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Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Old Mar 21st 2019, 1:15 pm
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Default Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Hello all, was told I was better off posting this thread in this section.

we are family of 4 living in Dubai for almost 4 years now. Hubby works as a senior technology consultant for a global company based in Dubai and earns around 46k per month. His role means he is constantly involved in traveling around the ME, mostly KSA and he’s now reached a point where he is getting pretty fed up and burnt out.

He believes that the cost of living in Dubai has become too high and we are now in fact better off moving back to London in the near future, even if he found a job with less pay back in London (say around 85k in pounds per year).

He is unable to put away any savings here and says we made a big mistake moving abroad knowing that the school fees weren’t covered by the company. Im not sure I agree as I feel that other than uprooting the kids from their school, we are better off staying in Dubai because we would be paying a significant amount of tax in the UK even on £85k per year, let alone £100k. This is in addition to the cost of renting a 3 bed in a good school catchment in west London which would work out to be between £1800-£2000 per month.

Here’s a list of our current yearly outgoings:

115k in school fees for two primary aged children

175k in rent for 4 bed villa in a nice area (we are paying more on rent in order to be much closer to the school and save on getting a second car)

42k on car related outgoings

33k on groceries

24k on utilities/bills

8.4k on weekly cleaning and garden maintenance


The remainder is on recreation, eating out, annual trips back to the Uk, gym membership etc..


Just looking for some feedback, please no harsh comments. I am not very good in dealing with money management generally and leave it to the hubby but in this case I’m perplexed at what is best for us. Thanks!

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Old Mar 21st 2019, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Can't comment on Dubai as I've never even visited (I spontaneously combust at about 28 degrees), but £85k would go much further outside of London. Is commuting not an option?
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Originally Posted by Lul37 View Post
Hello all, was told I was better off posting this thread in this section.

we are family of 4 living in Dubai for almost 4 years now. Hubby works as a senior technology consultant for a global company based in Dubai and earns around 46k per month. His role means he is constantly involved in traveling around the ME, mostly KSA and he’s now reached a point where he is getting pretty fed up and burnt out.

He believes that the cost of living in Dubai has become too high and we are now in fact better off moving back to London in the near future, even if he found a job with less pay back in London (say around 85k in pounds per year).

He is unable to put away any savings here and says we made a big mistake moving abroad knowing that the school fees weren’t covered by the company. Im not sure I agree as I feel that other than uprooting the kids from their school, we are better off staying in Dubai because we would be paying a significant amount of tax in the UK even on £85k per year, let alone £100k. This is in addition to the cost of renting a 3 bed in a good school catchment in west London which would work out to be between £1800-£2000 per month.

Here’s a list of our current yearly outgoings:

115k in school fees for two primary aged children

175k in rent for 4 bed villa in a nice area (we are paying more on rent in order to be much closer to the school and save on getting a second car)

42k on car related outgoings

33k on groceries

24k on utilities/bills

8.4k on weekly cleaning and garden maintenance


The remainder is on recreation, eating out, annual trips back to the Uk, gym membership etc..


Just looking for some feedback, please no harsh comments. I am not very good in dealing with money management generally and leave it to the hubby but in this case I’m perplexed at what is best for us. Thanks!

No clue about costs but does it have to be London? I don't live in Dublin myself but as a senior technology consultant he should have loads of opportunities in Dublin and being in EU earning € you are far better off in the near future. Of course things cost money here too and housing can be an issue but with that sort of job, you could easily make money and live in the better areas outside the city.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

You need to talk to him about his real reasons for leaving and your real reasons for wanting to stay. Is it money, being burnt out, career stagnation on his side and nice mum groups, nail spas and coffee shops on your side etc. Ultimately staying or leaving involves some sacrifice on both sides and its not always easy to see it.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Millhouse thanks for your feedback. I was hoping you would respond as a quick glance at the forums and I see that you seem to have a lot of invaluable info about the ME (which is really helpful at this point for me )

Yes we have talked about the lifestyle as well. Finances aside, sure I am happier in the desert and he knows that. I thrive in the heat (having been born in the ME myself), have a much active outdoor and social life than I ever did in the 9 years I lived in London after I got married. He on other hand has gotten progressively more homesick for Blighty in the last year, and tells me he can’t believe he gave up living in London where most of his family to spend most of his working hours in Saudi.

ofcourse I hate seeing him unhappy and other than him finding another position or job which will cover the school fees I can’t see him lasting here in Dubai long.

But I won’t stand him saying we are financially better off in the UK if that’s not true so it???
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

christmasoompa No I would struggle living outside London as all our family and friends live in West London. That’s the only real appeal for me to go back with the children. I’m the complete opposite of you, I shrivel up in any temperature under 15 degrees I’m not saying we have to live close to central London, I’m talking about living in the very outskirts of, such as zone 5 and 6 right next to the M25 where rents would be cheaper anyhow.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Moses2013 do you mean Dubai or Dublin?? Are you saying he should have more job options in Dubai if he’s unhappy in his current role? Because hubby is saying he has looked around in Dubai and cant find a job that is offering him any better pay then what he is on now or even same pay but at least without the constant travel.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Originally Posted by Lul37 View Post
Moses2013 do you mean Dubai or Dublin?? Are you saying he should have more job options in Dubai if he’s unhappy in his current role? Because hubby is saying he has looked around in Dubai and cant find a job that is offering him any better pay then what he is on now or even same pay but at least without the constant travel.



I meant Dublin. If you're looking for English speaking city in Europe with good job opportunities in Tech and slower pace of life, Dublin might be a good alternative to London.
Especially as a senior technology consultant he should get good money and there are many nice areas along the coast. Of course housing is the major issue in most cities, so can't comment on that as I live in the West (Galway) myself.

Last edited by Moses2013; Mar 21st 2019 at 4:46 pm.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

I think this covers it?

'Finances aside, sure I am happier in the desert and he knows that. I thrive in the heat (having been born in the ME myself), have a much active outdoor and social life than I ever did in the 9 years I lived in London after I got married.
He on other hand has gotten progressively more homesick for Blighty in the last year, and tells me he can’t believe he gave up living in London where most of his family to spend most of his working hours in Saudi.'
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

NorthernLad Yes I already know where we stand emotionally, now I just want to know in which city we are better off financially if he earned GBP 100k per year, London or Dubai? If we can ageee on finances it’s a start isn’t it?
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Also just wanted to add for what it’s worth that I’m no Jumeriah Jane, off shopping in Dubai Mall while the kids are ‘taken care off by a nanny’. I’m at home all week running the household , school runs, after school activities, cooking, volunteering at my kids school, helping out with homework (one of my kids has additional needs) etc....it’s bloody hard work and I’m exhausted end of the day but I’m happy.

I worked part time in London before we moved to Dubai, and I miss that as I couldn’t find that balance over here but I don’t believe in nannies taking care of my kids needs.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Originally Posted by Lul37 View Post
NorthernLad Yes I already know where we stand emotionally, now I just want to know in which city we are better off financially if he earned GBP 100k per year, London or Dubai? If we can ageee on finances it’s a start isn’t it?
London is really quite expensive and it's not the place you left 9 years ago. Rents and travel costs are quite significant these days. Food is cheap though.

100k vs 46kAED - it's probably better in the UK. 85k vs 46k: marginal difference I think.

Doesn't sound like money is the underlying issue though. He is probably feeling a bit used and abused on all fronts (show him some love) and forgetting that while KSA sucks, so does the 7:15 from Whitton.
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Old Mar 23rd 2019, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

Concur with Millhouse. It doesn't seem finances are behind your reasons for wanting to stay and his for wanting to leave.

There is a shelf life to working in the Middle East and your husband may have reached the expiry date.
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

I'm actually making the move the other way although to Muscat which is much cheaper than Dubai, from 85k London 4k omr, on paper 85k might sound a lot, but after all the direct and indirect taxes you pay here it is not much, income tax, council tax, vat, duty on petrol etc. Your living standard in London will be much lower, big downgrade from 4 bed villa, and v few state schools are good, no where close to the quality on international schools. Since brexit vote this is all you will hear here. Obviously job satisfaction is key, if he leaving is it worth asking employer to reduce travel or you will leave? If you want to do a like for like financial comparison check out properties on zoopla as to what you will be happy with in London vs current lifestyle, 85k translates to roughly £4.5k net per month, at current fx rate that is roughly half of the salary in Dubai!!
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Old Mar 24th 2019, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: Hubby wants to move back to London from Dubai

ompan thanks for your feedback. Yes in terms of MY personal standard of living I would be downgrading from a 4 bed villa to a 2/3 bed house in the outskirts of London. Not to mention the poor weather which is a big deal for me personally. (Plus the headache of uprooting the children once more, and being worried what kind of schools we get in, no easy feat you must know).

The real issue as Millhouse has figured out, is that my husband has had enough of the nature of his job here. He couldn’t care less about this lovely villa we are currently renting.

I get that he would be able to appreciate it more if he could in fact live inside it more often as he said, and not just on the weekends

Neither does he appreciate the ‘good’ schools here. He would rather pay the high income tax in London as he feels they are paying for much needed council services that he benefits from, than for a profit school company. He also wants his kids to experience ‘real life’ and not the bubble life over here.

So basically he can’t see no positives to Dubai and on top of that as carcajou said maybe it’s the end of the road for us (

My post was trying to understand and get confirmation if we would be better off financially on 85k per year in the UK, compared to 100k per year here in Dubai.

Because the cost of utilities, clothes, groceries and even car related expenses in London (if we get a regular car, not a 4x4) are that much cheaper than in Dubai. Then it ends up being such a marginal difference between 85k London vs 100k Dubai for a family of four. ‘Not worth it being abroad if we cannot put away any savings, and we are better off on home ground’ says hubby. How to argue with that??? Are we satisfied living a comfortable luxurious lifestyle if we cannot in fact save for a rainy day?? He wants to be able to pay off the mortgage on our small flat (which we’re renting out), not just the interest and he cannot.

But my worry is that on 85k back home, we would have downgraded drastically (well for me), and still not be able to make any savings even whilst living in London. But at least we’ll have a better work life balance? Maybe, can’t be any worse than this nonstop travel I suppose.

In terms of job satisfaction I have tried to ask him to talk to his seniors about his constant travel, but he doesn’t want to threaten to leave because it might damage his future job prospects esp if he hasn’t got anything lined up yet. He doesn’t see his position with them open to change as someone said on here, the majority of the work is with Saudi clients, hence ‘all roads lead to Saudi’ in his line of work.

Best of luck for you in Muscat, I hope you enjoy it and it’s financially viable for you as well, certainly will be more than Dubai

Last edited by Lul37; Mar 24th 2019 at 10:35 pm.
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