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Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Old Jan 6th 2020, 11:23 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

I also know Ghayathi quite well.

It's an hour from Ruwais on a not-great road.

Ghayathi was also established in the 1970s but was built for the Bedouins and not as a work town. It does have a better supermarket, but absolutely no sights or things like movie theatres or so on. Certainly not golf. The hotel accommodation you are speaking of there was Korean-built about 7 or 8 years ago and has a Korean restaurant inside. Zero social scene for Westerners.

Ruwais does have a bar/restaurant/hotel complex that if memory serves me is about 10 kms out of town on the beach, the Jebel Dhanna (Ruwais town is not on the beach). They do have a very good restaurant and and a quality lunch buffet (I forgot about it in my previous post because I was thinking in-town and this is slightly out-of-town) but the restaurant is very, very expensive as are the hotel rooms. There is a Spinney's (liquor store) outlet somewhere that will legally sell you alcohol with your licence that you can take back to your apartment. I forget where it is but somewhere out near the Jebel Dhanna, unmarked.

The Al Dhafra Region that Ruwais and Ghayathi are in, are not Dubai or Abu Dhabi - these are conservative Islamic areas populated either by conservative Islamic locals or men from Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Women have to wear a headscarf or will be leered at and made to feel very uncomfortable, etc.

Mirfa is the best place to live in that area but there is always a major shortage of corporate accommodation there to the point that people actually working in Mirfa often have to be given housing elsewhere. It's also about an hour away from Ruwais. If you decide to take the plunge, Ruwais should be your first housing preference but if they want to put you in Ghayathi instead, decline and ask for Mirfa. Mirfa is also only about 90 minutes away from Abu Dhabi City and that makes weekend shopping and restaurant trips viable. It's also a different kind of community than either Ghayathi or Ruwais. Mirfa, like the others, was also established in the 1970s but for locals living along the coast and the Gulf islands, not Bedouins.
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 11:30 am
  #17  
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

I've been to the Jebel Dhanna, I stopped there for a drink and rest after a long drive back to AD. Considered staying the night to be fresh for the drive until I saw the price. I enjoyed my coke on the beach though.
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
I also know Ghayathi quite well.

It's an hour from Ruwais on a not-great road.

Ghayathi was also established in the 1970s but was built for the Bedouins and not as a work town. It does have a better supermarket, but absolutely no sights or things like movie theatres or so on. Certainly not golf. The hotel accommodation you are speaking of there was Korean-built about 7 or 8 years ago and has a Korean restaurant inside. Zero social scene for Westerners.

Ruwais does have a bar/restaurant/hotel complex that if memory serves me is about 10 kms out of town on the beach, the Jebel Dhanna (Ruwais town is not on the beach). They do have a very good restaurant and and a quality lunch buffet (I forgot about it in my previous post because I was thinking in-town and this is slightly out-of-town) but the restaurant is very, very expensive as are the hotel rooms. There is a Spinney's (liquor store) outlet somewhere that will legally sell you alcohol with your licence that you can take back to your apartment. I forget where it is but somewhere out near the Jebel Dhanna, unmarked.

The Al Dhafra Region that Ruwais and Ghayathi are in, are not Dubai or Abu Dhabi - these are conservative Islamic areas populated either by conservative Islamic locals or men from Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Women have to wear a headscarf or will be leered at and made to feel very uncomfortable, etc.

Mirfa is the best place to live in that area but there is always a major shortage of corporate accommodation there to the point that people actually working in Mirfa often have to be given housing elsewhere. It's also about an hour away from Ruwais. If you decide to take the plunge, Ruwais should be your first housing preference but if they want to put you in Ghayathi instead, decline and ask for Mirfa. Mirfa is also only about 90 minutes away from Abu Dhabi City and that makes weekend shopping and restaurant trips viable. It's also a different kind of community than either Ghayathi or Ruwais. Mirfa, like the others, was also established in the 1970s but for locals living along the coast and the Gulf islands, not Bedouins.
Looking at the email chains, it seems management are almost exclusively Indian.

How is that to work with?
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 1:25 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Are you sure that is "management," and not just HR?
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 3:20 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Are you sure that is "management," and not just HR?
definitely email trails relating to operations.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 4:00 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Well, hard to say.

Will say this though - having plugged in the figures you gave into the currency conversion, I am coming out with 17,337 AED that you are on in the UK, gross, which you are thinking of giving up to take 16,800 AED, gross, in Ruwais.

That . . . is not a good deal for you in the UAE, to put it mildly.

Factoring in the 20% basic tax rate drops you down to 13,867 AED that you are on net in the UK - the same range you figure you will clear per month in the UAE.

Do you rent or own, and if you rent, what is your rent?

I am really not seeing the financial benefits that are anything beyond minimal for this move, but there will be hits in other parts of your life.

Consider carefully.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 5:05 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Originally Posted by thebadger View Post
Looking at the email chains, it seems management are almost exclusively Indian.
Awful : controlling, paranoid, ass-covering, political, rule-following, non-innovating, hangers-on.

As I said, not all expats here look, or think like you. This is why people want 30-50k a month to do these jobs.


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Old Jan 7th 2020, 5:07 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Well, hard to say.

Will say this though - having plugged in the figures you gave into the currency conversion, I am coming out with 17,337 AED that you are on in the UK, gross, which you are thinking of giving up to take 16,800 AED, gross, in Ruwais.

That . . . is not a good deal for you in the UAE, to put it mildly.

Factoring in the 20% basic tax rate drops you down to 13,867 AED that you are on net in the UK - the same range you figure you will clear per month in the UAE.

Do you rent or own, and if you rent, what is your rent?

I am really not seeing the financial benefits that are anything beyond minimal for this move, but there will be hits in other parts of your life.

Consider carefully.
I own my house in the UK. I wouldn't be prepared to rent my house out whilst I am away for a couple of reasons. I built the house, only I have lived in it - concerned it wouldn't feel like my house when I come back, and I don't want to get to a point where after 3 mths I decide I absolutely hate it, but have people living in my house on a 6 mth lease. thus homeless on my return. However that would bring about a £700-800 a month overhead in the UK. Overall I think I would need to budget about £1000 of money to retain in the UK just to cover costs.

Currently I am able to comfortably save £800-1000 a month in the UK. I don't live a particularly lavish life, maybe 1 bigger night out a month, usually go to my local pub 1 or 2 times a week, I play golf at least once a week during summer, I do some low level motor sport sport throughout the year, and I play curling in the winter.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Awful : controlling, paranoid, ass-covering, political, rule-following, non-innovating, hangers-on.

As I said, not all expats here look, or think like you. This is why people want 30-50k a month to do these jobs.
One of my acquaintances with ME experience has said that working directly with or under Indians in Oil and Gas was very difficult to adapt to for a Westerner - the way they work is is challenging. However, surely that isn't the case, these companies have all had US and British input so surely they work quite similar?

One thing I have noticed, even just in the desk support for the proposal on this job - there is a lot of going around in circles during discussions and everything - even small things - seems to need to be authorised by about 10 people up the chain of command. The CC list in emails is impressive in length and actually has given us a laugh in the office. I think 37 people was the longest we've seen yet.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 5:32 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Originally Posted by thebadger View Post
However, surely that isn't the case, these companies have all had US and British input so surely they work quite similar?
No. No, no, no, no, no, no. It is very much the case. A UAE workplace does not resemble a US or UK one.

For starters, the amount and intensity of the office politics will blow you away. You may think you have seen workplaces mired in office politics but in the Middle East it is a bloodsport and has the added complexity of nationality, ethnicity, religion and tribe thrown in. Many Westerners naively think they are just going to stay "above the fray" by being friendly to everyone but you become involved and are someone's chess piece the second you walk in the door, whether you are aware of it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not.

Yes to the things needing 10 different approvals. If one of the 10 approvers is on a month's leave, that does not mean someone else has been assigned to do the job and will approve it, that means it sits there for a month waiting for him to come back and approve it.

Especially knowing that you own your own house and so won't be saving some enormous amount on rent I think you are really better off passing up this "opportunity."
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
No. No, no, no, no, no, no. It is very much the case. A UAE workplace does not resemble a US or UK one.

For starters, the amount and intensity of the office politics will blow you away. You may think you have seen workplaces mired in office politics but in the Middle East it is a bloodsport and has the added complexity of nationality, ethnicity, religion and tribe thrown in. Many Westerners naively think they are just going to stay "above the fray" by being friendly to everyone but you become involved and are someone's chess piece the second you walk in the door, whether you are aware of it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not.

Yes to the things needing 10 different approvals. If one of the 10 approvers is on a month's leave, that does not mean someone else has been assigned to do the job and will approve it, that means it sits there for a month waiting for him to come back and approve it.

Especially knowing that you own your own house and so won't be saving some enormous amount on rent I think you are really better off passing up this "opportunity."
My acquaintance did say that delegation of responsibility or authority almost never happens in the UAE and things can be far from streamlined. Something as simple as writing a basic method statement - we can turn these around in 24hrs quite easily if need be, certainly no more than 3 or 4 days for a more complex one - might take 2wks before it is signed off. He did say that as a small contractor being brought in to advise and do part of a job, you will be treated more like an employee and have less autonomy or authority to carry out the role than you would be used to in the UK, and information sharing can be a challenge. He also said if they are saying 18mths, it probably means 36mths as nothing runs on schedule.

He also laughed when I told him what I was being offered - and to quote ''14K a week wouldn't be enough to get me there''.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 6:00 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

I like your mate.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 6:11 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Is what he saying common? Or part of a stereotype that has some truth but isn't usually the case?

I'm interested to know, as whilst the more I learn, the less and less likely I am to be taking on the project - but...... I will inevitably have some involvement, be that desk based in the UK or a few site visits over the project duration. Nobody in our company has any experience outside of the UK, Germany and Scandinavia.

As said the biggest difference I have noticed from a few conference calls and email correspondence on this over the last 3 months - is there seems to be an unnecessary long chain of command, issues go around in circles and decision making is slow.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 6:45 am
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Yes it is very common.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 8:01 am
  #30  
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Default Re: Secondment to the UAE/Ruwais

Also, what you're forgetting is that you need to be out of the UK for a full April-April tax year to be tax-free.

From what I can see, your company has underbid it and you'd need the best part of their whole fee to make it worthwhile.
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