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Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

Old Feb 7th 2021, 9:14 pm
  #1  
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Default Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

Hi all

I've been scouring the boards and various forums for information about working in dubai for those who don't have degrees/specialist skills.

Abit about us... My partner and I would like to live and work in dubai or Abu Dhabi for 2yrs. We have two primary aged kids and feel it would be an opportunity to enjoy some time abroad as a family longer than the few weeks we holiday each year.

Not sure if its the best time to make this decision with the world turned over right now..job market in a slump etc... but we want to see if its possible.

I have a cipd, cmi and prince2 and work in HR for a local authority earning circa £45k and have started applying for a few jobs in dubai through gulftalent bayt and indeed. My partner doesn't have any qualifications and works in admin earning circa £35k.
The admin jobs i found pay approx £1k per month and come with no benefits (housing, travel etc).

My questions

1. Is it only people with specialist skills (accountants, legal, finance) and degrees that can earn above £40k pa in UAE?

2. Can we get admin jobs that pay £30k+ and housing, school fees etc for people without qualifications (I accept there will be thousands out there who will work for less money with more qualifications)

3. If both partners get housing and school fees through employer can we combine or how does it work?


I've used info in the forum and calculated we need to earn £11k pm between us just salary or £5k+benefits. This would suffice for us to live in dubai. It seems as though most people are looking at earning £80k+ who go dubai to work... we don't mind taking a pay cut for the experience of living abroad for 2yrs but don't want to end up in debt etc for taking the plunge.

any advice would be much appreciated and thanks for taking the time to read my v long post
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

Originally Posted by Upandleave View Post
1. Is it only people with specialist skills (accountants, legal, finance) and degrees that can earn above £40k pa in UAE?
I think its fair to state that those with a degree AND relevant experience have a much higher chance of getting the higher paid jobs in the ME. However its not unusual for some employers to accept someone for a highly paid position with a college diploma, if they have tonnes of experience as well.

Originally Posted by Upandleave View Post
2. Can we get admin jobs that pay £30k+ and housing, school fees etc for people without qualifications (I accept there will be thousands out there who will work for less money with more qualifications)
Admin jobs in the ME are usually done by those from developing countries, getting around £1k-£2k a month.

Originally Posted by Upandleave View Post
3. If both partners get housing and school fees through employer can we combine or how does it work?
If different employers, then they would give you a housing allowance, school fees allwance, etc. How you spend that is up to you and your partner.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

To summarise and be blunt my personal view is that you will struggle with this project or dream.

In theory (and it’s a big theory) in better times it’s quite possible to get a job but you won’t get the numbers you are looking for and as you have already alluded to you will be competing against thousands who will be happy to earn a fraction of your desired package.

In my view UAE is not the place to bring kids just because you fancy a couple of years in the sun. Unless of course you have finances to maintain things if it all goes wrong.

Anything you have worked out on a spreadsheet during lockdown it will cost you a lot more. ..... Even if you were to get a job, have you get the financial fall back to live and fund the school fees if one of you or both lose your job ?

sorry to sound negative but there isn’t a way to dress it up.


Last edited by UKMS; Feb 8th 2021 at 10:02 am.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

Hi I’m based in Qatar and these are my observations on the ground here:-

1. Is it only people with specialist skills (accountants, legal, finance) and degrees that can earn above £40k pa in UAE?
this is equivalent to AED/QAR 17k per month which is a very decent salary for some. Remember there are a large number of qualified IT specialists, accountants and other professionals from places like India, Philippines, Egypt who will happily compete for jobs in this segment and salary level (and lower).

2. Can we get admin jobs that pay £30k+ and housing, school fees etc for people without qualifications (I accept there will be thousands out there who will work for less money with more qualifications)

Very difficult. Some “Western facing” businesses, consulates/embassies may have openings. Competition can be fierce as there are a large number of overqualified spouses as well.

3. If both partners get housing and school fees through employer can we combine or how does it work?

In Qatar, normally only one employee can claim school fees and housing benefits, the other spouse can’t claim. Can’t comment on practice in the UAE.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

Thanks both, I suspected as much. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I guess we'll stick to our 4 weeks of holiday. Just thought if we're going to do it, now would be the time with kids still in primary.

We don't drink alcohol, eat out often (except fast food) or spend alot of money and could probably live on £7k per month comfortably. But the 11k allowed for contingency, unplanned costs and savings



Last edited by Upandleave; Feb 8th 2021 at 2:45 pm.
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Old Feb 8th 2021, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Options and choices when you don't have any qualifications....

Originally Posted by Upandleave View Post
Thanks both, I suspected as much. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

I guess we'll stick to our 4 weeks of holiday. Just thought if we're going to do it, now would be the time with kids still in primary.

We don't drink alcohol, eat out often (except fast food) or spend alot of money and could probably live on £7k per month comfortably. But the 11k allowed for contingency, unplanned costs and savings
I’m not sure it would be that comfortable with two bin lids in school on 7k a month. Ridiculous but it is what it is.

It’ll be very hard for you here, and you’d be giving up quite a comfortable life in the U.K.
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