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Possibility of moving to Dubai - Garhoud

(97 Posts)
MaryIngalls Tue 03-Sep-13 13:12:48

DH is in talks for a job in Dubai. Initial indications are a decent enough pay package, but we pay housing and schooling (DD just started Year 1). No initial recon trip (we have visited once before though, and DH was there for couple of months on a project), they will pay family airfare and one month's hotel stay. Anything else we should bear in mind during initial salary discussions?
DH office will be in Garhoud. DD currently goes to outstanding rated state school in UK. There seems to be a 'good' rated school in Garhoud - Cambridge International School. I've read the online reviews, any other experience/ opinions would be vey welcome.
Also what would be a good place to live. We aren't into nightlife etc but do want a nice neighbourhood, with enough to do for kids. We are looking to rent a 3 or 4 bed apartment rather than a villa.
Internet research is on, but would love to hear from others with first-hand experience!

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:18:26


Having lived in Dubai for four years I would make sure health insurance is included in your package. Everywhere is private, except a few 'local' hospitals that most expats avoid for whatever reason.

The palm is a good place for apartments but there aren't any supermarkets on it so you have to drive to do a weekly shop.

The marina offers apartments and has a waitrose for convince.

The springs, meadows and lakes offer good expat communities with pools and health clubs.

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:21:43

Sorry the iPad is changing spellings and grammar! Sorry for the typos.

Be careful with the housing, most landlords want the years rent up front, although a few will take pre dated checks. The school fees are high too so it's imperative the salary offered is in fact enough!

Our package included.

House rent paid.
Company car
Fight home
Health insurance for entire family.
Private schooling paid from 2 years
Relocation allowance

MaryIngalls Tue 03-Sep-13 13:22:01

Thanks Barbie, good tip about health insurance. Do employers usually pay to ship stuff over? Don't mind driving for weekly shop, not too far though smile

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:24:21

We had a 40ft container paid to ship our stuff. Most company's ask you not to take furniture and will often only supply 20ft container, hence them giving you a relocation allowance to buy essentials

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:25:40

You will want them to pay for the 'paperwork' and visa etc. YOu will need a medical before the visa is granted, again the company should arrange and pay for this

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:28:04

Sorry, I'm posting as I remember things!

The main thing is to sort out schooling. The process can be long and very expensive.

Look at the better homes web page for rental properties

MaryIngalls Tue 03-Sep-13 13:28:17

Barbie - is this kind of package still offered? In other words has yours been in place for a while now? We've been told in current economic climate it's hard to get packages like those anymore.

Our current offer as it stands has:

House rent paid
Company car
Flight home
Health insurance for entire family
Private schooling paid from 2 years
Pension - not sure
Relocation allowance Furnishing allowance

MaryIngalls Tue 03-Sep-13 13:31:08

Sorry I realise am cross-posting, responding as we go along. No not planning to ship any furniture, but after 13 years of marriage and 5 years in current home, I expect personal stuff will be a fair amount too.
At some point in the future will touchbase re where to shop to furnish house ;) Currently more worried about the realities of the actual move.

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:33:17

The truth is I don't really know.

We had that when we relocated there 5 years ago.

Within the five years so many people left and few got replaced. If we stayed we would of had to go onto a local contract.

Dubai is seen as a desirable location, so they can generally get people there without all the extras like they used to promise.

We have just relocated to South Korea, we get the same as before but even more.

I would still push for more, especially the health care as it will cripple you. Every doctor visit will set back about £100 before extra treatments. My hospital bill for my c section came to £7595. Thankfully I had the magic card which they just swiped and sent me on my way wink

samuelwhiskers Tue 03-Sep-13 13:34:24

Hi, I would concentrate on finding a nice place to live with not a bad commute to your DH's office in Garhoud, then look at schools in that area. There are many nice expat areas with schools nearby such as Mirdiff, International city area, Arabian Ranches, Springs, Marina etc. Perhaps google rentals to see how much they are as usually they are paid a year in advance or four signed cheques.

Factor in the school fees, medical insurance, a car (or two) and see if the package your DH's employer offers is feasible. I think it is cheaper to buy stuff out there tbh, there is Ikea which delivers and assembles everything, plus shops such as Home Centre. I don't think it is worth shipping big stuff, perhaps some boxes with your DC's toys.

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:35:43

Have you checked out the rents yet? We had to give a cheque for 33,000 gbp for a years rent. thankfully we didn't have to fork that amount from our own money shock

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:38:03

Dubai isn't all that big. I'm going to say schooling is the major issue so sort that first and find your apartment after.

Winterwardrobetime Tue 03-Sep-13 13:38:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

samuelwhiskers Tue 03-Sep-13 13:38:28

Just read your posts about the packages - when we relocated to Dubai some years ago we got the full package but I have heard that is rare now. I agree with Barbie that you need good health insurance. Also don't underestimate bills - our DEWA bill was enormous, really quite shocking and it is a country where you can't turn down the air-conditioning!

samuelwhiskers Tue 03-Sep-13 13:41:32

agree with starting with advice via expatwoman and looking at schools first. Perhaps start emailing the schools to see where there are places. You definitely don't want to live or send your DD to school in Garhoud.

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:41:36

Dewa bills, how the heck did I forget about them...jeeze. Also sky tv and Internet have only two main suppliers who charge stupid prices for crap american tv and broadband slower than you have paid for hmm

Winterwardrobetime Tue 03-Sep-13 13:41:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaryIngalls Tue 03-Sep-13 13:42:07

Barbie I am a bit envy but congrats - wow you do travel! Samuel - I agree re housing, hoping to have a nose around when we get there, hopefully will be able to tie up everything in the first month. I would love it if DH work, DD school and our home were all in reasonable proximity. I've seen traffic there and am a bit worried if I will be able to drive in those conditions. Here I do mostly city driving, ferrying DD around to various classes. Do you have to re-take a driving test over there?

MaryIngalls Tue 03-Sep-13 13:43:05

Really Samuel - Garhoud schools/ residence not acceptable then? Thanks for this, really useful tips coming in!

Winterwardrobetime Tue 03-Sep-13 13:43:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:43:19

No to taking a driving test but you will need a 4x4 wink

MaryIngalls Tue 03-Sep-13 13:44:37

Sooo DEWA bills are paid for by employers? Hmmm I think we really need to re-think this.

Barbie1 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:45:09

Dubai, London, Paris then korea...well travelled but would go back to Dubai in a heartbeat so I'm very envy of you right now

sobs into pillow

Winterwardrobetime Tue 03-Sep-13 13:45:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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