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To ask if you've moved from the UK to Dubai?

(67 Posts)
NoChella Sat 15-Apr-17 19:09:20

Everyone seems to love Dubai, I've heard nothing bad whatsoever about the Expat lifestyle. Has anyone made the move? Or more importantly has anyone not made the move and could you give advice as to what made you choose not go please?

Barbie1 Sat 15-Apr-17 19:11:10

I did. Loved it, no regrets at all.
Maybe post on the living abroad section for more traffic?

NoChella Sat 15-Apr-17 19:19:59

Thanks barbie...do you know how I get the thread moved?! I didn't even know there was a living abroad section!

longlostpal Sat 15-Apr-17 19:56:08

I think the people who go there are quite a self-selecting bunch. If you like beaches, shopping, expensive restaurants/bars and don't mind living somewhere with dubious human rights laws, being segregated from the locals, living off slave labour, and the danger of being chucked in a dingy prison never to see the light of day again should you fall foul of the law for any reason, it's probably quite fun. Not meaning to sound judgy, but you should do research on the place beyond the glitz of the expat lifestyle.

User4637384885 Sat 15-Apr-17 20:01:10

I have a friend who made the move and hated it but I can't remember why (sorry, not very helpful!). Human rights/women's rights would be enough for me to say 'no way, never, not in a million years' but that is personal opinion I guess.

NoChella Sat 15-Apr-17 20:02:00

Thanks longlost that's why I'm asking for people's (perhaps negative) experiences because the glitz and glam is what I've seen and heard but I would like to know of the downsides to make an informed decision

HappenedForAReisling Sat 15-Apr-17 20:03:58

Yep, via another country.

Spent 10 years there, not as the kind of expat longlostpal depicts though.
Don't regret it at all, did have issues with some of the things that went on, left two years ago, would never go back.

I'll agree with longlostpal that human rights issues, slave labour etc are appalling but not everyone is a Jumeirah Jane who couldn't give a toss as long as her nails are perfect, her coffee is hot and her maid is kept busy.

It was good while our kids were young but I don't think it's a great place to bring up teens.

We sent our DD back to the UK for school and left before our son started hight school (all reunited now).

longlostpal Sat 15-Apr-17 20:06:50

I appreciate that Nochella, and didn't mean that comment to come across as having a go. But my point is that it might be worth doing some research about the legal framework and social set-up, as well as getting people's experiences. Because most westerners are not going to have first hand experience of these things.

Babyroobs Sat 15-Apr-17 20:06:53

I wouldn't like to live there. As pp says dubious human rights.

HappenedForAReisling Sat 15-Apr-17 20:09:15

I may be out of date but if you're a 'trailing spouse' you will be a second class citizen to 'sir'.
I got my driving licence without a problem but later on, a wife needed her DH's permission to get a licence. That kind of thing happens in many different situations. You have to get used to people fixing/painting/gardening etc wanting to speak to your 'boss' (DH) and not you.
You'll also have to get used to the people who you pay to fix/paint/garden etc fucking everything up and leaving it worse than before.
Summers are not just blisteringly hot, but VERY humid making it unbearable so many expats leave for the summer. Be prepared if you do this, for lots of people to tell you your DH is picking up prostitutes while you're away.
Teachers don't all have proper qualifications.
Driving is absolutely dire. Petrol is cheap though.

VAT is being introduced next January and although the UAE is "tax free" they get you in every other way possible.

itsacatastrophe Sat 15-Apr-17 20:17:02

A country where if a woman gets raped she gets life in jail for sex outside of marriage where as the man gets a slap on the wrist is not the county's would want to raise my children in. Sure it has better weather then the UK, but that's pretty much all I can see going for it.
Each to their own though.

HappenedForAReisling Sat 15-Apr-17 20:20:45

Life in jail? I didn't hear about that one. Jail time (why rapes tend to go unreported) followed by deportation I heard about a few times.
One of the reasons why I didn't like it for teens to grow up there.

If you get into a accident/incident with a local, don't expect justice to prevail.

HappenedForAReisling Sat 15-Apr-17 20:23:28

OP, are you looking for reasons to justify a decision not to go?

Katiep0tato Sat 15-Apr-17 20:25:12

Lived there for almost 7 years 2008-2015. I went out first and DH followed me 9 months later when we decided to give expat life a go longer-term. Didn't really set a time limit, moved back because we didn't want to miss out on time with older/younger relatives but in no way do we regret it. Great career experience, opportunity to travel to places we probably wouldn't have gone otherwise, and once we'd got over the costs of settling in, not paying tax doesn't exactly suck!

NoChella happy to chat via PM if I can help at all. Have a look at Expat Forum Dubai as well. Good luck!

longlostpal Sat 15-Apr-17 20:27:36

www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/17/briton-reported-rape-dubai-extramarital-sex-charge. - this is the rape story

HappenedForAReisling Sat 15-Apr-17 20:34:09

I'm not disputing it, just that I'd never heard of anyone getting life in jail for it, and there's no mention of it in that article either.

While I was there a South African woman had an affair with a local. She was jailed for sex outside of marriage. He was not. He was obviously not there when it happened hmm

NoChella Sat 15-Apr-17 20:34:28

happened no not at all, just looking to make a balanced, well informed decision as it seems to good to be true.

Would not be raising children here and am already married. Would also not be a trailing spouse

googleplex10 Sat 15-Apr-17 20:40:53

When DH was offered a promotion out there I refused to go because of a lot of the reasons above. I had also searched through the Mumsnet archives on Dubai and realised that the people who loved/liked life out there didn't sound like me or my family. I don't mean that in a snooty way but the things they said were great just didn't appeal. One of the things that really put me off was that a lot of the women and the children seemed to return to the UK in the summer. I didn't want this separation for our family and couldn't get my head around the logistics of it. We don't have family with a big enough house to accommodate us for a couple of months and we would have rented out our house so that wasn't an option. Plus the final deciding factor was that we couldn't get any of the DC into school despite DH's employers holding debentures at the major schools. The waiting lists were too long.

It doesn't sound like you want to go either. Moving a long distance is hard enough and if you aren't committed to the adventure, then don't!

itsacatastrophe Sat 15-Apr-17 20:41:17

I'm sorry I apologise life was an exaggeration. Still, does a jail term of just a few months make it all ok?

HappenedForAReisling Sat 15-Apr-17 20:44:28

For an innocent person? No, never ok.

I thought maybe I'd missed that one while I was there because it was a lot more extreme than the sentences (I won't use the word punishment because it's not justified) I'd heard of in my time there.

As I said, it's why a lot of rapes go unreported, and why I didn't want my kids in high school there.

Tweennightmare Sun 16-Apr-17 10:31:28

In Dubai now and have been off and on since 2008. Bad points as listed above, the weather (high 30's now and summer hasn't really got started), the human rights issues , living in a hierarchical system where your status is linked to nationality, the lack of things to do and claustrophobia from may to October when it is too hot to do anything, the restriction of Ramadan when cafes and restaurants close until sunset and no drinking or eating outside The continual saying goodbye to friends as they leave, the uncertainty as your residency is linked to employment that you can't plan too far ahead. Paying ridiculous amounts for certain foods ( a punnet of raspberries is over £6!)
and alcohol
Heaps wrong with Dubai and not my favourite placement (much prefer SE Asia) but it is not all negatives , great weather in the winter, lovely beaches , great restaurants if you ignore the prices, schools very international meaning DC and yourself end up with friends from all over the world, tax free salary and no housework if you have a maid
Key thing is to establish what you want from the placement and if it ticks the boxes and you can live with the negatives go for it

RedSandYellowSand Sun 16-Apr-17 10:45:47

Dubai can be a very expensive place to live. I know of several couples, and a family who have lived there, and come home with very little.
The summers are brutal. I'm not in UAE, but am in the Middle East. It was over 40 yesterday, and we still have another 10C temperature rise before summer.
Irrelevant for you, but getting a school place can cause major stress.
We will return to the UK before secondary school. And if things continue as currently, we should have a healthy bank balance.

Someone asked about the summers. DH takes a month off, and then I remain in the UK for a month without him. We rent holiday lets for the duration, because noone has an appropriately large house, and our family home is rented. I know someone who has bought a holiday caravan while they rent a family house, and several families with willing family nearby have kept the UK house empty, with weekly checkups by the local family member.

It is not for everyone.
It is an experience to see life like you have never known.
Yes, SOME of the human rights leaves a lot to be desired. Some of the rules seem bizarre to someone brought up in a western environment.
But equally, I feel very safe here - unless on the road, which is bloody terrifying!

Cantseethewoods Sun 16-Apr-17 10:53:45

The 'permission from your husband thing' is more accurately described as 'permission from your sponsor' so if you are a trailing husband ( on a dependents visa) you'd need to get permission from your wife for stuff like getting a drivin license etc.

I lived there for a year in 2008-9. It was okay. It was frustrating trying to get anything fixed ( as in there was no clear process to get things fixed-just we went round in circles) but I imagine things have got a lot better since then.

I'm not a shopper but I liked the weather and did a lot of sports and outdoors stuff. The summer is hot but if you're working it's not as much of an issue. I didn't have dc when we were there.

We moved in HK in 2009 and I prefer it here but nor was I desperate to go.

Barbie1 Sun 16-Apr-17 18:07:29

The thing is I have lived in 5 other countries since and most have the same negatives as Dubai. In nearly all instances I have had to have permission from my husband to work, drive etc but it's definitely not exclusive to the Middle East.
I'm one of the few expats who doesn't disappear for the entire summer, I go home for maybe a week before dh joins me for another few weeks.
I'm back in the Middle East now (Doha) and compared to here Dubai was a breeze....

Katiep0tato Sun 16-Apr-17 19:32:05

Cantseethewoods I sponsored my DH for a while until he got a job - I remember the guy who sorted out our visas was horrified by the idea! In the long term we were each sponsored separately by our employers, but still had to get their permission for things like driving or alcohol licenses. I never had any issues with workmen refusing to deal with me, and there was a service company for our apartment so a clear pricing structure for any repairs.

Agree with RedSand that the rules seem strange for anyone who's grown up in a Western environment. Got to remember that the UAE is a Muslim country though, and as visitors we have to take some responsibility for understanding what that means and behave accordingly. I'm not saying I agree with the laws around rape - far from it - but I certainly never felt like my freedom was curtailed in any way. Yes, it's too hot to do much outside in summer, but there are months of the year here where it's too cold/wet to go out, and at least in Dubai you don't have the dark winters!

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