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9 months in Dubai, is this mad?

(19 Posts)
Ohthepressure Sat 30-Jan-16 12:18:53

I'm in the pool for a 9 month contract in Dubai. Salary is £500 a day (less 30% tax eventually) but food and accommodation comes out of that. I am assuming the client (a pillar of Dubai society, can't say any more in case I get beheaded or whatever) will have access to subsidised accommodation as otherwise it seems ridiculously hard to organise (due to start in a few weeks) and expensive to boot. What sort of accommodation cost would be doable on that salary and what would I be looking at for subsistence? I'm thinking travel will be by train as the client's offices are on the train line so no need for a car or taxis.

I appreciate this is a how long is a piece of string question, but would be grateful for anyone's advice as to whether this is just not worth thinking about, or if it is. There are a lot more other complications, but I'll leave it (fairly) simple for now!

ImperialBlether Sat 30-Jan-16 12:24:36

There are a lot of active ex-pat forums, OP, that might give you a quick response.

partialderivative Sat 30-Jan-16 13:53:33

Try to get this re-posted into the Living Overseas forum Lots of knowledgeable people there.

For my own 4-pence worth, I would say go for it!

partialderivative Sat 30-Jan-16 13:54:58

Oops, this is the Living Overseas thread!

Put it down to different time zones

LizzieMacQueen Sat 30-Jan-16 14:07:27

Would it further your career?

What would you do with your UK house? You need to factor in costs of upkeep of that.

Thatrabbittrickedme Sat 30-Jan-16 14:11:34

Try asking on for a quick and up to date view of living costs.

A lot of good quality temporary furnished accommodation in Dubai but it is very expensive. £500 per day less tax without living costs considering you also need to maintain your uk home does not sound a great deal to me as cost of living is very high in Dubai

YoungGirlGrowingOld Sat 30-Jan-16 14:17:31


I say go for it. I pay 1700 quid a month rent for a 1 bedroom flat near the Dubai metro. (I assume that is what you mean by train?) I live in one of the pricier areas though because I hate driving here (whole other thread...)

Be warned - I came to Abu Dhabi for 3 months in 2012 and haven't left the ME yet... hmm

Expat woman is a good shout smile

Ohthepressure Sat 30-Jan-16 14:47:06

It would sort of further my career, but it gets complicated, I'm currently an expat in Australia, with permanent residency here and planning to be here medium/long term and while it wouldn't harm my job prospects when I came back, I couldn't do the same thing as I was doing in Dubai as I'm not qualified in that profession out here. But it would certainly fund a looooonnnng time finding another job.

I have looked at expat woman, I'll post there when I'm on my laptop tomorrow, much easier to type. Yes YoungGirl I did mean the Metro, I was only there in May, albeit for a stopover, so I should remember!

The much more complicated thing is that DH and DS are also here in Aus. The current plan is for me to do 3 months in Dubai, then they come and join me for the last 5 months as our rental contract here in Aus is due for renewal in July. We put our stuff in storage, then rent a slightly bigger ie 2 bed apt for the rest of the time in Dubai. I presume (back of a fag packet calculation and courtesy of Google) that (a) I would have a resident visa to work there, and that (b) I can then sponsor DH and DS to come. I will obviously plan this much, much better, but I'm just trying to get a feel for the options.

This still might be just too complicated, but it's whether we spend the next couple of weeks looking to see how it could work, or just write it off immediately and do something else. I'm currently between contracts in Aus, and this potential job pays well over twice as much as anything I could get here, but there's so many issues. Aaaaggghhhhh!

DesertOrDessert Sat 30-Jan-16 15:17:15

For Dubai, get onto expat woman
Is it just you, or are there others coming out with you?

DesertOrDessert Sat 30-Jan-16 15:21:16

Sorry, should have refreshed before replying.
How old is DS? If the schools are anything like here, getting a place could be tricky. Also, consider if you really want DH and DS to be over here June, July, Aug, Sept. Dubai is slightly cooler (shock) than here in the summer, but as soon as school is out, the none working mothers get back to Europe/Aus/USA as soon as they can, as it is unbearable in the heat and humidity.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Sat 30-Jan-16 17:00:27

I would look carefully into whether you can sponsor DH's visa - I know my friend has had problems sponsoring her son as a woman (but she is Syrian so it's possible that is the "real" reason iykwim. Other than that, your plan certainly sounds possible.

It's normal practice for your employer to sort your visa - I have never had toolkit for my own or organize the medical checks etc. It runs pretty smoothly here.

Agree with a pp about summer heat. I have stayed here one whole summer and it was doable but not the most pleasant experience. There are plenty of indoor activities to keep DC amused. The other 9 ish months of perfect weather make up for it. smile

zikreetdreaming Sun 31-Jan-16 06:00:55

The only think that hasn't been raised is I don't know how easy you'd find it to get accommodation for less than a one year lease (and note rent is normally paid for a year/six months up front!). I think you'd be looking at serviced accommodation which would take a chunk out of your pay.

Still I calculate even after tax you'd be looking at AED 40k a month which is decent even for Dubai (assuming youre not having to pay school fees).

Ohthepressure Sun 31-Jan-16 07:16:55

Thanks for the comments. One of the few less complicated areas is schooling - DS (12) is homeschooled, so we don't have that problem. I was expecting to go for serviced accommodation, just hoping the client can get a good deal.

JoandMax Sun 31-Jan-16 07:29:24

I think that's definitely doable on that salary. You'd probably be best to go for a serviced apartment for less than a year. But do check out the visa status for you all and whether you'd have any issues sponsoring DH and DS and who would be paying for that. Would you employer also be providing medical cover for you all? That's an essential and can be expensive......

It is very hot in summer but I actually quite like it! Roads are calmer, everywhere is less busy and everyone is more relaxed. There's so much for kids to do and we still go the pool or the beach early mornings/late afternoons all through summer. There's also a lot of decent sports/activity camps on offer of your DS was interested. I'm a SAHM to school age kids and a lot of friends are starting to stay in summer or only going away for a few weeks.

And there's a good home schooling community too so a great way for you all to meet people

Ohthepressure Sun 31-Jan-16 10:31:55

Medical cover, good point. I'll check.
Is this the expatwoman forum - it looks a bit slow traffic, and no separate topics. I was expecting something a little more organised!

DesertOrDessert Sun 31-Jan-16 11:06:15

Yep, that's the right place.
Yep, its slow enough to not need separate topics -and if you think that's quiet, try some of the other countries!!!!
You'll get good info from there, so worth joining.

Ohthepressure Sun 31-Jan-16 11:38:53

Thanks. I'm waiting to be "approved".
<might as well get a book, it'll be a cold day in hell when I'm 'approve' material...>

JoandMax Sun 31-Jan-16 13:03:57

There's also a Facebook group called British Mums Dubai - I've never seen a question go unanswered on there!!

Isthiscorrect Tue 02-Feb-16 18:47:53

There are absolutely loads of serviced apartments around. Home to home in tecom offer 2 beds for about 15k Dhs a month, no extras payable. It has a pool and a gym, shops and bars nearby. However serviced apartments range from super cheap read appalling to palatial and super super expensive. You will need your employer to organise at least a few weeks upfront for you to give you time to look around. No idea about the visa, mine is sorted through dh or my work.
There is a homeschooling group in Dubai so they should help. The only real issue is the summer heat for getting out and about. There are issues about a drivers licence and hiring a car, not sure what it is as it didn't affect me but ask on EW or British mums Dubai.
It is an expensive place to live, although savings can be made if you are prepared to shop more locally that the big supermarkets. Water, cars, petrol are cheap. Mobile phone charges and data are expensive. Tv is shite. However you can have everything delivered or done for you. It is a very service oriented place for a retail perspective. Customer service in utilities is dire.
Yep and no chance of being beheaded here, we don't do that sort of stuff.

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