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So Dubai, London, Paris or KL

(30 Posts)
Emmylooagain Mon 19-May-14 03:06:35

Hi all,

My husband, over the weekend, was offered a promotion with his work. He is in oil and gas and has been offered a senior role in either Dubai, London, Paris or Kuala Lumpur. We have done several expat postings previously (Scotland and Russia) and I have also lived in the US, so I am familiar with living overseas. However, for the last 3.5 years we have been back in our home town in Australia because we now have young children (a 3.5 year old and a 12 month old). I am a reasonably senior lawyer and have been with my company for this entire time in Australia, a role which I love. His company want to employ me and will offer me a role in whatever jurisdiction we choose.

Two issues: (1) I am very ambitious and so will be guided a little by the role they offer me. For example, they might offer me a senior position in Dubai but a less senior role in London, so we need to factor this into our decision making process as I don't want my career to take a step back.

(2) we are very very close with my parents and my PIL (particularly MIL) and they give us an enormous amount of assistance here with our kids. So moving away will be very very difficult. However, my parents and my MIL are very mobile and so we can imagine them spending months with us in whatever location we choose, but particularly London or Paris as my father is doing his phD and so could do a sabbatical type thing in those locations I think.

We need to find out more details on my role on offer (I have a call today with the relevant people), however I would love to know people's thoughts on life with small children as an expat in these places. I know London will be home for many on Mumsnet but we are Aussie so it will be expat for us.

We will get housing and schooling paid for in full by the company, so money is not a huge issue but obviously the housing will be limited. We will need a 4 bedroom place, located close to the relevant office.

Any thoughts, advice would be welcome? I am terrified of taking my children away from their home and their grandparents to be honest. But on the other hand, we are both very career driven and love living overseas, so we are quite excited.Oh and the move wouldn't be until December/January so we have time to plan and get schooling arranged etc.


unobtanium Tue 20-May-14 13:47:00

Oh OK Bonsoir, I'm with you on that one, but I'm also thinking of my Aus friends who find all that hilarious.

Emmylooagain Tue 20-May-14 22:46:03

Thanks for all the input. Guihalin totally agree it's time for me to lean in and this is my main concern - I don't want the role I take just to be a filler role because I really need to keep moving forward. My youngest will be almost 2 by the time we move and I am not having any more so I really want to "lean in" as you have suggested. I am still waiting to talk to the Company to see what they have an offer and I have my fingers crossed that there will be something decent in London or Paris. However, if the best role for me is in Dubai then we will have a harder decision to make. I will also contact headhunters in London and Paris though to see what roles there are. London in particular.

Guihalin - how did you find Dubai compared to the other cities? I just have real reservations about living there....

Isthiscorrect Wed 21-May-14 17:56:26

Not sure what reservations you have about living in Dubai. But my take would be Dubai now whilst the children are younger and London when you need to move again in a few years when they can appreciate the culture. We have desert, mountains, boats, easy travel across the world. We do have culture, the Bolshoi Ballet are here next month. People can be very bigoted about Dubai, not suggesting you are, and honestly coming for work is different to living here. Yes it does take a lot to get used to living here but local land is fantastic. Anyway just a different take on things IMVHO.

Kelly1814 Wed 21-May-14 20:36:32

Lived in Dubai for six years. Have a baby. I work, always have done. It's an amazing wonderful place, do not believe all the rubbish you read about it!

The telegraph has some excellent ex pat blogs, this Dubai one is very interesting and enlightening...

Barbie1 Fri 23-May-14 12:43:43

I'm another expat who has lived in London, Paris and Dubai. Currently in South Korea waiting for our next move to kl.

Each have there pluses and minuses.

For me Dubai is home, I love it and that is the place I'm hoping to return too.

Good luck whatever you decide. Expat life is both challenging and rewarding in equal measures smile

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