Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Middle East > ME Job Discussions
Reload this Page >

Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Old Jan 9th 2011, 7:55 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Duffster's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 20
Duffster is an unknown quantity at this point
Cool Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Hi All

I'm discussing a couple of telco sales positions out in ME with a blue chip company - one in Saudi (Riyadh) and the other in Abu Dhabi.

Coming from the UK with a wife and 2 kids, Saudi will obviously be massively restrictive and insular compared to Abu Dhabi.

Question I have is, should I expect the Saudi package to be better than the UAE package? Both positions are with same company, so is there generally any kind of "hardship" premium factored into Saudi packages compared to UAE? This company uses a % of base for calculating housing, schooling, etc.

Cheers
Mike
Duffster is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2011, 6:30 pm
  #2  
Hit 16's
 
Bahtatboy's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine
Posts: 13,112
Bahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Saudi packages are generally better than UAE ones. Have you been to Saudi? I have, and I wouldn't live in Saudi without at least a 50% premium on my UAE package--even then I'd be reluctant. But some people are OK with the magic kingdom.
Bahtatboy is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2011, 8:52 pm
  #3  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Duffster's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 20
Duffster is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Thanks for the reply Bahtatboy. I'll be in both countries over next couple weeks for 'look & see' trip. Any final decision will be based on 3 criteria (package, position & location). All things being equal it seems like a case of Saudi restricted lifestyle = big savings or Abu Dhabi social lifestyle = not so big savings
Duffster is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2011, 9:59 pm
  #4  
Concierge
 
Blue Cat's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 29,625
Blue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond reputeBlue Cat has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

I haven't been to Saudi but I would have thought AD would be better with kids?
Blue Cat is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2011, 11:24 pm
  #5  
Hit 16's
 
Bahtatboy's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine
Posts: 13,112
Bahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by Duffster
Thanks for the reply Bahtatboy. I'll be in both countries over next couple weeks for 'look & see' trip. Any final decision will be based on 3 criteria (package, position & location). All things being equal it seems like a case of Saudi restricted lifestyle = big savings or Abu Dhabi social lifestyle = not so big savings
Good luck
Bahtatboy is offline  
Old Jan 9th 2011, 11:55 pm
  #6  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 13,553
The Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy
Saudi packages are generally better than UAE ones. Have you been to Saudi? I have, and I wouldn't live in Saudi without at least a 50% premium on my UAE package--even then I'd be reluctant. But some people are OK with the magic kingdom.
True, but the premium is a lot lower than, say, ten years ago.

Saudi is fine. I cannot understand those who say "I'd never go to Saudi in a million years" as work-wise it's one of the best places around here, and lack-of-freedom-wise it's more relaxed than it's ever been.

If you do make the move to Saudi, make absolutely sure your company has sorted out your accommodation BEFORE you arrive. Do not assume you can stay in a hotel for a few days, then find somewhere to live - you won't.

In Abu Dhabi (as I understand it), the schools are harder to get your kids into, but accommodation there is less difficult to find than in Saudi.
The Dean is offline  
Old Jan 10th 2011, 1:27 am
  #7  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Duffster's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 20
Duffster is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Cheers, if we go Saudi then will be hotel/managed aprtment for 3 months or so until residency and place on western compound found (preferably Al Hamra) - then the family would come out.

If Abu Dhabi then don't have worries about family coming out "cold"; them coming to Saudi without seeing it 1st is still an alien concept

As waiting lists for villa at Al Hamra, Arizona, Kingdom, etc. seems to be forever, I want to add a clause to contract that gives me some upside if it takes the company any longer to sort out accomodation. e.g. Payment of X increasing to Y for every month >2 it takes to get in villa.

Ideal scenario would be to secure compound 1st, but the company has some urgency on the positions that works in my favour..

Mike
Duffster is offline  
Old Jan 10th 2011, 6:31 am
  #8  
Token Scandinavian Bloke
 
norsk's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Dubai
Posts: 2,820
norsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy
Saudi packages are generally better than UAE ones. Have you been to Saudi? I have, and I wouldn't live in Saudi without at least a 50% premium on my UAE package--even then I'd be reluctant. But some people are OK with the magic kingdom.
I don't think the 50% premium is realistic for most people anymore. Working in Saudi isn't that bad to be honest, but then I work in Eastern Region and have the pleasure of living in Bahrain. Riyadh or Jeddah are out of the question for me, unless they paid me at least twice what I get now. My wife would refuse to live in Saudi, so I would have to pay for my family to live somewhere else which would seriously cut into the opportunity for saving.

Oh and there is nothing magic about it. They are far far behind UAE in terms of work ethics and so on which can make it ridiculously challenging. Not to mention the all male work environment most of us have to endure. I need at least a 4 day holiday once a month to reset my sanity.

Knowing what I do now after spending about 18 months in the Kingdom, I'm not sure I would take another job here. At least not immediately, if I went somewhere else for a few years then I might be more open to it though..

You need to visit with your wife and have a look around. And take all the "it's so wonderful here" stories you get with a pinch of salt, especially if they are coming from your prospective colleagues. Like Dean says plenty of people enjoy it, but it isn't exactly a walk in the park and you definitely need to go into it with both eyes open and ready for anything.
norsk is offline  
Old Jan 10th 2011, 6:39 am
  #9  
Token Scandinavian Bloke
 
norsk's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Dubai
Posts: 2,820
norsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by Duffster

Ideal scenario would be to secure compound 1st, but the company has some urgency on the positions that works in my favour..

Mike
Everything is always urgent here, but it still usually takes at least 6 months to get someone onboard. My position was very urgent (I was told in my first phone interview that I should have started 2 months ago according to their plan) and still we spent 8 weeks negotiating small things on the contract.

It's certainly true that Arabs love to haggle about everything.
norsk is offline  
Old Jan 10th 2011, 2:32 pm
  #10  
BE Forum Addict
 
Tockalosh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Up on the Ranches not down on the Springs
Posts: 2,109
Tockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond reputeTockalosh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by The Dean
True, but the premium is a lot lower than, say, ten years ago.

Saudi is fine. I cannot understand those who say "I'd never go to Saudi in a million years" as work-wise it's one of the best places around here, and lack-of-freedom-wise it's more relaxed than it's ever been.
Lol I have to go Saudi every week though thankfully only for 2 days at a time and I wouldnt live or work there permanently. The country is a toilet and a bad arabic toilet at a remote gas station at that. I would love to know what makes it the best place besides the cash because I must be missing something
Tockalosh is offline  
Old Jan 10th 2011, 8:04 pm
  #11  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 13,553
The Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond reputeThe Dean has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by Tockalosh
Lol I have to go Saudi every week though thankfully only for 2 days at a time and I wouldnt live or work there permanently. The country is a toilet and a bad arabic toilet at a remote gas station at that. I would love to know what makes it the best place besides the cash because I must be missing something
You are indeed............

Saudis - in my line of work - are far more professional (and respectful of Western skills and experience) than anyone else in this region, and that includes the otherwise charming Bahrainis.

Also - I think there's an unspoken recognition among them that you are sacrificing a great deal of personal freedoms to live and work there, and any attempt to ingrain yourself into the culture is fully appreciated.

I have several times been invited to join the families of Saudi colleagues at their homes for Friday lunch, and have always enjoyed the experience (I would of course never decline). Not many Westerners are granted that kind of honour, I suspect......

........ so maybe it's just me that's the good guy, and they respond to it?
The Dean is offline  
Old Jan 10th 2011, 9:37 pm
  #12  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 754
weasel central is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by The Dean
You are indeed............

Saudis - in my line of work - are far more professional (and respectful of Western skills and experience) than anyone else in this region, and that includes the otherwise charming Bahrainis.

Also - I think there's an unspoken recognition among them that you are sacrificing a great deal of personal freedoms to live and work there, and any attempt to ingrain yourself into the culture is fully appreciated.

I have several times been invited to join the families of Saudi colleagues at their homes for Friday lunch, and have always enjoyed the experience (I would of course never decline). Not many Westerners are granted that kind of honour, I suspect......

........ so maybe it's just me that's the good guy, and they respond to it?
to some degree you are right about that, on their own saudis are usually friendly enough and polite/respectful people but the group or national dynamic is incredibly opressive and restricted.
i bet those saudis you work with, would complain to you over dinner about how things were in their country but never to another saudi.
i discovered from working there, while everyone has a price to work in unfavourable conditions mine is now so high that no company will probably ever pay to bring me back there.
freedom > money
weasel central is offline  
Old Jan 11th 2011, 6:13 am
  #13  
Token Scandinavian Bloke
 
norsk's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Dubai
Posts: 2,820
norsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond reputenorsk has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by The Dean
You are indeed............

Saudis - in my line of work - are far more professional (and respectful of Western skills and experience) than anyone else in this region, and that includes the otherwise charming Bahrainis.

Also - I think there's an unspoken recognition among them that you are sacrificing a great deal of personal freedoms to live and work there, and any attempt to ingrain yourself into the culture is fully appreciated.

I have several times been invited to join the families of Saudi colleagues at their homes for Friday lunch, and have always enjoyed the experience (I would of course never decline). Not many Westerners are granted that kind of honour, I suspect......

........ so maybe it's just me that's the good guy, and they respond to it?
Of course there are some good people in Saudi and indeed I know some as well, but I have also met a lot of deadbeat lazy *****ers who I would have fired if it wasn't nearly impossible to do so.

The only other place I have seen so many work-shy people is in the UK, but at least there they had the decency to go on benefits instead of pretending to be productive members of society....
norsk is offline  
Old Jan 11th 2011, 6:13 pm
  #14  
Hit 16's
 
Bahtatboy's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine
Posts: 13,112
Bahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond reputeBahtatboy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by weasel central
to some degree you are right about that, on their own saudis are usually friendly enough and polite/respectful people but the group or national dynamic is incredibly opressive and restricted.
But that's more-or-less true (at least in some parallel way) of virtually every nationality. Most people are ok one-to-one, but gather together a hundred or more of most nationalities and they turn unpleasant.

(Probably not true of the Japanese, but for them all you have to do is put them behind a steering wheel, or even worse dress them in a Taxi driver's uniform.)
Bahtatboy is offline  
Old Jan 11th 2011, 8:50 pm
  #15  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 754
weasel central is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Saudi "Hardship" Premium vs UAE Salary?

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy
But that's more-or-less true (at least in some parallel way) of virtually every nationality. Most people are ok one-to-one, but gather together a hundred or more of most nationalities and they turn unpleasant.

(Probably not true of the Japanese, but for them all you have to do is put them behind a steering wheel, or even worse dress them in a Taxi driver's uniform.)
well maybe in a mob scenario but I mean even in a shopping centre it feels like someone is always watching or you feel restricted. day to day life just is oppressive.
weasel central is offline  

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.