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Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Old Jun 2nd 2015, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by EastWest View Post
It is now 48 degrees Celsius. I don't think Monaco will ever get close to it.
Irony ?
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Old Jun 2nd 2015, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

@Scamp

Thanks for the advice. I think this is the plan and the way to go.

@Mogs

Thanks for the input - I think it confirms what others have said plus my initial concern that while KSA offers more per annum, one can (potentially) last longer while enjoying it more in Doha; hence neutralizing any impact on savings.

@CDB

I've never been to Monaco, but I can easily (try to) pretend that Doha rivals it. :-) But, in all seriousness, given my low expectations and the conscious decision to try to get the most out of the place while saving, I think that Doha makes more sense than Dhahran (which however though, and from what I hear, is "better" than Riyadh).

@Eastwest

I am aware of the job security in GCC (or better the lack thereof), although I'm sure that as a local you know better (and must have heard a great deal of horror stories). I feel that both companies (and yes you got it right about the company in KSA) offer some minimum security, not at par with Europe but still better than what one would find in the region.
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Old Jun 2nd 2015, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by omega7 View Post
@Scamp

Thanks for the advice. I think this is the plan and the way to go.

@Mogs

Thanks for the input - I think it confirms what others have said plus my initial concern that while KSA offers more per annum, one can (potentially) last longer while enjoying it more in Doha; hence neutralizing any impact on savings.

@CDB

I've never been to Monaco, but I can easily (try to) pretend that Doha rivals it. :-) But, in all seriousness, given my low expectations and the conscious decision to try to get the most out of the place while saving, I think that Doha makes more sense than Dhahran (which however though, and from what I hear, is "better" than Riyadh).

@Eastwest

I am aware of the job security in GCC (or better the lack thereof), although I'm sure that as a local you know better (and must have heard a great deal of horror stories). I feel that both companies (and yes you got it right about the company in KSA) offer some minimum security, not at par with Europe but still better than what one would find in the region.
Monaco is lovely but cramped.

Ignore EastWest. He took 2 years to take a job in the Middle East and still moans.
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Old Jun 2nd 2015, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Monaco is lovely but cramped.

Ignore EastWest. He took 2 years to take a job in the Middle East and still moans.
Scam again! I don't moan but answering the OP questions
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

My two cents as a KSAer.

A lot of people are negative about KSA without actually having lived here, or only having spent short trips here.

I like it here. The social life can be great. Expats here are on the whole very down to earth and friendly. Life for us in Riyadh is just one party after another every weekend. We go out more here than we did when we lived in The City of Sin AKA Bangkok. Kids are a bit older now though.

On the subject of kids, KSA is a great place to be with a family. Loads of families with kids on compounds, pool parties, BBQs etc. Compounds are safe too and they can just run around wherever.

I understand you're a single guy so that's not relevant, but there is still a social life to be had and if you put a bit of effort in you can get laid too.

Dharran, is a good place to be because it's close to the causeway, so you're got weekends in Bahrain if you want.

Saudis are very friendly and sociable people. And very helpful too if you're in some kind of trouble.

Work is fairly laidback, no stress. Trust me when I say that it doesn't matter who you are working for, how good the company is, it will be a ****up, and very badly organized. Aramco included. A friend went to work there. Once you accept all of this and realise it's out of your hands it's fine.

People say it;s hell to be here, that's not my opinion. Yes, the shops shut when they pray. It's not that big a deal. Things are changing here believe it or not, albeit slowly.

Don't write it off. You could have a great time here. My first year hear was a bit tame, but once my wife made a load of friends things really took off for us.

Now it's party party party!
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 8:06 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

@nonthaburi

Thank you very much indeed for your useful post.
There is no doubt that actually living there affords you to offer a more accurate description of life in the Kingdom. As you pointed out I do also feel that life can be slightly different for a single vs. if you go there with your wife, as it's always better two rather than one. Granted though that such an arrangement can be particularly difficult for the wife who stays at home, practically doing nothing.

I have heard of similar stories from other people also living in the capital, who also enjoy it, as the presence of many diplomats in the city can also make a difference (assuming of course you manage to get into that circle).

For sure KSA is not ruled out - it's just that I'm trying to understand if for a reasonable premium it's better than Doha, or if Qatar, even with less money, is more the place to be.

If I may ask, would you consider leaving KSA and moving to Doha or Dubai, and assuming yes, what would be the pay cut that you would be willing to take to do the move (possibly a different one for each of the two cities)?

Thanks again for a very useful post.

Last edited by omega7; Jun 3rd 2015 at 9:58 am.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by omega7 View Post

If I may ask, would you consider leaving KSA and moving to Doha or Dubai, and assuming yes, what would be the premium that would incentivize you to do so?
.
Wrong question and you won't get the right answer from someone who enjoys KSA.

To leave KSA and take a job in Dubai I would genuinely be expecting someone to understand that the premium is removed. 60k in Riyadh is 50k in Dubai.

But try telling someone that, it's like pissing in a tornado with someone punching you in the back of the head, with your hands tied behind your back, flies half done up and a crowd of supermodels pointing and laughing at your tiny cock.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 9:00 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Speaking from first hand experience?

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
it's like pissing in a tornado with someone punching you in the back of the head, with your hands tied behind your back, flies half done up and a crowd of supermodels pointing and laughing at your tiny cock.

Last edited by DXBtoDOH; Jun 3rd 2015 at 9:11 am.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
First hand experience?
Yep. It's called recruitment.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 9:57 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

@Scamp

I misused the word 'premium'. I meant a salary reduction/'penalty'. It's clear that for a KSA to Dubai/Doha move, ones takes a pay cut, whereas for the reverse one needs a premium. Sorry for the confusion.

Having said that, I can imagine someone saying that he wants the same salary even if a KSA->DOH move is involved, citing his experience, the new duties or position. Of course, one can also say the same for a KSA->DXB move, but admittedly much less convincingly.

Last edited by omega7; Jun 3rd 2015 at 10:02 am.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 10:07 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by omega7 View Post
@Scamp

I misused the word 'premium'. I meant a salary reduction/'penalty'. It's clear that for a KSA to Dubai/Doha move, ones takes a pay cut, whereas for the reverse one needs a premium. Sorry for the confusion.

Having said that, I can imagine someone saying that he wants the same salary even if a KSA->DOH move is involved, citing his experience, the new duties or position. Of course, one can also say the same for a KSA->DXB move, but admittedly much less convincingly.
Nail on the head mate.

People forget they demand more for a move to somewhere shit very quickly when they might get a move somewhere nicer.

Still, it's a natural disposition. It just makes me chuckle.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

This is a really interesting topic for me because I am currently having a mental debate on a daily basis about my move! I recently arrived in Doha in April, however before moving here I lived in KSA for 3 years.

I am finding it hard here (as i mentioned in an earlier thread) Doha just doesn't seem to be that great in my opinion so far and I am considering moving back to KSA if I can due to the following reasons:

Life in Saudi was tough and I am not disagreeing with previous posters on that but there were also advantages to living there over Doha. The major factor for me was the company I was working for looked after me a lot more than the company I am currently working for. This applied in terms of salary, work was a short walk away, i had other perks on the compound, if anything happened to my place i could call maintenance and it was easily solved, my working hours were shorter (where i am now is just a stressful, don't get a break and always doing overtime which isn't paid and the salary isn't great) Medical care was provided with a clinic and hospital on camp (beats driving to one here not the best when you aren't well and need to be seen asap)

I am a single female and moved onto a camp in KSA in a small modest apartment but it was cozy and had potential (it was a place of my own!) moved to Doha and the rent is ridiculous for a decent place! So my dilemma is that I either share (which i dont want to do), spend a big chunk of my money on renting a decent place or just stay in my company provided accommodation and get on with it. They provided a gym which was free, a swimming pool (not great but it was a pool) and I had lots of other expats to keep me company. The only downside to compound life was it was like living in a goldfish bowl, everybody knew everybody and there was no escape even when you just wanted to pop to the shops for some milk you would meet around 20 other people you worked with! Here in Doha trying to join a decent gym is another ridiculous expense, you can't use a pool at a hotel on a weekend without that costing a fortune and popping to the shops would take you an hour at least.

Traffic is horrendous here and I have witnessed driving on the same ridiculous scales I did in KSA, i like the fact that I can drive here but again renting a car is so expensive, you have the stress and hassle when trying to get anyway and i have to add on an extra hour to my journey if i want to go anywhere after work...so now i dont tend to bother.

Bahrain is only a short journey away by car on the Causeway so easy to get 'normality' when you want to. The shops are also much better in Bahrain I have found out compared to Doha.

All in all only you can make your decision I guess that its just a question of priorities, if you are more inclined to go for the money then go to KSA you can earn more, spend less, live for less but you don't have a hotel bar on your doorstep, beers in the fridge or sausages! You will probably meet some great people as there seems to be more a community togetherness in KSA than there is in Doha.

Good luck with your decision, I'm sure you will make the right choice and if not you can always move (well apparently not in Qatar no one mentioned the fact that your company can stop you moving jobs! WTF is that about) but you could try for another country all together.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

@Jenmanc

Thanks for your post and for sharing your (very relevant) first-hand experience.

Was a move from KSA to Doha beyond your control? If no, then what was the main reason that made you on your own to move? If I may ask, how much less is the salary in Doha vs. KSA?

The premium that I'm currently facing is that of ~40%, so yes KSA will suit me much better in regards to saving, but I cant say that I'm trilled with the idea of a life in the Kingdom.

Some of the aspects of your experience in Doha, seem to be related to Doha's lack of affordability which is absolutely true - yet I must admit that in Dhahran prices are not cheap either, particularly in regards to good compound housing. Granted from Dhahran one has easy access to Bahrain, but then again I think it's not really the right criterion to decide to move to one place based on this place's proximity to another city/place. It's a negative sign, cause it shows that you have already (& to begin with) lost hope on making that place 'home'.

I think you and other people have pointed out the very solid argument that it's all about building a solid circle of friends. I guess your point for being able to more easily socialize with people in KSA is valid, given that the lack of many options 'forces' you in a way to spend time with the people in your immediate environment. Now, this is great if the people that happen to be in one's social vicinity are compatible with one's own personality, otherwise things become difficult (I guess).

Thanks again for sharing your input. I'm a bit more inclined to opt for Doha vs. KSA, but reading your insight was still very helpful.

Last edited by omega7; Jun 3rd 2015 at 1:11 pm.
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by JENMANC View Post
This is a really interesting topic for me because I am currently having a mental debate on a daily basis about my move! I recently arrived in Doha in April, however before moving here I lived in KSA for 3 years.

.....

Good luck with your decision, I'm sure you will make the right choice and if not you can always move (well apparently not in Qatar no one mentioned the fact that your company can stop you moving jobs! WTF is that about) but you could try for another country all together.
For all my negativity about the place, I must say that's an interesting perspective well put
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Old Jun 3rd 2015, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Doha vs. Dhahran - A tale of two offers

Originally Posted by omega7 View Post
@nonthaburi

Thank you very much indeed for your useful post.
There is no doubt that actually living there affords you to offer a more accurate description of life in the Kingdom. As you pointed out I do also feel that life can be slightly different for a single vs. if you go there with your wife, as it's always better two rather than one. Granted though that such an arrangement can be particularly difficult for the wife who stays at home, practically doing nothing.

I have heard of similar stories from other people also living in the capital, who also enjoy it, as the presence of many diplomats in the city can also make a difference (assuming of course you manage to get into that circle).

For sure KSA is not ruled out - it's just that I'm trying to understand if for a reasonable premium it's better than Doha, or if Qatar, even with less money, is more the place to be.

If I may ask, would you consider leaving KSA and moving to Doha or Dubai, and assuming yes, what would be the pay cut that you would be willing to take to do the move (possibly a different one for each of the two cities)?

Thanks again for a very useful post.
My phone call with Scamp would probably be a short one! because TBH, I wouldn't accept any pay cut to go to Doha or Dubai. There seems to be a feeling that KSA is some kind of hardship posting, but I don't really get that. It's a bizarre country for sure, but living here, for me is actually pretty easy.

I would also have to consider the money side of things. The only reason(pretty much) that anyone comes to the ME is for the money. If I have a nice life already, why am I going to take a pay cut to go somewhere else.

KSA is cheap to live, if anything I would want a payrise to go somewhere else to cover all the extra stuff( Scamp is banging his head on the table by this point). Dubai especially is going to cost money. Anyway, I'm not that bothered by lifestyle stuff but I definitely won't go somewhere more expensive where they are paying me less!

Re: diplomatic folks, not really my scene. There was a do at the German embassy a few weeks back 50SAR a ticket and free beer all night. I can do that every night of the week, but a lot of it is a bit arty farty for me. Done a lot of gatherings at the Thai Embassy but that is because my wife is Thai and everyone knows each other.

Bars on compounds,house parties, pool parties, and BBQs are the best social options IMO.
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