good offer or not?

Old Mar 3rd 2015, 5:11 pm
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Default good offer or not?

Hi All
my background: working in London £50,000 plus 12-15% bonus per year. got 2 kids and I am originally from Sri lanka and now settled in UK.

I am a business analyst and been offered the following from a multinational company in Saudi, i dont have a clue whether its agood deal or not, i would really appreiciate all of the advice.
also I didnt apply for the job and this company approached me thorugh linkedin, and i had a skype interview for about 40 minutes and they offered the below, which I belive i can still negotiate since they approcehd me.

below is the package in SR
Basic = 20,000
travel = 1500
housing = 3750
cost of living = 1250
education = 9750
bonus = 4800 (its actually 57600 every year so I just divided this by 12)
free tickets for the family every year.
guarantee 10% increment every year

total package is 41050 (this includes the bonus which i would get end of the year) means when i start it will be 36250.


my kids are going to an Ofsted outstanding school in London, not sure what I would get with 9750 SR a month in Saudi. also when I check living cost such as houses it totally varies. more research I do more I get confused.
please give me your genuine comments is it worth for me to leave a Job in London for the above offer or if I am to negotiate what should I ask for.

thanking you in advance

Shace
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Old Mar 3rd 2015, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: good offer or not?

I would stay in London, first of all because your kids can have a great education. Money is not all. You will never have the same opportunities in terms of cultural life respect what London can offer to your kids.
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Old Mar 3rd 2015, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: good offer or not?

20000 SAR is 3500 GBP a month, so in fact you are earning less in gross.

And being from Sri Lanka, that would be a big shock for both you and your family.
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 3:50 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Originally Posted by NewCaledonia
20000 SAR is 3500 GBP a month, so in fact you are earning less in gross.
Why does that matter?
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 3:53 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

SAR3,750 per month for housing is laughable. You will need at least SAR7,500 and much more if you want to live in a decent neighborhood. As for Scamp's comment, you really need double your existing UK package to make living in KSA worthwhile.
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 4:31 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Originally Posted by mentalist
SAR3,750 per month for housing is laughable. You will need at least SAR7,500 and much more if you want to live in a decent neighborhood. As for Scamp's comment, you really need double your existing UK package to make living in KSA worthwhile.
Gross is completely irrelevant. That's my point.
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 8:02 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

If they're not prepared to at least double your accommodation allowance, don't do it. Unless you don't want to live in a compound, but I would not suggest that if you have a wife and children in tow. Where in Saudi would you be based?
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 9:12 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Thanks for all the replies, true money is not everything and loosing my kids standard of education is something I have to think of, can I get British education with SR 9750 per month?

anyway I will be based in Jeddah and yes due to the tax system in the UK I take home £3027 per month and £3600 a year as bonus, that's £3327 per month but nothing else, of course I don't save at all due to the cost of living in London but I do have a decent life.

Only reason I am still thinking of this offer and trying to negotiate is I believe may be I can save some money if I work in Jeddah for few years.

when you say double the UK package does this mean the salary? Ask for SR 40,000?

Shace
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 10:48 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Originally Posted by Scamp
Why does that matter?
I think it matters a lot.

Many employers like to compare net salary in Europe/US with net=gross salary in the Middle East.

That gross salary in the West is also paying for your medical, unemployment allowance, roads, subway systems (OK you got that in Dubai) etc. Well you know things that make living in a civilized country nicer.

Because you can love your tax-free salary in Dubai but once you lose your job/are fired/there is a recession you are sold (of course you can get another job). If you are fired in the UK or in Europe (given you have a UK passport) you don't need to move, you will likely have some unemployment insurance (not very large in the UK; but massive in France or Germany).

I am not saying that you need to work thinking about unemployment benefits, but I just try to say that 3000 GBP net in Dubai is remotely not equivalent to 3000 GBP net in London; not to say in Paris or Munich. And people trying to compare that is trying to fool yourself.

Housing, car allowance. Well it depends.

In Abu Dhabi or Jeddah you are sold without a car. In London you can live without a car; an Oyster is 100 GBP a month and much less headaches than driving and maintaining a car in the Middle East. I would rather take the Northern Line than driving a leased Toyota Camry anywhere in the road-rage ME.

Housing? Well maybe Dubai or Abu Dhabi is a bit more developed (though expensive) but I reckon that in Saudi or even Qatar you need to spend A LOT if you want to live in something that resembles "Western" (quality of fixtures, amenities, type of neighbors). And maybe you are paying a mortgage or you are a free-mortgage owner, so not a big deal.

Education? I don't have kids but in many parts of the West (depending on where you live, but even in the US) you have great public schools.

So many of those allowances; to me are not "benefits" (the way they like to sell it) but a way to compensate to live in a country where there are no public services for foreigners.

Last edited by NewCaledonia; Mar 4th 2015 at 10:55 am.
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 11:09 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

seriously sort out the accommodation allowance. Even in just a mid range compound, a two bed 'villa' can cost at least 8000 a month. The education allowance is not too bad, but it depends on the age of your children.
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Old Mar 5th 2015, 3:18 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

I think what matters is the net "take home" money or saving. Most -if not all- of expats in the ME comes for saving and not for life style or education. What you say about gross salary is technically true but irrelevant. In EU you get children support for example (they call it kindergeld in Germany of Family Tax Credit in UK) and you get free public schools and health system, pension etc, which you don't have in the ME. However, you are not comparing apple with apple. You need to look at net saving and what can you afford to do here and there. Many expats told me they come for a few years to ME to be able to buy house at their home country. If they want to do so while in their countries they probably need to spend triple of the time or more.
Nothing comes for free of course. This is why all expats overlook other difficulties you mentioned like bad traffic, bad life style or poor housing to achieve their ultimate goal.


Originally Posted by NewCaledonia
I think it matters a lot.

Many employers like to compare net salary in Europe/US with net=gross salary in the Middle East.

That gross salary in the West is also paying for your medical, unemployment allowance, roads, subway systems (OK you got that in Dubai) etc. Well you know things that make living in a civilized country nicer.

Because you can love your tax-free salary in Dubai but once you lose your job/are fired/there is a recession you are sold (of course you can get another job). If you are fired in the UK or in Europe (given you have a UK passport) you don't need to move, you will likely have some unemployment insurance (not very large in the UK; but massive in France or Germany).

I am not saying that you need to work thinking about unemployment benefits, but I just try to say that 3000 GBP net in Dubai is remotely not equivalent to 3000 GBP net in London; not to say in Paris or Munich. And people trying to compare that is trying to fool yourself.

Housing, car allowance. Well it depends.

In Abu Dhabi or Jeddah you are sold without a car. In London you can live without a car; an Oyster is 100 GBP a month and much less headaches than driving and maintaining a car in the Middle East. I would rather take the Northern Line than driving a leased Toyota Camry anywhere in the road-rage ME.

Housing? Well maybe Dubai or Abu Dhabi is a bit more developed (though expensive) but I reckon that in Saudi or even Qatar you need to spend A LOT if you want to live in something that resembles "Western" (quality of fixtures, amenities, type of neighbors). And maybe you are paying a mortgage or you are a free-mortgage owner, so not a big deal.

Education? I don't have kids but in many parts of the West (depending on where you live, but even in the US) you have great public schools.

So many of those allowances; to me are not "benefits" (the way they like to sell it) but a way to compensate to live in a country where there are no public services for foreigners.
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Old Mar 5th 2015, 5:40 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Basic = 20,000
travel = 1500
housing = 3750
cost of living = 1250
education = 9750

As someone else said the problem there is the housing. The salary is okay, not sure if the travel is travel costs including car rental or just for petrol. If it's just petrol then there is no way you will ever spend that in a month. If it's for rental then some extra will be coming out of your pocket. As for the housing, you could get a lovely villa OFF-compound for that price but your options are somewhat limited ON-compound. You won't get anything on a compound for that amount. Cost of living, treat is a a weeks shopping. The education allowance is good and if you've got 2 kids, you're looking at 60K a year per kid which will get you something decent.
What it comes down to is how much you save, to put it into perspective, I'm here with my wife and two kids and we live off about 5k a month. I imagine Riyadh is similar to Jeddah in costs.
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Old Mar 5th 2015, 6:39 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Originally Posted by NewCaledonia
I think it matters a lot.

Many employers like to compare net salary in Europe/US with net=gross salary in the Middle East.

That gross salary in the West is also paying for your medical, unemployment allowance, roads, subway systems (OK you got that in Dubai) etc. Well you know things that make living in a civilized country nicer.

Because you can love your tax-free salary in Dubai but once you lose your job/are fired/there is a recession you are sold (of course you can get another job). If you are fired in the UK or in Europe (given you have a UK passport) you don't need to move, you will likely have some unemployment insurance (not very large in the UK; but massive in France or Germany).

I am not saying that you need to work thinking about unemployment benefits, but I just try to say that 3000 GBP net in Dubai is remotely not equivalent to 3000 GBP net in London; not to say in Paris or Munich. And people trying to compare that is trying to fool yourself.

Housing, car allowance. Well it depends.

In Abu Dhabi or Jeddah you are sold without a car. In London you can live without a car; an Oyster is 100 GBP a month and much less headaches than driving and maintaining a car in the Middle East. I would rather take the Northern Line than driving a leased Toyota Camry anywhere in the road-rage ME.

Housing? Well maybe Dubai or Abu Dhabi is a bit more developed (though expensive) but I reckon that in Saudi or even Qatar you need to spend A LOT if you want to live in something that resembles "Western" (quality of fixtures, amenities, type of neighbors). And maybe you are paying a mortgage or you are a free-mortgage owner, so not a big deal.

Education? I don't have kids but in many parts of the West (depending on where you live, but even in the US) you have great public schools.

So many of those allowances; to me are not "benefits" (the way they like to sell it) but a way to compensate to live in a country where there are no public services for foreigners.
3,000 nett in the UK is good, it's fine, it's lovely.
3,000 nett here isn't what will get most people to move, unless everything else is paid on top.
5,000 (for sake of argument) Gross in the UK...is irrelevant. Completely.

Medical provided (pretty much by law) here, there are roads, metros and all things needed to live a civilised life.

It just doesn't matter what you get gross in the UK, the simple number crunching is the comparison with what you get in your pocket.

EG:
50,000 gross in UK (4-and-a-bit thousand a month gross) = 2,500 a month in pocket / nett (for sake of argument)
House is 1,000
Car is 250
= 1,250 basic + house + car.

To get the same here:
7,500 + 10,000 housing (gets a nice apartment for sake of arugment) + 3,000 car
= 20,500 AED or 3,500 GBP roughly

So, to have the 'same' money as the UK the gross amount is completely ignored apart from to get the nett figure.

From this point an individual (assuming the housing and car costs are given correct, and assuming they don't want all the utilities, schooling, flights on top - which if so, need to be factored correctly) can work out what they want extra in their pocket to be in the region and to save.

At which point, the gross UK amount is STILL irrelevant.

Once they know that they need the numbers I roughly stuck above (kept it simple, no schooling etc...should have added flights, but let's call it another 500 a month so 21,000) they can pump it up, let's say they want to save 1,000 GBP a month, so they need 27,000 roughly. Note - the UK gross amount STILL isn't playing a part.

The magic number has been reached, they should accept anything above the 27,000.

NB - these numbers are fairly spurious and loose but just to illustrate my point.

Now, work it backwards for them, let's see the UK gross amount on that - 27,000 = 4,500 nett = 6? 6,500? 7,000 a month needed gross to earn that in the UK? So instead of 50k, they'd need 70-80k+ a year. Obviously we can pull apart some of the costs figures for here, so lets:

To bank an extra 1,000 a month that's 12,000 a year nett. Let's call that 18,000 needed gross.

So, to earn the money they want to earn, Joe Bloggs needs to go and ask his boss for an 18k (for sake of argument) pay rise.

THAT is the only time I need to talk to a candidate in the UK about gross salary. It's relevant to work out what they need in the UK to get what they can get here.


Please don't think I'm being particularly blunt or rude, I'm in between meetings and feel compelled to reply in detail after you took the time to do so.
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Old Mar 5th 2015, 8:14 am
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Originally Posted by shace318
Thanks for all the replies, true money is not everything and loosing my kids standard of education is something I have to think of, can I get British education with SR 9750 per month?
Shace
I reply for education, as others already replied regarding salary and benefits and housing:
I can't say how is the situation in Saudi, but here in Qatar my daughter is in a well reputed and pricey international school - and the academic level is very far from what she got in Italy in public schools. I have to homeschool her for math, history, geography, and also English grammar, if I want that she goes back in an Italian school without problems - while I imagined I had to homeschool her only for Italian. They don't stress enough the importance of grammar (but I think this is a defect of British education overall) - they study history in a very disordered way and no geography at all. And very backward in math.
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Old Mar 5th 2015, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: good offer or not?

Originally Posted by primularossa
I reply for education, as others already replied regarding salary and benefits and housing:
I can't say how is the situation in Saudi, but here in Qatar my daughter is in a well reputed and pricey international school - and the academic level is very far from what she got in Italy in public schools. I have to homeschool her for math, history, geography, and also English grammar, if I want that she goes back in an Italian school without problems - while I imagined I had to homeschool her only for Italian. They don't stress enough the importance of grammar (but I think this is a defect of British education overall) - they study history in a very disordered way and no geography at all. And very backward in math.
Could this be that in a good international school with high numbers of children who speak English as their first language there is the presumption that it is not necessary to teach the rudimentary basics of English grammar. It is often the case that a German or French person can explain English language rules better than a native speaker because they have learnt it, whereas a native speaker would still have better language skills, but lack an understanding of why things are the way they are.

Ask an average English person to explain when to use who or whom for example.
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