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Is this a good package for Dubai? Also advice re schools please.

(59 Posts)
suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 06:26:22

DH has been offered a job in Dubai, monthly salary is 55,000 Dirhams per month (to include housing) plus 20,000 Dirhams school allowance for DS, medical insurance plus 1 x flight home per year for the family.

Is this a good package?

Also DS goes to an excellent independent primary school in the UK. DH would be based in Internet city. Are there any excellent primaries near Internet city and what are the chances of getting into one? DS is in second year of primary.

Labootin Sun 02-Sep-12 06:34:16

We pay 36000 aed per annum for schooling so 20k will not cover

Salary is dependant on your circs tbh

Are you looking at this to save money or going for the lifestyle?

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 06:38:12

Yes, the 20,000 is an allowance only but we pay school fees in the UK anyway so not an issue.

We are considering as my DH was made redundant six months ago and he needs to get back into work so as not to damage his career. The company is a good global company. I have a good job in the UK but would intend to work when the family is settled. My career is secondary to my husband's though.

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 06:40:53

But we'd expect to be able to save money and enjoy a nice lifestyle as we have both in the UK on my salary

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 06:49:27

It's quite good - it just depends on what lifestyle you lead - check out expatwoman they have just listed school fees for the year to give you an idea - 55k is just under £10k a month (without tax) so I think you "should" manage - living expenses are high in Dubai (food and utilities) will you DH be paying your visa/health insurance etc or is this part of the package? housing is anywhere from 44 - 350k a year (dhs) check out dubizzle for prices of 2nd cars - you will both need a car (I believe)! Do you want apartment or villa living? If want close to your husbands work look at jbr/jlt/jvt/jvc/emirates hills/lakes/meadows/tecom/springs/greens /al Basha/Arabian ranches/motor city/victory heights/green community/garden view villas/jumerah islands and shortly jumerah park/ - if he is happy to travel then that opens up a lot more choice and lower prices!

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 06:53:22

We lead a fairly frugal lifestyle in the UK tbh - main outgoings are rent and school fees and holidays and that's about it!

I think (!) we're quite unusual in that we already pay school fees and rent in the UK so I would have thought we'd be better off with the employer contributing to these.

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 06:54:42

Oh new cars are cheap here as well as petrol - depending on what you want - 4x4 start around 110k for a pajero upto 300+dhs for RangerRover, saloons from around 50k dhs!

Labootin Sun 02-Sep-12 06:54:47

55aed is about 9k Per month Give or take .. Are you being paid in aed or dollars or pounds currency fluctuations can make a big difference. unless you are a premier card holder banks also charge to transfer money out of accounts.

Internet city if thats the one just off of SZR is pretty central housing areas to look at are Meadows (very expat but nice villas) springs (smaller 3beds) or Jumeriah (older more traditional villas) theres also the Marina for apartments

Check out expatwoman they have a link to a good rental site (can't remember the name offhand)

Food is VERY expensive ( I spend about £500 a week though I do shop in Waitrose and Park n Shop) you can go to Geant or Carrefour but personally I hate them and the quality I think is doubtful I wouldn't shop there in England.

re schools start phoning round now still a lot of waiting lists and Dubai seems tobe picking up again so it will be getting busier


suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 07:00:18

I shop mainly at Aldi in the UK and my food bill for 3 is about £60 per week. Is it not possible to achieve less than £100 a week in Dubai on food?

Labootin Sun 02-Sep-12 07:01:51

X post with cosmo

Re food costs I do have two children 8 and 10 who have hollow legs, and a husband who considers half a cow as a snack.

bear in mind that most families leave in the summer ( it's too bloody hot) so your one flight may be used on that , we also fly back at Easter and Christmas, plus additional holidays ( the Maldives are a four hour flight .,sees a shames to waste it)

With housing we have constant visitors so consider a spare room ours is always in use

on reading this back perhaps I'm not the best person to talk about a frugal lifestyle though !

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 07:03:28

If you are quite sensible and happy to live like that here you could be onto a winner - the problem is when you "must" live in a certain area and drive a top of the range car etc no offence meant to anyone. But schools/rent/cars will be your biggest expense!

Also if have no debt than you should be able to save at least 10k a month (are their only 3 of you?)

You could easily rent somewhere for 80k dhs apartment 120-140dhs villa (nice) not massive, have two sensible (nice - Volvo, Ford, Mitsubishi, Kia, Honda etc) and school - that salary is not offered that much here now! wink

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 07:07:23

Yes,we are just 3. We don't care much for material things, have no debt and lots of UK savings (from selling house). The only thing we splash out on is DS's school fees.

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 07:10:37

Food - I shop in Carrefour, Spinneys and waitrose, union co-op! I do 2-3 shops a week (fruit and veg, bread and milk) and spend 40-60 each shop (pull ups still used)

Family of 3 - 4 next week - fruit and veg is expensive and crap (I blame the weather and it's nearly all imported!)

I also shop around - I know the prices so won't buy something if I know it is substantially cheaper elsewhere or better quailty - fruit and veg and breadis nicer from waitrose/Spinneys but house hold products and store cupboard items are cheaper in carrefour!

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 07:12:38

Labootin - my husband would freak out if I spent half that a week! grin

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 07:23:08

I am trying to reduce food costs as well - don't buy many branded items - we are just getting out of debt (less than 5 months to go gringringringrin) and I'm not working to its my financial input into our family!

I think you would do quite well - if you use savings for things like car so you don't have to get a loan - new car you need a 20-30% deposit then of course monthly payments with interest over a period of 1-7 years - if you buy outright than the money you would pay to the bank you can save!

Rent is usually paid - either 1 cheque, 4 cheques or 6 cheques - the more cheques the higher the rent - have a look at betterhomes for an idea of cost as well - although there are loads of estate agents!

It's also the small things - tv - phone etc that add up - hope it helps!

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 08:42:37

Can I also ask what there is to do at weekends as a family? We are always on days out in the UK, go swimming, tennis etc

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 09:08:18

There is lots to do (although most cost money!) but every family does different things - do you like to sail? Join one of the sailing clubs - there are parks - most malls have entertainment - skiing, ice skating, rock climbing, desert camping, horse riding - if your son does sports - rugby, football, etc lots of clubs.

You can go to the mountains, into Oman to see the dolphins - discover the other emirates - or relax at home!

It is a different lifestyle to uk - no country walks or big museums and country houses etc but it's what you make of it!

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 09:13:04

Most compounds/areas have swimming pools - there are public beaches, private beach clubs so that is readily available - lots of concerts in the winter months.

Have a look at timeout Dubai and what's on Dubai - lots of sporting events which are accessible - rugby 7's, horse racing, golf, tennis... And music festivals - desert rock, jazz festival?!

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 14:23:21

I'm worried about schooling and wait lists.

What is the chance of DS getting a place at one of the best primary schools? He goes to an outstanding rated independent primary in the UK.

I don't want to compromise on schooling i.e. move to a satisfactory school and then wait 3 years for a good one.

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 14:46:46

As I am not at that stage I can not advise - but I would suggest contacting the schools directly - Dubai is quite transient so lots of change quite quickly!

I think JESS/DESS/JPS/Dubai College and English College are good as is Sharjah English School but you won't know until you speak to someone from those schools who can help!

I would seriously suggest coming for a visit - British "generally" get priority at the British Schools but that is not guaranteed -
Can I also recommend getting the Dubai explorer book - great for info about living here - they publish an updated one every year and has invaluable regarding red tape!

Cosmostocupcakes Sun 02-Sep-12 14:47:46

Sorry DC/EC are secondary - Jebal Ali Primary is also meant to be good!

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 15:00:39

Thanks - I've emailed about 7 schools today but there are some scary features online about up to 3 year wait lists. Can't see how that could work for us, unless DS and I stay in UK.

Labootin Sun 02-Sep-12 17:17:29

I'd phone rather than email tbh emails are very often ignored, schools get hundreds of enquires.
(remember Dubai is currently 3 hours. Ahead)

Khda reports ( the dubai version of ofsted )on schools are online but tbh i take the reports with a huge pinch of salt. my dcs go to an" outstanding "school , it just means bumped up the Arabic department ( all children MUST by law take Arabic irrc 4 x a week) Its not the equivalent of a private English school take what you can get.

You really should come out for a look it's impossible to get a feel for the place based on websites ( especially with for profit schools)

suebfg Sun 02-Sep-12 18:50:20

I won't get the opportunity for a look round before DH needs to make a decision unfortunately.

I'd be really unhappy though to just take what's available. It's not something I can 'settle' on.

Labootin Sun 02-Sep-12 19:28:40

Have you ever been to Dubai ?

Some people love it and A LOT of people hate it

personally I would not agree to a move without a lot more research

the package your dh is being offered is ok but SHOULD include a trip for the family to look at the place before agreeing to terms. (we also had a relocation allowance ( which you haven't mentioned) of in our case Irrc 20000 us dollars and another 20000 us dollars for when we go back.

I'm sorry alarm bells are ringing for me !

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