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If you could live anywhere in the Middle East ..

(21 Posts)
akuabadoll Thu 20-Jun-13 18:07:29

I live in Beirut along with plenty of other expats in varied lines of work, many with young families. I know a couple of families who had the opportunity to choose a location in the middle east and choose here. It's certainly not perfect, traffic bad, the best schools difficult to get into, but I guess that could be said about alot of places. The lack of public spaces in the city to let the kids loose can be really wearing with little ones.

TheRealFellatio Mon 17-Jun-13 19:21:30

Well, it is at the moment, but this is the Middle East so who knows?! confused

TheRealFellatio Mon 17-Jun-13 19:20:55

I am in Doha. People here go all misty eyed whenever Oman is mentioned. I've been, but only as a tourist so can't really comment as far as living there goes, but everyone raves about the people, and the landscape. It has green bits! grin

Dubai is like Marmite. There is no doubt it has better shopping and loads more to do and a better infrastructure than here though, but give Doha another 5-10 years and we'll be there, or even better than Dubai. But then the cosiness will be gone. Living in Dubai must feel like living in London - it's very over-populated and anonymous these days - it doesn't seem to have the cosy expat camaraderie anymore.

Abu Dhabi is less brash than Dubai, or at least it was when I went there last - I preferred it.

I would LOVE to go to Beirut. 'Tis on my list. And Jordan, but less of a burning need.

Would never wish to set foot in KSA although I know people who have lived there and loved it. A friend who lived there went back recently and said Jeddah was awful - filthy, noisy, intimidating, the people were horrible, everything was horrible. Riyadh is better I am told.

Bahrain is supposed to be nicer than Doha but I've not been. Doha is very politically stable, which is something to be thankful for.

teddymummy Mon 17-Jun-13 19:06:10

We were in Riyadh for a couple of years. Made some good friends and had a fun time. But it never felt like we belonged, and could never wait for school holidays to come straight back to the uk every time. But I suppose its what you make it, I just found it too restrictive and a bit scary sometimes. Also , with a young blonde daughter I didn't like the inappropriate attention.

ripsishere Mon 17-Jun-13 02:00:47

Another vote for Oman. We had three great years there. Def not KSA.

FamousFiveForever Mon 10-Jun-13 15:35:05

Yes, Damascus. The terrible, terrible loss loss of lives and the devastation of this ancient, beautiful city... And the Arab League just sits there twiddling their thumbs sad

MasterOfTheYoniverse Mon 10-Jun-13 11:28:25

Yes Nessie sad never made it to damascus.
Camt get my head around whats happening there.

NessieMcFessie Mon 10-Jun-13 11:23:23

Until recently it would have been Damascus without a doubt sad.

But otherwise: Jordan, Lebanon or Oman. All amazing.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Mon 10-Jun-13 11:00:08

Lebanon os one of those strange places though...feels like being on the french riviera most of the time and every 2 -3 years, it all kicks off...

MasterOfTheYoniverse Mon 10-Jun-13 10:56:52

Well not a dangerous place but a hardship posting in my book IYKWIM
Locked up in a compound, dependent on a driver/minder etc...

overmydeadbody Mon 10-Jun-13 09:22:07

Would you really put Riyadh in with JoBurg and Lagos? In what way? Danger to expats? Crime and violence? Have things changed a lot recently then because I don't remember Riyadh being thought of as a dangerous place when I was a child?

overmydeadbody Mon 10-Jun-13 09:19:42

Interesting question.

It depends on what you want out of life really.

For me, I'd need to have easy access to the desert, and a relatively safe desert so I can go wild camping in it like I did as a child.

Oman has the best reputation for expats doesn't it?

All those places have English speaking schools, I wouldn't worry about that, I did OK education wise in a school that doesn't have any sort of 'reputation'.

FamousFiveForever Mon 10-Jun-13 09:11:55

That's true MOTY, I just love Lebanon though, the landscape, the taste of the food, the culture, the wine, I could go on...sigh...

A group of girlfriends from Dubai has just spent a girly weekend there and my heart leaped when I saw their FB pictures. So jealous...missing it.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Sun 09-Jun-13 14:22:44

oh Lebanon! :-( my heart bleeding……what a sad world we live in.
As a mater of fact , not worse than Lagos, Joburg, or Riadh, in the big scheme of expat things.

Slipshodsibyl Sun 09-Jun-13 13:06:11

It depends how important schools are to you. This would discount several of the above suggestions. Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Oman have decent schools (and I would rate them in that order, with the proviso that the best schools can be full and have waiting lists). Oman winds hands down fqor best family life with young children.

FamousFiveForever Sun 09-Jun-13 13:02:29

Love Doha, loathe Dubai.

FamousFiveForever Sun 09-Jun-13 13:01:52

Beirut or in the Bekaa Valley. Truly beautiful. Agree ith Oman, too. Lovely people.

Sadly, Lebanon these days, especiallythe north is much too dangerous and the country is not stable enough.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Sun 09-Jun-13 04:26:48

depends what you're after in terms of lifestyle.
I could never ever live in a place like Dubai but would not mind somewhere very civil like Amman Jordan.

Muscat sounds great and have a few friends who really like Doha, less flashy.

I suppose it depends where their office are and what line of work.

suebfg Sat 08-Jun-13 06:43:20

Yes, that would be top of my list too (although never been but DH has). Is there anywhere else?

complexnumber Fri 07-Jun-13 10:22:36

Muscat, Oman. Lovely place!

suebfg Thu 06-Jun-13 20:14:44

where would it be?

DH thinks he may be able to persuade his company to relocate us to the Middle East as most of their business is out there. Only question is where would be the best place for a young family to be?

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