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Another Salary Question - Dubai

Another Salary Question - Dubai

Old Jul 8th 2009, 3:57 pm
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Default Another Salary Question - Dubai

Hi guys - just joined up. A bit late to ask this - as I have signed on - but is a annual salary of 500K AED (not incl accom), going to mean a comfortable lifestyle for my family? (wife, 2 kids). Kids schooling incl, company car incl and med insurance and 1 flight home per annum. We don't have a superb standard of living back in Blighty - but we're comfortable - we try and save (prob 500-1k a month) and don't eat out too much etc.

Any advice appreciated and gladly recieved (wife willl be arriving in late Sept, with kids, I'll be there in Aug to sort out accom).

We're thinking of either the Greens or Springs but I am tempted by Dubai MArina or JLT (which seems especially "cheap" but are these apartments suitable for v young kids?). The other wild card is Old Town, which seems v nice. I'm torn between a Villa (space) and an apptmt (for ease/amenities).

we're intending to buy a 2nd car for Wife - but I have heard some horror stories...

Last edited by RedRoar75; Jul 8th 2009 at 4:00 pm. Reason: typos
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

So basically your asking if a net salary of 7000GPB a month, while practically all your major expenses are paid for (house/school/1 car/medical/flights) would be enough?

Yeah, I'd think you'll survive..
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

haha - I wish - my accomodation is NOT incl (i.e. I have to pay for it myself)

Last edited by RedRoar75; Jul 8th 2009 at 4:14 pm. Reason: unclear
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Originally Posted by RedRoar75 View Post
haha - I wish - my accomodation is NOT incl
Sorry, my bad. If you'd take 150/200k for housing, that would still leave you between 4 and 5k pound to live on.

I personally think this is more then doable, but I don't think you will really improve your living standards. You will probably be able to save about the same amount of money as you do now, while living comfortably, so about the same as you are doing now..
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

cheers, thanks for the update. That's as I expected, I'm kind of doing it for the life exp and career prospects (plus, we figured it was a nicer place for the kids to grow up).

Cheers
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

You can, but you will have to make compromises. Good thing school fees are covered and you have a company car, otherwise I'd have said no.

You can rent a 3-bed villa in Mirdiff for around 100K for the year, less if you haggle. Plenty of Brits live in Mirdiff even though it's somewhat on the wrong side of the tracks.

Last I checked, 3-bed flats in JBR in the Marina were going for 140K aed, but they are small. Jumeirah Lakes Towers across Sheikh Zayed has roomier flats for less money. 100K will get you something there. The pedestrian bridge across SHeikh Zayed to the Marina should be completed this fall.

Villa prices in New Dubai are still iffy. IMHO, they are still noticeably overpriced and I do think that rental prices will tumble again this fall when the exodus becomes evident. Right now, 150K gets you a three-bed in the Springs.

Cost of living is what you make of it. Dubai is not cheap for a family, but if you restrict your expenses by not buying extensive amounts of imported foodstuff from the west, and don't dine at the Madinat weekly, you can save money. Plenty of lower income Indian families manage to save quite a bit on much smaller incomes. If you buy a car for the wife, don't fall into the trap of getting a new car, buy one from an expat desperate to sell as he's leaving. Good bargains there.

When I think about it, 500K+schooling+car today is probably the equivalent of 650K+schooling+car this time last year, given the gradual decline in the cost of living. 650K was a doable income for a family then.

Advice here: it's very easy to blow loads of money when you first come to Dubai. You're in a new country and landlords are greedy. Do NOT be afraid to haggle and walk away from a prospective landlord. Unlike this time last year, you do have options.

Last edited by Ethos83; Jul 8th 2009 at 4:52 pm.
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Thanks Ethos - thats really helpful. How long do you reckon it would take to get to DMedia City from Midrif (in rush hr)?
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Old Jul 9th 2009, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

We are in a similar package and same family size. We pay 180K rent per year, live a good life and save some money but not as much as we would like. Life is expensive here so you need to be careful about going out and what you buy in the supermarket. Go local and you will save a lot of money.
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Old Jul 11th 2009, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Originally Posted by RedRoar75 View Post
cheers, thanks for the update. That's as I expected, I'm kind of doing it for the life exp and career prospects (plus, we figured it was a nicer place for the kids to grow up).

Cheers
A nicer place for the kids to grow up? You have got that about 180 degrees wrong. Sure its safe, but your kids cannot go outside unaccompanied, for fear of the idiot drivers who drive through residential streets at 100km/hr, and parks and play areas are non-existant. Did I also mention that kids are transported to school in buses piloted by drivers who swerve, change lanes, talk on mobile phones, send text messages.....and did you also realise that for 3 to 4 months of the year your kids just wont go outside full stop due to the weather?

This is an awful place for kids. Dont try and tell yourself otherwise.
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Old Jul 11th 2009, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Originally Posted by spart View Post
A nicer place for the kids to grow up? You have got that about 180 degrees wrong. Sure its safe, but your kids cannot go outside unaccompanied, for fear of the idiot drivers who drive through residential streets at 100km/hr, and parks and play areas are non-existant. Did I also mention that kids are transported to school in buses piloted by drivers who swerve, change lanes, talk on mobile phones, send text messages.....and did you also realise that for 3 to 4 months of the year your kids just wont go outside full stop due to the weather?

This is an awful place for kids. Dont try and tell yourself otherwise.
It is relative, right? How about drugs, stabbing in clubs, racial hate crimes, etc? We have less of that here.

I do agree with you about the driving madness but this is not the only place in the world with this problem... most of the people in third world countries drive like madmen and have little value for life.
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Old Jul 11th 2009, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

500,000 dhs a year is a good salary. you could get a nice villa in a nice area for between 150,000 and 200,000 per annum which will still leave you with approx 25,000 a month to live. No school fees, no health insurance etc.
You will do fine.....enjoy
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Old Jul 11th 2009, 3:20 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Originally Posted by klaus3974 View Post
It is relative, right? How about drugs, stabbing in clubs, racial hate crimes, etc? We have less of that here.

I do agree with you about the driving madness but this is not the only place in the world with this problem... most of the people in third world countries drive like madmen and have little value for life.
Yes I agree Klaus, it is relative - and the wave of stabbings in the UK is nothing short of disturbing.
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Old Jul 11th 2009, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Originally Posted by RedRoar75 View Post
Thanks Ethos - thats really helpful. How long do you reckon it would take to get to DMedia City from Midrif (in rush hr)?
Oooh, don't know what it's like now with new bridges, but when I lived there that was the worst direction to go...i.e. with all the traffic coming across the creek. It might be worth living in New Dubai to cut your commute right down.
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Old Jul 14th 2009, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Cheers for the info guys. I think New Dubai will prob swing it, due to the commute (but some of the Villas in Midrif look lovely)


"A nicer place for the kids to grow up? You have got that about 180 degrees wrong. Sure its safe, but your kids cannot go outside unaccompanied, for fear of the idiot drivers who drive through residential streets at 100km/hr, and parks and play areas are non-existant. Did I also mention that kids are transported to school in buses piloted by drivers who swerve, change lanes, talk on mobile phones, send text messages.....and did you also realise that for 3 to 4 months of the year your kids just wont go outside full stop due to the weather?

This is an awful place for kids. Dont try and tell yourself otherwise."


Yes Spart, I do realise the cons of living in Dubai - thanks for pointing those out (if in a very condescending manner). As a father, it'd be a little remiss of me, not to have done so - don't you think?

Why on earth would I let my kids (1 1/2 and 4 mths) out unaccompanied? and then, why let them "play" in the street with the traffic? Similarly, my wife will be dropping the kids off (when, if we're still there, they start school). As for playing outside (accompanied and not in the road) - 3 or 4 months doesn't sound too bad - you have been to the UK haven't you?

Last edited by RedRoar75; Jul 14th 2009 at 3:53 pm. Reason: additional
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Old Jul 15th 2009, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Another Salary Question - Dubai

Originally Posted by RedRoar75 View Post
Cheers for the info guys. I think New Dubai will prob swing it, due to the commute (but some of the Villas in Midrif look lovely)


"A nicer place for the kids to grow up? You have got that about 180 degrees wrong. Sure its safe, but your kids cannot go outside unaccompanied, for fear of the idiot drivers who drive through residential streets at 100km/hr, and parks and play areas are non-existant. Did I also mention that kids are transported to school in buses piloted by drivers who swerve, change lanes, talk on mobile phones, send text messages.....and did you also realise that for 3 to 4 months of the year your kids just wont go outside full stop due to the weather?

This is an awful place for kids. Dont try and tell yourself otherwise."


Yes Spart, I do realise the cons of living in Dubai - thanks for pointing those out (if in a very condescending manner). As a father, it'd be a little remiss of me, not to have done so - don't you think?

Why on earth would I let my kids (1 1/2 and 4 mths) out unaccompanied? and then, why let them "play" in the street with the traffic? Similarly, my wife will be dropping the kids off (when, if we're still there, they start school). As for playing outside (accompanied and not in the road) - 3 or 4 months doesn't sound too bad - you have been to the UK haven't you?
Wasn't meant to be condescending, and you didn't say how old your kids were. If your kids are young, then it probably wont bother them, but if they were college age, then they would be in for a shock. A lot of expats commute and leave their kids in regular schooling at home. If you are posting questions on this forum asking for advice re salary, it follows that you might not know about other issues.
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