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Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

Old Jan 21st 2019, 12:08 am
  #1  
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Question Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

Hi,
I know that alot of these questions have been asked a million times, but I would still be grateful for your thoughts.
So the company in Abu Dhabi has offered the following:
- AED 55k per month all in (salary, housing, no mention of transport etc, so assume nothing is additional)
- 30 days leave
- 1 flight a year for the family
About us:
2 adults, 2 teens (17, 14) from UK

Because of the age of the eldest (17) we are thinking of only me going out, so that the kids can continue with their schooling (good local school, not private) and not get penalised as non-domestic when University comes around.
We are thinking of a couple of years to save money and pay off the mortgage (not too much left, but looking at 8 years).

I fluctuate back and forth on whether the money being offered is good enough, after paying for multiple flights and my UAE and UK living expenses the "Is it worth it" spreadsheet seems to suggest £3,000-£4,000 savings a month. Which seems incredible.

At the same time I'm in early stages of a secure ie governement job in the UK, and it is highlty likely I would be offered it.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has left their family in the UK and how that has worked out, My son (14) seems very anxious.

Many thanks
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Old Jan 21st 2019, 10:12 am
  #2  
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Default Re: Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

Many people do exactly what you describe, and it works out for some, not for others - it all depends on you, & your family, & all sorts of personal and professional factors. Commuting to/from the UK is tough, especially leaving the children behind, but some people do make it work. What sector would you work in?
Be aware that the "1 flight per year for the family" policy might only apply to the family if they are resident with visas in the UAE - that is quite often the case.
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Old Jan 21st 2019, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

Concur with archie159, "one flight per year" quite often means for the family - but from the UAE back to country of origin, not the other way around. So you should seek clarity.

Based on the ages of the kids - I would not bring them out (and, private schools can be enormously expensive, if not included in your allowances).

You mentioned 3,000 to 4,000 GBP savings each month, potentially. What are you saving now? That, ultimately, will be the determinant of what you do.

Be aware that "secure employment" in the UAE does not exist. You always need to be prepared for the e-mail or phone call out of the blue that says you're gone in 30 days with no reason, and none has to be given to you. A lot of expats get caught up in that, have failed to save or prepare properly, and end up leaving with nothing (and, needing to quickly find a new job with limited funds as a cushion). Turnover is very high and very few expats make it to 5 years or beyond (many of the posters on here have made it, so listen carefully). Make sure savings and paying off the house early, starts from Day 1 and don't put it off. You don't make a 3 to 5 year personal/financial plan to live in the UAE; you make a one-year plan that you can review and extend annually, if given that opportunity.

If the savings really are a lot more, I would probably take the job and go, with the caveats above.

Last edited by carcajou; Jan 21st 2019 at 2:14 pm.
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Old Jan 21st 2019, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

Thank you for the reply.

I wasn't counting on the flights part really, just saw it as a bit of a bonus.

We are saving nothing right now...... a stupid complex situation where I am in New Zealand (since May 2018), have been travelling back to UK every 12 weeks at my own expense. Soon realised (stupidly) when I got here that we needed 3 years residency in NZ to get access to student loans or 3 years residency in the UK for the same. So we planned for the family to stay in the UK until daughter was at university (another 18 months) and I would commute every 3 months. Well that means running 2 houses and the flights in between. On a good NZ salary that still means no savings, plus the work to residency visa means I don't get any pension contributions from the employer... so once again no savings. At Christmas it came to a crunch and having a UAE job dangled at me seems very tempting. More money ie savings, interesting new environment, more leave (NZ frowns upon anyone taking leave in the first 12 months, had to get special permission from HR), plus a (by comparison) short trip to the UK (missing my daughter's GCSE results celebration was quite sad). So when I approached the employer here in NZ looking for a working solution, ie taking some additional unpaid leave ( a couple of weeks) or working 2 months in NZ and 1 month in the UK....or variants of, that did not sit very well, so I decided that this is not the right time for NZ and if we want to be out here, I would try when we can all move at the same time.

So I looked at the UAE role and thought the same as you suggested... a short term money grab (although the work would actually be a decent career move as well). We are pretty frugal people.
1 month, I should still make some money.
6 months would be a good minimum, some savings cushion and an adventure.
12 months would pay off the house plus adventure and a small amount of savings (a 3 month very frugal cushion) to look for new work.
18 months would also give the above plus a very decent cushion
24 months financial pressures are off and many options are open. Maybe back to NZ if I haven't burnt all my bridges before I leave.

So I don't have any ambition of long term move. If it worked out and I liked it, than maybe. I grew up in a household of non-military 2 year overseas contracts. Probably warped my perception of how one should work.

So, right now, I'm thinking that I go out to the UAE, hope to get 2 years and just see how things work out after that. I think aging parents will make the call to be in the UK (certainy for my wife, only child) that much more compelling after that time.

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Concur with archie159, "one flight per year" quite often means for the family - but from the UAE back to country of origin, not the other way around. So you should seek clarity.

Based on the ages of the kids - I would not bring them out (and, private schools can be enormously expensive, if not included in your allowances).

You mentioned 3,000 to 4,000 GBP savings each month, potentially. What are you saving now? That, ultimately, will be the determinant of what you do.

Be aware that "secure employment" in the UAE does not exist. You always need to be prepared for the e-mail or phone call out of the blue that says you're gone in 30 days with no reason, and none has to be given to you. A lot of expats get caught up in that, have failed to save or prepare properly, and end up leaving with nothing (and, needing to quickly find a new job with limited funds as a cushion). Turnover is very high and very few expats make it to 5 years or beyond (many of the posters on here have made it, so listen carefully). Make sure savings and paying off the house early, starts from Day 1 and don't put it off. You don't make a 3 to 5 year personal/financial plan to live in the UAE; you make a one-year plan that you can review and extend annually, if given that opportunity.

If the savings really are a lot more, I would probably take the job and go, with the caveats above.
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Old Jan 22nd 2019, 8:13 am
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Default Re: Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

From the situation you have described, going to the UAE seems like an obvious move.

NZ-UK every 12 weeks? At your own expense? Wow.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 24th 2019, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

Agree with Carajou.

Out of interest, what do you do? Might give a better understanding as people will be able to advise you on the local market here.
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Old Feb 14th 2019, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

I've just arrived in the KSA.
When I calculated how much it'd cost to bring the wife and 2 kids here with me, it was no longer worth coming here. So I left them behind. Video calls work well. The wonders of modern technology.
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Old Feb 15th 2019, 4:58 am
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Default Re: Abu Dhabi question about leaving family in UK

just check you're clear for no tax on your KSA income in the UK. You might be liable.
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