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Thread: Working in Dubai

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    Registered User Trousers's Avatar
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    Working in Dubai

    Anyone ever contracted or worked permanently out there.

    Pitfalls, benefits, advice - anyone?

    There must be a wealth of info just waiting to unload into this thread - I can feel it.

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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Hi,

    I've only spent a few weeks there, but have spent time elsewhere in the Middle East, didn't just holiday in Dubai but spent time with expat friends there, and researched moving to Dubai. It's been nearly three years since I was there, and it's changing all the time (from what I've heard from people who've been out there on holiday or to visit relatives living there).

    I'd recommend the Dubai Explorer book, available at Amazon, though there is a website about the guides: http://www.the-explorer.com/indexie.htm

    There is a variety of construction work going on, enlarging Dubai, with money being ploughed into (it's come along way from Pearl Fishing in the 20th Century), and construction projects in Oil and Gas. I believe some fashion designers also are based there.

    The foreign workers drafted in have very different lifestyles. For some, the life is very similar to that in the film, Syriana, out at the moment starring and directed by George Clooney, and that is not just the lavish lifestyle of the rulers and expats, but the poor one of immigrant workers too. A life there greatly depends on who you are and what you are going to do there, and what you want out of life. Whilst expats can ceroc away (http://www.cerocarabia.com/) there is a huge majority of people who would not be permitted to dance like that in public because of their religion.

    Check out http://www.mydsf.com/dsf/eng/index.asp
    Its the Dubai Shopping Festival page aimed at visitors not just from other Arab Countries. It contains links to other websites.

    Personally, if the job there had gone ahead, Id probably have moved there, but only for a set period of time not for the rest of my life.

    Hope this helps.

    Oid

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    Registered User Mary's Avatar
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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Des has started a Ceroc franchise there - I assume it's still going.

    M

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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Don't personally know about Dubai but had expatriate friends who lived there and raved about it.

    I can tell you about some of the benefits / disadvantages of living abroad if you're seriously thinking about it.

    1.It changes your life and the longer you stay away and the more you commit to the expat life the more it changes you.

    2.It's incredibly exciting and stimulating therefore addictive. It can be very hard to resettle in the UK when you decide it's time to come home. (If you ever do.)

    3.The dichotomy between your life "out there" and your life in Britain can be very confusing and unsettling.

    4.You will have your mind broadened as long as you are open to the local culture and avoid getting stuck in an expat ghetto.

    5.You can save lots of money as long as you don't get addicted to the expat high-life.

    Actually, if I knew I could do Ceroc abroad I might seriously consider getting another job overseas.

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    Registered User Chicklet's Avatar
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    Re: Working in Dubai



    to all but no 5 - have met very few people who actually managed to do this!

    My actual living experience is now, goodness 20 years out of date but having just returned from a pleasure trip to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and many places in Oman, I can report that many aspects of life have not changed too much in those days.

    I lived with my family in Kuwait and Bahrain for 11 (the school) years and had a WONDERFUL life and going back is still going home for me, 20 years on I still consider myself a fish out of water in Scotland in many ways.

    You HAVE to go with an open mind, you HAVE to accept that it is a completely different way of life, and you HAVE to go willing to accept that things that you see are different NOT wrong. Best example of this is probably the women thing, not so much in Dubai and Bahrain but certainly in Qatar and Oman, women of all ages ARE veiled and in many cases masked. This is not some kind of religious persecution in these states ( leave Saudi out of it, that's a different PLANET), but their own choice and comes from long tradition rather than rule of law. So if you think this will make you feel awkward, best get over it.

    As I say, things have changed in 20 years, there are more Gulf Nationals in jobs previously taken by Europeans and more Indians in professional posts such as accountany, Indian accountants can have the same prof qualifications as Europeans and cost less than half the price.

    There are SWARMS of labourers from Bangladesh etc all over the Gulf, and, to our Western eyes, may look as though they are being exploited, living in what we would see as cramped conditions and for what we would see as low wages. Again, you have to realise that these people consider themselves extremely lucky to have got contracts in the Gulf and are earning and sending home money to keep oodles of family members in a way that just would not be possible in their home towns. The same goes for Indian, Sri Lankan Philipino domestic servants. Yes there are horror stories of abuse, but these are becoming much less frequent and governments, individuals and charities are becoming much more able to intervene.

    Dubai itself is a building site south of the creek, if breezeblock and concrete offends you, don't go! There is also a terrible traffic problem much of which is caused by the number of people living in Sharjah for cheaper housing and working in Dubai who have to get in and out every day.

    All the gulf states are still extremely safe places to live with every possible amenity and social event you could think of. Schooling is of the very best standard in the world (my bro and I were both put up a year ahead of our age group on arrival here), likewise health facilities.

    The pace of many aspects of life is different, often things will happen when God is willing, rather than when you might like them to happen, you get used to it.

    Of course I am biased, I grew up with it all and I love it, but it's not for everyone, so if I could give just one piece of advice, go out for a week or two and walk and drive about before making any longer term decision and get the feel of the place, and go between March and October so you get a proper dose of the heat, there are many who just couldn't cope with 40 degrees for 6 months.

    And if you hear of anyone hiring Financial Controllers on European salary levels, let them know you can recommend just the gal !

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    Teacher Paul F's Avatar
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    Re: Working in Dubai

    I dont want to hijack this thread

    BUT

    If anyone has any living/working advice for Buenos Aires I am all ears. Am going to be working over there for 3 months as of mid-April so any advice would be nice. I know where all the latin-american dance clubs are. Had to get my priorities right

    If anyone can offer any tit-bits I would really appreciate a PM, otherwise, back to Dubai.

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    Registered User Feelingpink's Avatar
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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F
    I dont want to hijack this thread

    BUT

    If anyone has any living/working advice for Buenos Aires I am all ears. Am going to be working over there for 3 months as of mid-April so any advice would be nice. I know where all the latin-american dance clubs are. Had to get my priorities right

    If anyone can offer any tit-bits I would really appreciate a PM, otherwise, back to Dubai.
    Is this a tango stealth hijack?

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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Quote Originally Posted by Feelingpink
    Is this a tango stealth hijack?
    Just when you thought 'land of 1000 dances' had the manopoly on Tango threads

    No, Im more interested in the wider range of latin american dancing rather than only tango.

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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Quote Originally Posted by Oid
    the film, Syriana, out at the moment starring and directed by George Clooney,
    Small point of information - George Clooney starred and directed in Good night and good luck. Steven Gaghan directed Syriana.

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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Thank you for pointing out my error re. Syriana.

    I agree with Chicklet, that it's well worth visiting Dubai to check it out. Some people adapt well and others don't. Some people can find it hard to move to another city/town in their own country. You may love it, you may hate it. Then again, at the end of the day, you could always pack up again and move back here if you go and don't like it, or it isn't what you want. There's no shame in trying something and deciding it's not for you - you don't know what it's like till you try it, do you?

    All the best with your decision.

    I don't know if this page might help you or some others on the forum. It's Shell's page for expats. If you think about it, Shell's a Multinational company and sends its staff all over the world on a regular basis. You don't need to be a Shell employee to access it. http://www.outpostthehague.com/desti...hidedestin.htm

    Oid

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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Quote Originally Posted by Oid

    I agree with Chicklet, that it's well worth visiting Dubai to check it out. Some people adapt well and others don't. Some people can find it hard to move to another city/town in their own country. You may love it, you may hate it. Then again, at the end of the day, you could always pack up again and move back here if you go and don't like it, or it isn't what you want. There's no shame in trying something and deciding it's not for you - you don't know what it's like till you try it, do you?

    All the best with your decision.
    This is true, except that deciding to go & carrying out the preparation is likely to be a massively stressful process, not to be undertaken lightly. Though if you were initially going for a visit / short-term contract there would be less of a sense of commitment. I initially went overseas on a two-year contract and therefore had to effectively pack up my life in Britain. I was young and naive then and had not predicted the impact on my life that a simple job acceptance was going to have. I didn't even have my own house then but sorting out all my affairs and leaving friends and family behind was incredibly difficult at the time. I remember being in floods of tears every day after saying various goodbyes to people. Being absent from Britain for four years, except for holiday periods, meant that my life as it had been until then was completely destroyed and never was the same again, including some relationships. Of course, this might actually be a good thing, and for me it undoubtedly was, but it was a difficult process that I hadn't anticipated the effects of. It took me years to settle back down again and even now I sometimes look at the job adverts and think "What if......?"
    But I don't want to go through that process again of destroying what I have built up.

    Having said all this, living overseas was the most incredibly enriching, stimulating and rewarding process that I wouldn't have missed for the world.

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    Registered User Chicklet's Avatar
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    Re: Working in Dubai

    Quote Originally Posted by jivecat
    This is true, except that deciding to go & carrying out the preparation is likely to be a massively stressful process, not to be undertaken lightly. .
    Just for the record, my initial suggestion about going out for a short time first was really from the point of view of seeing if you liked the atmosphere of the Gulf in particular, I'm sure there are many people who could see themselves working abroad, but who wouldn't enjoy the Gulf, for whatever reason.

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    Re: Working in Dubai

    When I said go for a visit, I meant like Chicklet meant, before accepting to check it out. Unfortunately I then talked about moving in the same paragraph. Sorry if there was any confusion. That's why I don't post very often, as it's not actually like having a conversation with someone face-to-face. One thing that had been in my mind yesterday to log on and write was that if you have a partner/family to take or leave behind, there is a lot more to consider than simply moving on one's own. And whilst you move away, life still goes on here, without you, so things are not the same when you return, but neither are you. It is indeed possible to come back and enjoy living here again.

    I've only spent about 3 months in the Middle East, but was married to a man from Syria, whose stunningly beautiful sister and cousin both married wealthy UAE nationals - it seemed to be THE place that they wanted to go - a high standard of living for them, still an Islamic country, but less strict than others.

    Whilst only spending a few weeks at a time in the Middle East, not 3 months straight through, I have lived in America, Germany, Austria and Moncao. (I'd class Dubai like the Monaco of the Middle East). No, it's not always been easy, but I have no regrets and do have a lot of memories - people, places etc. The time spent overseas has made me who I am today.

    Chicklet - why don't you check out: http://www.reed.co.uk/JobDetails.asp...edSearch=False

    I did a quick search for jobs financial controller middle east on UK yahoo and this is No. 1. That wasn't even on an industry specific Oil and Gas recruiter's website. Maybe this will be of interest. Not sure about the salary though. I'm pretty certain that Oceaneering moved their finance dept to the Dubai, so possibly worth a speculative application.

    Best wishes to you all.

    Oid.

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