroad (Switzerland, £1000 npw) but ended spending a huge amount of it compensating for how hard it was, on flights and treats when I was back home, buying gifts etc etc.

I now have counselling because the treatment was so bad but work with a lovely normal family in the UK now, and would much rather earn slow and steady than risk my health in an environment like that again.

Having said that, I have a nanny friend who does a lot of the UAE work. She never stays in one position for long, maybe 3-4 months average (these jobs also hire and fire VERY frequently) but she bounces back because she is very strong willed and hard nosed. Almost to the point of being rude tbh. It suits a certain personality type.

Sorry to be so negative, but these jobs can cripple a nanny. Its a tough environment to be in let alone when you are familiar with your country and have close by support.

PoisonousSmurf Sun 20-Nov-16 20:54:38

You are joking. Aren't you? You will be treated like a slave and will have no rights if things go wrong.

Makeroomforthemushrooms Thu 01-Dec-16 00:38:50

Nannies (maids) in the UAE are usually Filipinas or Indian and are paid very little. The only Western nannies I've heard of here work for members of the Royal family.

BackToLondon Thu 01-Dec-16 15:40:59

I worked in Abu Dhabi as a nanny and I had a wonderful time. I didn't feel restricted in any way. Hours are long and six days are common, but don't forget that you usually only care for the child as the nursery duties&cooking are taken care of by other staff and most families have a driver too. You can message me if you have more questions.

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