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Don't move to Dubai

Don't move to Dubai

Old Apr 17th 2009, 11:30 am
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Default Don't move to Dubai

Hi all.

What a load of nonsense I’ve been reading on the forum. I usually use the forum for research on things to do, places to go etc, and find it a great resource but I'm so infuriated by these declarations of ‘sweet Dubai’, that I simply had to join this maelstrom of nothingness. Perpetuating the notion that all is hunky dory in this land of gold – it is not OK – far from it.

Be very careful about deciding to uproot your whole life from the cushion of friends and family back home.

In answer to a post toady asking about JBR, and place to live: JBR looks very like the New York 'Projects'. A savagely disastrous experiment in high-rise living - this country hasn't had the crack problem but it would seem the Chechen warlords are gunning their own people down wily nilly in JBR, and lets not mention the Lebanese singer who was recently stabbed numerous times, her throat being sliced for good measure – she did die. Yes, yes JBR sounds a fab dabby dab place to move to.

I moved to Old Town, Downtown, so as to not be surrounded by people that could "just about" afford it. A distressing consequence, for me, of this global downturn is that rental prices have fallen through the floor and any old nouveaux riche trash can move in. As has above and beside me – rubbish being chucked over balconies, remains of bbq coals being chucked over the balconies, my once beautiful garden is now a bloody ashtray, and every weekend we have grotesque expletives blearing around us from all angles. Emaar (the contractor that has built Downtown Burj Dubai) has laid off so many workers (not just the laborers’) that they have not the capacity to investigate complaints, or police the rules of polite living.

We moved out here on a single wage of 30,000AED per month. We do not have an extravagant lifestyle. We do not have the luxury 4x4. We do not eat out at all. We cannot afford to drink champagne (and never could even with a wage coming in). We’ve just about survived. Living costs are astronomical, and yes it [wages] is all tax free but believe me the money is clawed back in so many ways – just take broadband – 80 quid per month for a decent speed! My other half was not paid 2 bonuses in a row, and when made redundant last month was given 1 month wages – no repatriation (even though this was in the employment contract) costs – was told, in a around about way, to take us to court. Kaput. This company was a multi-national – one has to remember one is working in a country that has very little employment rights for its workers – western, or otherwise. They [the companies] know it would take one so long, and be completely cost prohibitive, take them to court. One has to just put up.

Those that are living the lifestyle Dubai portrays, in its amazing PR machine, are up to their eyes in serious debt. Be under no illusion on that fact.

We know of 3 couples in the last 4 months that have moved out here, on one wage. The working partners in 2 of these coupes, within 10 weeks, were made redundant. Of the other couple: he was told he was taking a 50% pay cut or could “walk now” – walk now not really being an option as the £25,000 loan taken out for their apartment meant jail if he “walked’. Please be aware that debt here in this land of Gold is a criminal offense, not like in the UK where it is, primarily, classed as a civil offense – no gestures of good will from the banks here, no time to find another job = banged up. Many banks ask you to sign a blank cheque when taking out a loan – this is so they can take back, in one go, the amount you owe should you be made redundant. Companies are obliged to let the banks know you have been made redundant – just to cover any potential lawsuit against themselves for recovery of an employee’s debt. They [your company] might be very nice and sincere to your face but they will rat you out in a split second. All of these 3 couples have gone from being so excited and hopeful for their futures together in this land of Gold, to being utterly introverted and depressed because of the apprehension and disappointment they face every morning.

I have not found a job in 7 months – I have excellent references, I have a degree, and I speak Arabic. I moved out with the notion I could have a couple of months off – then get back to it. The jobs market in Dubai is non-existent. The job search websites are uploading new jobs all the time but these are simply not real jobs. They are doing an exercise in CV gathering – the best out of the bunch – for when things do pick up. I have this on good authority.

Be very very careful when considering a move out here, especially when given all these facts.

Oh, and to those of you who will say, “just leave if you don’t like it” – that’s just not an option for some people; it’s not an option for most people, actually.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

I am sorry you are having such a bad time in Dubai. Been unemployed in a place with little things to do really sucks. I do agree with you in a lot of things you said. However, the "don't move" thing is too much... everyone moving to a country like the UAE or any developing country should clearly do their research carefully and have a plan B (and C) just in case things do not go well. IMHO I think your decision to rent in the Old Town with a salary of 30K AED was way too risky. You know... your other half is not the first person in the world who is not been paid her bonus.

Anyway... good luck and I hope you survive Dubai.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

Hi K.

It's not just us Klaus, it's at least 60% of the people in our social, and professional circle. All of whom have one partner that has been made redundant, all of whom know many many many people that are in dire financial crises.

The "don't move" thing is spot on IMHO.

The moving to Old Town on 30k was a sure thing - we did all our research thanks - every recruitment agent said things were great, that I would find work no problem - there is NO work out there, and hasn't been for some time. That was what I meant about perpetuating the notion things are fine - things are not fine. People need to start speaking up and telling the truth.

We are lucky in as much as we have 2 houses in Islington, London. An area that has been unaffected by price dropping on rents, etc, due to its trendy tag. One is rented out for £550 per week, the other £750 per week.

We have still struggled out here.

The point I was making is that this land is not at all the land of opportunity it claims to be - not at the moment.

As for having a plan B (and C), they are already in motion. The Dubai exit plan is in full swing.

Be very careful was the overall tone of my post - I think individuals should start relating the truth and not reinforce the myth that Dubai is the land of plenty. We all know it isn't.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

Originally Posted by johnah9 View Post
Hi K.

It's not just us Klaus, it's at least 60% of the people in our social, and professional circle. All of whom have one partner that has been made redundant, all of whom know many many many people that are in dire financial crises.

The "don't move" thing is spot on IMHO.

The moving to Old Town on 30k was a sure thing - we did all our research thanks - every recruitment agent said things were great, that I would find work no problem - there is NO work out there, and hasn't been for some time. That was what I meant about perpetuating the notion things are fine - things are not fine. People need to start speaking up and telling the truth.

We are lucky in as much as we have 2 houses in Islington, London. An area that has been unaffected by price dropping on rents, etc, due to its trendy tag. One is rented out for £550 per week, the other £750 per week.

We have still struggled out here.

The point I was making is that this land is not at all the land of opportunity it claims to be - not at the moment.

As for having a plan B (and C), they are already in motion. The Dubai exit plan is in full swing.

Be very careful was the overall tone of my post - I think individuals should start relating the truth and not reinforce the myth that Dubai is the land of plenty. We all know it isn't.
Though times. Everyone with a brain do undestand that Dubai is not paved with gold. I laughed in the face of headhuntes offering beach life and job security. I really agree with you with most of the things you said... can't believe that some people still talk about JBR as luxury living. I feel sympathetic with you cause my wife is looking for a job in a shrinking sector so I know how hard it is. Two wrongs do not make a good, but after living in several emergent economies, I can tell you that UAE/Dubai is not different from other places with regard to workers right, driving, lack of respect for human life, etc. Moving to a place like this is alwas a big bet.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

whatever people said, it's still a risk you decided to take moving over without actually having secured a job...i agree, i think there needs to be more honesty, but it is amazing the number of people move over here without having done any research...

as for redundancy, it's no better in the uk is it...worse if everything i've heard is true...hobson's choice i guess...

sorry it hasn't worked out for you...i do think it's a bit much telling people "don't move to dubai" mind you, it has worked out for thousands of others...

MM, xx
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

John if you had been a regular member of this board for some time you would have heard many of preach about rents and the banks etc. If the company you were joining/joined/whatever were not prepared to pay for your accomodation a year in advance then you don't join them. Commander and myself have been quite vocal about this on many an occasion. If you were in the UK would you walk into a bank and ask for 25,000 quid payable over 12 months to keep a roof over your head? don't think so, and anyway they would probably tell you where to go if you had. People here think it was their right for the banks to fund their lifestyle. They are now seeing that isn't the case.

If you are in Dubai, there is a redundancy support group meeting on Sunday at the Lakes at 9.30 am, you are welcome to come along either for advice or just to share your experience.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

An interesting perspective, but that's what it is - "your" perspective. I am sure that a lot of what you have said is true. My fiance and I are moving out there in a month and, I guess, his job is as secure as the next person. However, we are lucky in the sense that he is moving within the same company he has worked for the past 4 years. That gives us a little more security than most - but we are VERY aware that it can all change.

We have done a ton of research before coming and, believe me, it truly is the best move for us. The income tax levy in Ireland is a joke and everything else in the budget here has given us a crap way of life. We both work full time, have good jobs and don't spend stupidly, but our quality of life is suffering! Hence, we decided to move. My current job is on rocky grounds, as the office isn't doing well at all. So, moving to Dubai - BIG TICK!

A person really needs to do their research before moving anywhere overseas. You are out of your comfort zone and you are, effectively, on your own.

I am really sorry that things haven't worked out for you and I wish you the best...but I would have re-titled your thread "why I shouldn't have moved to Dubai".

GOOD LUCK!
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

Another noobie coming out for the land of dreams without doing due diligence. Hope your flight home is better planned than your sojourn here was or you could end up in somewhere you have no clue about, oh, sorry; you are there already.

Sooner you leave the better for the rest of us who have a very nice life in Dubai, thank you. But we knew what we getting into and had no false illusions.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

'tis sad times - the world over ...

People need to know the truth around this particular emerging economy K. Some of the 'research' I did before coming out here was in these very forums. These forums helped inform our decision to move. I want people to have a balanced idea of how things work, based on facts, so that they can make an objective decision on what could be the biggest mistake of their lives (it could equally be the best). That is all.

I'm not at all bitter about the move out here - it has been great at times, but we have been able to look on it in a humorous way due to our financial security back home - the overall experience has been a qualified disaster! I'm personally looking forward to going back to friends and family - the notion that it's better to be up sh*t creek in the sun 'n' sand just doesn't wash for us!

We all knew that in moving out here we were in many ways selling our souls to the Devil for a more luxurious lifestyle. We all knew that we would have less rights. We all knew that that was OK. What we didn't envision was that there would be a global economic crises the like of which the world has never seen. Nobody complained about the lack of rights. Nobody cared enough. The fact that now individuals are being treated appallingly by their employers, and their banks means people must speak up and tell their stories so that others don't end up in a really really frightening set of circumstances.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Duuu baaaiii

Yeah would agree when the sh!t hits the fan, then UAE is not so a bed of red roses, but if you dyor and are aware of the pitfalls of every decision, judgement and lifestyle choice you make ( as much as you can in this complex land !), you can make a good life here. Hope things work out for the best for you and for those that are in not so fortunate circustances.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

Originally Posted by johnah9 View Post
We all knew that in moving out here we were in many ways selling our souls to the Devil for a more luxurious lifestyle.
My fiance and I aren't looking for the more luxurious lifestyle - we want quality of life. That, to us, means sunshine filled days, being able to sit outside on an evening having a drink together, being able to plan BBQ's at the weekend, going to a restaurant a few times a month. Pretty simple & doesn't cost the earth. Yes, we would love fab cars but we're going to buy them with our savings. We aren't going to get into debt and we have all bases covered - flights home, accom. allowance, transport allowance, etc, etc...

I think that is the illusion now - that Dubai offers this "luxurious lifestyle". I think the majority of people on here are happy here because of the quality of life they get from living in Dubai.

We still live in a society where having debt is just a way of life. I am glad to say that, apart from a small loan which will be paid off in 6 months, I am totally debt free. And I intend to keep it that way, as much as I can.

Still wish you GOOD LUCK in the future.
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

I deal in facts, not bubble orientated myth ...

Researched Dubai for 4 months before moving guys ...

Of course came out with hope and dreams, as we all do ...

Off to a party tonight where I can guarantee there will be a load of new people that have been made redundant and are terrified as a result ... This is commonplace now, and is getting worse week by week ... Length of service means sod all out here ...

Best of luck to you all - do hope you are not made redundant, any of you ...
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

Originally Posted by FunnyFeline View Post
My fiance and I aren't looking for the more luxurious lifestyle - we want quality of life. That, to us, means sunshine filled days, being able to sit outside on an evening having a drink together, being able to plan BBQ's at the weekend, going to a restaurant a few times a month. Pretty simple & doesn't cost the earth. Yes, we would love fab cars but we're going to buy them with our savings. We aren't going to get into debt and we have all bases covered - flights home, accom. allowance, transport allowance, etc, etc...

I think that is the illusion now - that Dubai offers this "luxurious lifestyle". I think the majority of people on here are happy here because of the quality of life they get from living in Dubai.

We still live in a society where having debt is just a way of life. I am glad to say that, apart from a small loan which will be paid off in 6 months, I am totally debt free. And I intend to keep it that way, as much as I can.

Still wish you GOOD LUCK in the future.
And THAT is what it's all about, not getting yourself up to the ears in debt, having a decent remuneration package that covers most of your major outgoings.

You get that because you are an expert at what you do, not some half-wit looking for an easy life. Life is not easy here, but it is not any harder than anywhere else if you stick to your plan.

FF, you'll love it. OP, BYEEEEEE!
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

There are many, many things I don't like about Dubai, and I've been pretty vocal in my criticism of the place.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone seriously try to describe JBR as "luxury living" though

johnah9, it sounds very much like you read what you wanted to read when you were researching before. I knew all of what you said before I arrived, and have since repeated much of it myself. True, it took a crisis to make it real and not theoretical. But the info was there.

Time to go re-read the thread "The property apocalypse draws closer"?
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Old Apr 17th 2009, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Don't move to Dubai

Originally Posted by johnah9 View Post
'tis sad times - the world over ...

People need to know the truth around this particular emerging economy K. Some of the 'research' I did before coming out here was in these very forums. These forums helped inform our decision to move. I want people to have a balanced idea of how things work, based on facts, so that they can make an objective decision on what could be the biggest mistake of their lives (it could equally be the best). That is all.

I'm not at all bitter about the move out here - it has been great at times, but we have been able to look on it in a humorous way due to our financial security back home - the overall experience has been a qualified disaster! I'm personally looking forward to going back to friends and family - the notion that it's better to be up sh*t creek in the sun 'n' sand just doesn't wash for us!

We all knew that in moving out here we were in many ways selling our souls to the Devil for a more luxurious lifestyle. We all knew that we would have less rights. We all knew that that was OK. What we didn't envision was that there would be a global economic crises the like of which the world has never seen. Nobody complained about the lack of rights. Nobody cared enough. The fact that now individuals are being treated appallingly by their employers, and their banks means people must speak up and tell their stories so that others don't end up in a really really frightening set of circumstances.


you can't have been a regular on here in the past, Banks have always had a bad reputation for they way they have treat their customers. If you were coming here to live the dream, that turned into a nightmare I am sorry but I am going to have to say that the blame lies solely with you. I hope that you put your experience behind you and move on with your life in the UK. Dubai isn't for everyone.
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