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Best Gulf state for families?

Best Gulf state for families?

Old Oct 28th 2007, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by shark_can View Post
Thank you for your comments, but could you please elaborate on that? Specifically, could you contrast Doha and AD? These two cities seem largely similar in economic, demographic and cultural make-up. Could you please comment?

And yes, for reasons already indicated, we are firmly in an "Anywhere But Dubai" mindset. A city touting Western-style materialism and hyper-consumption as the core defining features of its identity is not exactly what we're looking for when it comes to our Middle-east experience.
Shark,
I've never been to Doha, so would rather not speculate - there are a few good people who can comment (Novita et al).
If it were my choice, i'd go to Oman - loads to do but with a lot of the heritage/culture still there - it hasn't been spoiled just yet. Very pretty place - mountains, clear seas, friendly people etc.
However, if you are forced into living in any of these three - Oman, Bahrain or UAE (especially Abu Dhabi), i'm sure you will love it.
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Old Oct 28th 2007, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by shark_can View Post
Also, my understanding is that a non-muslim woman doesn't need a head-covering in public, is that correct?
Shark,
I was in Jeddah 3 years ago, and I saw many women who were wearing the abayah and not a head scarf. But I hear Jeddah is a bit more relaxed than Riyadh. Probably best to take a mini tour of the Gulf and see things for yourself.
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Old Oct 28th 2007, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by t19hlr View Post
Shark,
I was in Jeddah 3 years ago, and I saw many women who were wearing the abayah and not a head scarf. But I hear Jeddah is a bit more relaxed than Riyadh. Probably best to take a mini tour of the Gulf and see things for yourself.
Women do wear abayas in public in Jeddah but can wear what they like within the walls of their compounds...as for the mini tour, you would find it extremely hard getting a tourist visa for Saudi...my choice would be Bahrain, but avoid the nightclubs on Weds/Thurs nights.
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Old Oct 28th 2007, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

In Riyadh we don't have to cover our heads and it is very rare to attract the attention of the mutawah, they are fairly quiet just now. Women don't have to wear abbayas on the compounds - and on many Western compounds it is not allowed.

We've lived in Doha (many years ago), Dubai and now Riyadh - and this is where we are managing to stash away the most money - mainly because there is not a lot to spend it on! Duba is fab, but it is harder to save money there. There are disadvantages with living in Riyadh, but I work as do many other ex-pat women - it's not impossible to find a job here. You need an exit visa to leave the country but these are easy to get and no-one holds your passport. We have multiple exit and re-entry visas which are kept constantly up to date, valid for about 6 months I think, so we can leave at any time.

This isn't the best country in the world to live but does have some advantages, the peer pressure on my teenage daughter is much less here than it was in Dubai, we spend more time together as a family and we are saving - hurray.

You can, apparently, get tourist visas to enter Saudi - but apparently the easiest way is with Saudi airlines under their 'Discover Saudi Arabia' tour where you will be part of a group. The Lonely Planet guide reckons Saudi is one of the last frontiers of tourism - so give it a go! Interestingly in the days of the early oil boom Ibn Saud said 'My Kingdom will survive only insofar as it remains a country difficult to access, where the foreigner will have no other aim, with his task fullfilled, but to get out'. Not much has changed since then . . .

Agree with the comments re Oman - fabulous place and the British school is supposed to be good. The jury is still out on the British school here . . .

What about Jordan ? That's supposed to be nice too altho never lived there.

Good luck.
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Old Oct 31st 2007, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by Nic1 View Post
In Riyadh we don't have to cover our heads and it is very rare to attract the attention of the mutawah, they are fairly quiet just now. Women don't have to wear abbayas on the compounds - and on many Western compounds it is not allowed.

We've lived in Doha (many years ago), Dubai and now Riyadh - and this is where we are managing to stash away the most money - mainly because there is not a lot to spend it on! Duba is fab, but it is harder to save money there. There are disadvantages with living in Riyadh, but I work as do many other ex-pat women - it's not impossible to find a job here. You need an exit visa to leave the country but these are easy to get and no-one holds your passport. We have multiple exit and re-entry visas which are kept constantly up to date, valid for about 6 months I think, so we can leave at any time.

This isn't the best country in the world to live but does have some advantages, the peer pressure on my teenage daughter is much less here than it was in Dubai, we spend more time together as a family and we are saving - hurray.

You can, apparently, get tourist visas to enter Saudi - but apparently the easiest way is with Saudi airlines under their 'Discover Saudi Arabia' tour where you will be part of a group. The Lonely Planet guide reckons Saudi is one of the last frontiers of tourism - so give it a go! Interestingly in the days of the early oil boom Ibn Saud said 'My Kingdom will survive only insofar as it remains a country difficult to access, where the foreigner will have no other aim, with his task fullfilled, but to get out'. Not much has changed since then . . .

Agree with the comments re Oman - fabulous place and the British school is supposed to be good. The jury is still out on the British school here . . .

What about Jordan ? That's supposed to be nice too altho never lived there.

Good luck.
Been reading this with interest, maily due to me moving to Kuwait in a few weeks. What restrictions are there for women in Kuwait? I have been told none, then again I have been told there are some. Can anyone shed any light??
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Old Oct 31st 2007, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

I have never been to Kuwait. A friend of mine spent some time there last year, only weekends as husband was there on a short term contract, said that she liked it. No covering.
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Old Nov 3rd 2007, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

I've not been to KSA or AD, but from what I know, I think I'd rather take kids to Bahrain or Oman given the right opportunity.

The biggest problem with Doha is uncontrolled inflation and a COL that is utterly unjustifiable.

The COL in Bahrain is beginning to take off but is still a long way behind here.

My opinions based on cost, level of restrictions, natural environment, things to do and schools.
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Old Nov 4th 2007, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Ok here goes first post so be gentle with me.......

Well I may be offered a job in Dubai, should know later this week and my wife and I are keen on moving there, I have been there many times so know the place fairly well. We have children and know the schooling is good etc etc... but when you read all the stuff on the web it can make you think twice, so rather than listen to all the bad garbage what do you all think? we are planning to rent our house in the uk and rent in Dubai just in case!

My main concerns is tht my wife will be alone to start with and she may fine that hard with the children, as i will be working.... i know there are lots of groups/clubs but its a concern...

comments........ and as I said be gentle !
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Old Nov 4th 2007, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

you must be mad to consider Saudi in my opinion .... trust me it aint worth the money.

If you want to live in one of the most repressed countries in the world fill your boots but if your wife has one ounce of independance and libralism she will HATE it.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by shark_can View Post
What would be the best Gulf state to move to for a family with 2 kids? We're not interested in clubbing, pubs or raves. Instead, we're seeking to lead a quiet existence in the sun and earning some tax-free cash in the process with access to good schools for the kids. Non-insane working hours would also be a plus.

Which Gulf state would fit these criteria? Based on my preliminary research, I'm thinking Oman, Saudi or Qatar.

Your thoughts? All opinions welcome.
Oman, Oman, Oman in that order.

Been here now for 5 months and loving every minute of it.

There is always something different to do, and for a break there are places for parents to go out and have a drink and listen to live music.

Also so much to do, and the schools are good in Muscat, but there are waiting lists and you will need to get on these immediately if you choose here.

Only problem is they do not sell Henry hoovers
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by justin riseborough View Post
Oman, Oman, Oman in that order.

Been here now for 5 months and loving every minute of it.

There is always something different to do, and for a break there are places for parents to go out and have a drink and listen to live music.

Also so much to do, and the schools are good in Muscat, but there are waiting lists and you will need to get on these immediately if you choose here.

Only problem is they do not sell Henry hoovers
must say I would be tempted by Oman myself. Not much work out there in my line though!

will be up there 1st week of september for 4 days though!
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by paulmm View Post
Ok here goes first post so be gentle with me.......

Well I may be offered a job in Dubai, should know later this week and my wife and I are keen on moving there, I have been there many times so know the place fairly well. We have children and know the schooling is good etc etc... but when you read all the stuff on the web it can make you think twice, so rather than listen to all the bad garbage what do you all think? we are planning to rent our house in the uk and rent in Dubai just in case!

My main concerns is tht my wife will be alone to start with and she may fine that hard with the children, as i will be working.... i know there are lots of groups/clubs but its a concern...

comments........ and as I said be gentle !
Hi Paul -looks like your post got lost in the noise a little here...

If you have questions about moving out here, try starting a new thread and you'll be innundated with bad advice.

Make sure that you are getting a decent package - that's essential for a decent place to live & schooling. There are loads of expat mums here, I'm sure your wife will find friends easily.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by paulmm View Post
Ok here goes first post so be gentle with me.......

Well I may be offered a job in Dubai, should know later this week and my wife and I are keen on moving there, I have been there many times so know the place fairly well. We have children and know the schooling is good etc etc... but when you read all the stuff on the web it can make you think twice, so rather than listen to all the bad garbage what do you all think? we are planning to rent our house in the uk and rent in Dubai just in case!

My main concerns is tht my wife will be alone to start with and she may fine that hard with the children, as i will be working.... i know there are lots of groups/clubs but its a concern...

comments........ and as I said be gentle !

there are lots of different groups for women out here, I am sure she would settle soon enough. Tell her to take a look on www.expatwoman.com, they are often hosting events etc.

Good luck!
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Hey many thanks for the info, will have a look on the site you mentioned. I did think about a new thread but thought against it as I thought there may be lots of bad stuff said against moving to Dubai.....

but thanks for your replies.....see how the second interview goes later this week...fingers crossed!
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Old Nov 6th 2007, 3:57 am
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Default Re: Best Gulf state for families?

Originally Posted by Inselaffen View Post
must say I would be tempted by Oman myself. Not much work out there in my line though!

will be up there 1st week of september for 4 days though!
Do you have a time machine, or are you very good at planning ahead
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