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UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

Old Apr 12th 2010, 7:05 am
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Default UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

Dear All,

I have just joined this website so apologies if I am asking questions that have been asked a thousand time.

I am a Group Financial Accountant currently working in a FTSE 250 broker in the UK. I have been there for nearly 4 years and would like to explore the opportunity of moving ot the ME (Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar). The problem is, I have heard very different opinions about what it is like moving/living in the ME. A Cambridge grad friend of mine who recently got a job with Mubadal (sovereign fund in Abu Dhabi) seemed to conclude that unless, as an accountant, you land a very senior role i.e. Group Financial Acontroller reporting to the FD, moving to ME is not constructive, money wise or career wise. I lived in Jeddah until I was 7 (My dad is a naccountant and ha d ajob out there). I dont remember a great deal but my dad is convinced that me and my wife will have a geart life out inthe ME, better than the UK.

If my totoal remuneration is approx £70k pa here (inc bonus), what should my expectationsbe out there? Is moving to the ME really so attractive anymore, given that Dubai is (apparently) falling aprt and people are coming back to the West? I also hear that the Arabs are not as enthusiastic to pay great expat packages to Westerners anymore as they have invested a lot of money in educating their own people?

Can anyone offer any advice? Until I heard all these conflicting stories, I had my heart set on moving to the ME, but now I am not so sure.

Thanks
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 7:24 am
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Default Re: UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

Originally Posted by abbas_khan
Dear All,

I have just joined this website so apologies if I am asking questions that have been asked a thousand time.

I am a Group Financial Accountant currently working in a FTSE 250 broker in the UK. I have been there for nearly 4 years and would like to explore the opportunity of moving ot the ME (Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar). The problem is, I have heard very different opinions about what it is like moving/living in the ME. A Cambridge grad friend of mine who recently got a job with Mubadal (sovereign fund in Abu Dhabi) seemed to conclude that unless, as an accountant, you land a very senior role i.e. Group Financial Acontroller reporting to the FD, moving to ME is not constructive, money wise or career wise. I lived in Jeddah until I was 7 (My dad is a naccountant and ha d ajob out there). I dont remember a great deal but my dad is convinced that me and my wife will have a geart life out inthe ME, better than the UK.

If my totoal remuneration is approx £70k pa here (inc bonus), what should my expectationsbe out there? Is moving to the ME really so attractive anymore, given that Dubai is (apparently) falling aprt and people are coming back to the West? I also hear that the Arabs are not as enthusiastic to pay great expat packages to Westerners anymore as they have invested a lot of money in educating their own people?

Can anyone offer any advice? Until I heard all these conflicting stories, I had my heart set on moving to the ME, but now I am not so sure.

Thanks
I'm sorry to say that I think that your buddy from Cambridge is probably right.

You are not going like me asking this question but what nationality are you?

This place is pretty racist and salaries, treatment and opportunities are set as much by the colour of your skin as they are your skills and experience.

70kGBP is 35k AED/month on current rates... you might get a bit more - maybe 40-50k AED / month but it depends on what you are doing and who for.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 7:40 am
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Default Re: UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

Originally Posted by EmiratesMillhouse
I'm sorry to say that I think that your buddy from Cambridge is probably right.

You are not going like me asking this question but what nationality are you?

This place is pretty racist and salaries, treatment and opportunities are set as much by the colour of your skin as they are your skills and experience.

70kGBP is 35k AED/month on current rates... you might get a bit more - maybe 40-50k AED / month but it depends on what you are doing and who for.
I am originally Indian (so brown sknned) but pretty much grew up in the UK.

I find this so disappointing. I really had my heart set on going to the ME, maybe I should just stay here. I wanted to move as I have come to a dead end in my current job. I am not learning anything and the person who I work for is horrible and I feel stressed a lot of time. Do you think I should just give up the idea of going to the ME?
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

Originally Posted by abbas_khan
I am originally Indian (so brown sknned) but pretty much grew up in the UK.

I find this so disappointing. I really had my heart set on going to the ME, maybe I should just stay here. I wanted to move as I have come to a dead end in my current job. I am not learning anything and the person who I work for is horrible and I feel stressed a lot of time. Do you think I should just give up the idea of going to the ME?
No don't give up. There is still plenty of opportunity for making money here, although the challenge is that you need to set yourself apart from the highly skilled south asian workforce who generally work for a 1/3 of your western expectations.

I would avoid local companies - try and find a western company (or at least a western thinking company) who needs someone here. That will be a better route for you.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

Just to reinforce Millhouse's view--you run the risk of discrimination out here because of what you appear to be. Sad but true. Nevertheless there is a good number of Western companies here who adhere to non-discriminatory practices, so I would target those; and if you end up with a British or British-based company, for example, try to get a contract of employment from their British entity, then you'll enjoy the rights and protections of UK/EU employment law--might even be worth a trade-off in salary. (And don't worry about working out here being employed by a British-based company--providing you stay out for a full tax year (basically) you're income-tax-free, and you should be able to get paid tax free pretty soon after you start work. (Hope I'm not teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs.))
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Old Apr 14th 2010, 8:03 pm
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Default Re: UK accountant seeking advice on move to ME

Originally Posted by Bahtatboy
Just to reinforce Millhouse's view--you run the risk of discrimination out here because of what you appear to be. Sad but true. Nevertheless there is a good number of Western companies here who adhere to non-discriminatory practices, so I would target those; and if you end up with a British or British-based company, for example, try to get a contract of employment from their British entity, then you'll enjoy the rights and protections of UK/EU employment law--might even be worth a trade-off in salary. (And don't worry about working out here being employed by a British-based company--providing you stay out for a full tax year (basically) you're income-tax-free, and you should be able to get paid tax free pretty soon after you start work. (Hope I'm not teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs.))
Well I was on a UK based contract before, and they have attempted to royally screw me with regards to the local labour law and severance clause.
So no matter if you work for a local or a western constract they will both try and screw you.
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