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Tell me about living in Dubai

(17 Posts)
leothelioness Fri 03-Aug-12 09:45:58

My DH has been offer a job in Dubai, it is something we have talked about for a number of years and but now its finally happening I am feeling a bit wobbly.
Tell me about your experiences of moving to Dubai, would you still move if you had to do it again?

leothelioness Fri 03-Aug-12 14:42:57


pestooneverything Fri 03-Aug-12 19:19:14

I haven't lived (or even been) there but DSIL lived there for some time and it sounds like:

good money
hot! (but can be a con too!)

hard to integrate so have to live an 'ex pat' life.
the country is pretty poor on womens' lib and she found that hard to deal with.
Dsis found the expat scene in dubai a bit fake.

It all depends what you like and what you want from the trip - i guess you've researched it a lot to get to this point though so maybe it's just last minute jitters! Good luck!

leothelioness Fri 03-Aug-12 19:24:34

Thanks pestooneverything yes we have researched it alot and been tere multiple times over the last few years (but have never lived there) so I was just hoping to get the inside prespective from someone who had.

pestooneverything Fri 03-Aug-12 19:39:57

aah, then if you've been there loads and are still keen then GO FOR IT! you only live once smile

chaturangadandasana Sat 04-Aug-12 01:35:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KLdragon Sat 04-Aug-12 04:45:19

Hi Leo. I lived in Dubai for 4 years. I loved it . It's a very easy entry into expat life as most of the population (90%) are expat. Easy to make friends as you are not breaking into childhood cliques lots of coffee mornings, clubs etc to join. All your home comforts are there M&S, Debenhams, wait rose although at eye watering prices. You don't say if you have children but our 2 loved it there and the schooling was great. Weather very very hot In The summer and most people retreat to the malls or return home (uk or wherever) for the school summer holidays so I never really felt I broke that bond with the UK. As you are only allowed in Dubai as long as you have a visa you do feel a bit in limbo and it's difficult to put any proper roots down. Everything is paperwork and hassle and no quick fixes for anything but you just have to accept it's not as efficient as the UK and there are Lots of compensations like great beaches, lovely winter weather, lots of things happening etc. Go for it you can always come back if it doesent work out

leothelioness Sat 04-Aug-12 17:52:44

Thanks for the replies chat and kldragon I am glad you enjoyed you time as expats. Its not all totally new to us as we have lived abroad as expats before just not in the ME. Yes we have 2 children and I am gald that you mentioned that your kids enjoyed there time in Dubaias this is one of tge things worrying me. last time we lived abroad the DC were too young to really miss friends etc when they left.

kelly14 Sun 05-Aug-12 09:20:04

My parents have lived there for 8 years, as has my brother and sil, both of there children were born out there (3yrs and 6months)

We all love it and me and dd regualarly spend 3+ months out there and have since she was 5 months, (my dd leaves on monday with my mum for the summersad) (just means a visa run over the border as stay longer than 30 days)

Just make sure the package is good, as in all your housing paid, business class flights homes every year, schooling paid etc.

We have had the most amazing time in duabi, huge 5 bed villa with pool on golf course, literally all of our friends and family have visited at some point and we have spent nearly every xmas in dubai, my brother married at our villa and had his childrens christenings there so its very special to us.
Made amazing life long friends who will always be part of our lives.

My dad will retire soon (he is 55 and hsa retired once already, shipping all their stuff back to uk only to move back within a month lol) they have property in dubai so its somewhere we will always go often and i plan to move back to oz soon where parents and brother have both goot property also and i have PR so again somewhere we will always spend alot of time.

GreatExpectations2012 Sun 05-Aug-12 09:29:46

I live in Dubai too. Like every other place in the world it has its good points and bad points. Schooling is very expensive yet petrol is cheap, for example. Salaries can be higher than the UK and tax-free yet there are the complete lack of human rights. There are loads of fees to be paid that are essentially taxes so not quite tax-free but you can spend 11.5 months on the beach in the sunshine. Some extreme variations, but food for thought.

One of the hardest parts of expat life is the constantly changing friendships. People come and go all the time and that can be draining on all concerned. There are lots of more superficial friendships in that type of setting and people do find it hard to make lasting friendships.

Have you been for a recce? There's a website called that is very helpful for working out expenses etc. it's not everyone's cup of tea but it's an adventure to be sure!

GreatExpectations2012 Sun 05-Aug-12 09:31:29

Just read about your DC, missed that bit initially. I would strongly recommend finding school places before you move. Primary school places are like gold dust for the better schools.

leothelioness Fri 10-Aug-12 23:35:46

Thanks GreatExpectations I do know the expat lifestyle being a bit superficial we lived as expats in China for a couple of years a while ago. I am currently looking in to school places for my kids are there any schools you would particularly reccomend or not.

Sugarbeach Sat 11-Aug-12 06:56:28

We lived in Dubai for 17 months, left for kuala lumpur jan 2012.

My Dubai experience was not good - constant drama and crisis with red tapes, maid, landlords, moving, health, issues with building standards/safety, dewa etc.. That's not necessarily a reflection on Dubai though...a lot of people love it........just be careful to make sure the package is right, so much we take for granted as free in the uk....the upfront set up costs cannot be underestimated, and as a tip, you will want to keep banking there as simple as possible.

Met some lovely friends, although people can seem more rude, aggressive and superficial.

I highly recommend the expat woman Dubai forum...very much like mn.

Good luck and all the best.

leothelioness Sun 12-Aug-12 17:14:35

Thanks for the tips sugarbeach smile

Herrena Sun 12-Aug-12 17:20:57

I grew up in the Emirates (Sharjah specifically, but as you know that's very close to Dubai).

IMO it's a very superficial environment and kids grow up obsessed with consumer electronics, clothing labels and general 'stuff' - much moreso than in the UK it appears. Teenagers like me with scruffy hair/clothes/general demeanor couldn't wait to escape. However many others seem to adore it, so to each their own.

But for the love of God, don't send your kids to the International School of Choueifat. It's hell masquerading as an educational system. Really, really, really avoid like the plague.

Good luck with everything else smile

user1479463492 Fri 18-Nov-16 13:18:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Vagabond Fri 18-Nov-16 16:12:35

If you get a great package and school places, it's a great place to live. Most imp't thing is decent school and not condemning yourself to a long school run. Houses are generally very good.

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