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#233543 20-Apr-2018 22:45
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It looks likely we will be relocating to Dubai for a few years. I am being offered a role in Dubai with my existing multinational company. This will cover relocation expenses etc. I am aware of the usual (accommodation, healthcare, schooling, flights) allowances and those issues to consider.

 

I'd be interested in the experiences of others who have done this, particularly with you (6 years and 4 years old) children. It's going to happen fast (they want me there in July) so any advise would be appreciated.


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  #2000072 20-Apr-2018 23:24
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Dubai is an expensive city and also very boring IMHO. It’s too depressing to even think about being out in the open in summers.




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  #2000074 20-Apr-2018 23:37
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What type of role do you do?




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  #2000075 20-Apr-2018 23:45
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General Management. The role I am going to is a global business development role in a specialist space where Dubai is a logical place to be based. I'll be travelling to Europe, America and Asia very regularly.


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  #2000080 21-Apr-2018 00:21
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Nice. Congrats on the role!




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  #2000108 21-Apr-2018 08:13
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Before moving to NZ, I had looked at Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a place to work. 

 

I frequented this forum

 

http://britishexpats.com/forum/middle-east-60/

 

 

 

helpful, but some people can be a bit rude. 





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  #2000135 21-Apr-2018 08:27
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Thanks, that looks like a useful site.


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  #2000150 21-Apr-2018 08:45
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I know my wife would love a short 3 year gig in Dubai or Singapore.

So right about it being hot in summer. Just mental!





 
 
 
 




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  #2000155 21-Apr-2018 08:50
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sonyxperiageek: Nice. Congrats on the role!

 

Thanks. It'll be a big change but it's a chance to have some really cool experiences and for the kids to experience a different culture. I've got friends in the Gulf already which will help a little.


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  #2000157 21-Apr-2018 09:06
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I was asked to move to saudi but it would have meant i'd need to marry my girlfriend at the time if we wanted to stay together. 

 

Refused, co-workers had too many horror stories of Saudi , but the bosses put so much pressure on me .  It would have screwed up my existing project too which I was enjoying. 

 

Dubai will be awesome. I've had friends who love the place. 

 

I think how much you enjoy a new country says more about you then the country itself. 


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  #2000167 21-Apr-2018 09:39
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Geektastic: I know my wife would love a short 3 year gig in Dubai or Singapore.

So right about it being hot in summer. Just mental!

 

Not that I'm planning on going, but would you say the heat is worse than the Summer we've just in NZ?




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  #2000175 21-Apr-2018 10:17
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45-50 degrees is pretty nasty. It's unbearable for 2-3 months.


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  #2000224 21-Apr-2018 11:00
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DarthKermit:

 

Geektastic: I know my wife would love a short 3 year gig in Dubai or Singapore.

So right about it being hot in summer. Just mental!

 

Not that I'm planning on going, but would you say the heat is worse than the Summer we've just in NZ?

 

 

 

 

Lord yes. It's merciless and often over 40! Non stop. For months! Incredibly dry heat too, which is more bearable than the typical (say) Vietnamese humid heat, but still bonkers. Most people I have known who've worked there tell of running from air conditioned building to air conditioned building! Certainly my experience on trips has been of that kind.

 

On the plus side, the tax regime is much more beneficial to the earner than here!

 

 








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  #2000815 22-Apr-2018 21:40
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I'll be looking for a router I can run a VPN client on for privacy reasons. Give their (very expensive) domestic packages top out around 100Mb is there something people would recommend? Maybe edge router lite? 




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  #2020136 21-May-2018 22:23
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Well I signed my contract tonight. I'm a bit in shock (it's all happened pretty quickly) but also really excited by the opportunity.

 

The contract is pretty attractive (about twice what I make here with no tax) even taking into account the cost of housing and schools.

 

I'm in the process of getting quotes for movers which looks to be suitably expensive. I'm really not looking forward to the first few months - it's going to be really hot in August when we get there.


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  #2020156 22-May-2018 08:06
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I don't have children, but my wife and I spent just over 6 years from 2005 to 2012 working and living in Dubai.

 

Welcome to send me a PM if you have specific questions - off the top of my head, the key things would be:

 

     

  1. Rent - usually both very expensive and committed to for a full year with payment in advance (or via 2-6 post dated cheques) with all the power in the hands of the landlord over the tenant. Many companies employing expats support your first year (if not all subsequent years) with an interest free loan. Factor this into your budget!
  2. Health - due to the insufferable temperature and a city not designed for pedestrians or walking and the abundance of unhealthy food and easy delivery, we put on a ton of weight during our stay which we have found very difficult to shift! Don't let this slip.
  3. Social standing - as a Western expat you are fairly high on the on the ladder - below Emiratees and other Arabic nations but above the vast majority. I will assume like me, that you won't like this stratified existence, but it does exist and you would do well to be aware of it. The UAE is an incredibly Westernised Gulf State, but it is still an Arabic country, subject to sharia-based law and all of the prejudices which that entails. Don't sweat it too much - you don't need to be paranoid, but equally, be aware that however glossy and safe and welcoming it appears, you won't be "in Kansas anymore" and if the poop ever hits the fan, the dice will always be loaded against you if you come to a disagreement with a local.
  4. Driving and traffic - If you thought NZ drivers were bad... Be aware that locals will drive like maniacs with impunity, speeding is the norm and there are many completely unqualified drivers from all around the world, all applying their own unique take on how they believe the laws of the road and physics should be applied when in a vehicle. Keep your wits about you, NEVER flip anyone off or curse at them and if someone comes up behind you at 180kph, flashing their lights 6" off your bumper when you are already speeding at 160, just calmly let them past at the first opportunity. On the 3-4 times a year it really, REALLY rains (or you get a pea-soup fog) all bets are off and you should should just avoid the roads altogether.
  5. Friends! - Almost everyone is an Expat and the social environment reflects that. It is super easy to socialise as much or as little as you like and to talk to and meet people. Make good friends, go to good parties but bear in mind they will likely be "single serving" buddies as they move on or away. That said, we still have 1 or 2 great friends we made in our time there.
  6. Money - We earned a ton of money. We spent a ton of money. Overall a no score draw when we left. If you are already good with money, you should be fine. We weren't, living can be expensive and it is easy to get lured by the high-flying expat lifestyle and burn through it as fast as you make it. Also, watch out for crappy Financial advisors. They move like flies around poo when new arrivals touch down and they are mostly terrible.
  7. Travel - It is a great base to explore the region. Regret never making it to Beirut, but we did Oman, Qatar, Syria, Jordan, part of India etc etc whilst we were there. Make use of the opportunity.
  8. Bureaucracy - Seemingly simple tasks and applications can be like swimming through treacle. A large number of locals are gainfully employed by the state in trivial clerk jobs for nationalized industries, earning a ludicrous salary and they don't give two figs about you and your problems. Always read the small print, always fill in the forms carefully, always keep copies, always keep records of your meetings and always be polite and calm even when getting wrapped up in red tape and seemingly stone-walled at every turn. Make use of your company's "go to guy" wherever possible - they will have one, usually a local who has the right contacts or influence to help get things done. There is a term "wasta" in Arabic which roughly translates as "influence" or "the ability to get stuff done". You will have none. Make friends with people who have lots.
  9. Booze - Some Emirates are totally dry (Sharjah) some are mostly unregulated (Ras Al Khaimah) and most have some kind of controlled policy in place (Dubai, Abu Dhabi) whereby you need a booze "license" and can only buy a set limit from formally licensed bottle shops in key locations. This mostly isn't an issue, but bear in mind public drunkenness and drinking outside of "licensed" places (mostly hotels) can get you into trouble if you are indiscreet or downright dumb. You can also do "booze runs" to the massive (and much cheaper) bottle shops in the more relaxed Emirates, but this does come with a modicum of risk as you will usually then have to drive back through a controlled Emirate with a boot-full of booze... We all did it and no-one I know got busted, but we all heard stories...
  10. Car accidents - In addition to the above bit on driving, if you damage your car or a rental car or are involved in any kind of crash, ding or scrape, no matter how minor or whether or not another party was involved, you MUST call and then wait for the police to arrive and get a completed police report in order for both your insurance claim to be processed and to avoid falling foul of the law. I made this mistake by not reporting a minor dent in a rental and it caused me no end of trouble as they wouldn't hold my insurance valid and demanded the money. I had to retro-actively get a slip from the cops which was painful and frustrating.

 

Please treat the above with a big caveat; I have not lived there for 6 years now and things may have changed! That said, I imagine a large amount of this will still apply in some form or another and at the very least, should give you some food for thought.

 

Enjoy it! I left with very mixed feelings about the place and the culture for many reasons (as others have alluded to above) but overall I have no regrets - I got some amazing career and life experience I would have never had otherwise and I think overall it made me a better person.

 

 





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