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Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?

Old May 5th 2012, 9:43 pm
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Default Should I stay or should I go?

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum, just had an offer of employment in Abu Dhabi for 14 months, but been told it will become permenant if my performance is good enough. I've joined this forum for some advice on whether to take the leap or not. Looking at some of the other threads, the offer isn't great but we haven't started negotiating yet. I was put forward for this position by an ex-colleague when our company in the UK was announcing redundancies. I did actually keep my job here, but I have also been successful in my application for the position in Abu Dhabi.

I am married and we both work in IT - I'm a consultant, he develops in cloud computing. We have 2 kids (9 and 11), my husband is currently working away from home 3-4 days a week, then from home the other days, because he can't find a job based outside of London. So by moving we are looking for more family time, and a better quality of life.

I've been worried by some of the threads talking about the stress of contracts, etc. I guess I am asking how you feel the quality of life is and how settled employments are?

I am not money driven - I want a job that is stable, that I enjoy and where we can be together as a family, but obviously also need to pay the bills and initially on one salary with a mortgage in the UK also hanging over us.

So we'd be moving on the strength of my offer but my husband would be looking for a job also. The HR person says that finding a job is much easier when you are living in Abu Dhabi than before you arrive - is that true?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old May 6th 2012, 2:17 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Do it. If it offers you what you want, i.e more family time..as well as an adventure..why not?

Just keep in mind, its really not a place to be living on the edge financially. And yes, on the ground is probably easier to find work than remote. If you can survive on 1 income, two and you'd be laughing all the way to the bank. As for your contract, have you got everything covered in there? i.e health insurance, schooling for kids, transport allowance, rent and etc? Get everything in writing..things have a strange habit of not turning out as they were promised otherwise.

Pending on where your colleagues are from, the work culture is quite different, plenty of threads around on it.
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Old May 6th 2012, 5:09 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Originally Posted by sian4776 View Post
...I am not money driven - I want a job that is stable...
That's the down side here. It does depend on which company you'll be working for, but job security isn't generally one of the plus points here. But there again UK isn't exactly stable right now.

As for the other points: provided you have enough money, it can be a good life.

Good luck.
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Old May 6th 2012, 5:32 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Originally Posted by sian4776 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum, just had an offer of employment in Abu Dhabi for 14 months, but been told it will become permenant if my performance is good enough. I've joined this forum for some advice on whether to take the leap or not. Looking at some of the other threads, the offer isn't great but we haven't started negotiating yet. I was put forward for this position by an ex-colleague when our company in the UK was announcing redundancies. I did actually keep my job here, but I have also been successful in my application for the position in Abu Dhabi.

I am married and we both work in IT - I'm a consultant, he develops in cloud computing. We have 2 kids (9 and 11), my husband is currently working away from home 3-4 days a week, then from home the other days, because he can't find a job based outside of London. So by moving we are looking for more family time, and a better quality of life.

I've been worried by some of the threads talking about the stress of contracts, etc. I guess I am asking how you feel the quality of life is and how settled employments are?

I am not money driven - I want a job that is stable, that I enjoy and where we can be together as a family, but obviously also need to pay the bills and initially on one salary with a mortgage in the UK also hanging over us.

So we'd be moving on the strength of my offer but my husband would be looking for a job also. The HR person says that finding a job is much easier when you are living in Abu Dhabi than before you arrive - is that true?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.
If you do your research and the money is right then go for it, the problems that you will find is schooling but being their ages it will be a little easier than having finding places for smaller ones that will be your hurdle, i would contact some of the schools to see the lie of the land. In order to get into BSAK or Aldar schools you have to apply jan/feb for the following academic year. There is brighton college which is new, whether there are places who knows it really depends on the year group, next academic year they will be going up to year 10, it was a new sch opened this september but they are having teething problems, as the head was "let go" at the end of the 2nd term! be aware that a lot of the schools here are profit schools and they are not cheap. housing you will not struggle finding now as there is a good supply and demand but of course the prices have come down a little but still quite high and you need to pay in most cases 1 year up front and other moving costs too such as 5% commission etc.
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Old May 6th 2012, 5:34 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Originally Posted by sian4776 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum, just had an offer of employment in Abu Dhabi for 14 months, but been told it will become permenant if my performance is good enough. I've joined this forum for some advice on whether to take the leap or not. Looking at some of the other threads, the offer isn't great but we haven't started negotiating yet. I was put forward for this position by an ex-colleague when our company in the UK was announcing redundancies. I did actually keep my job here, but I have also been successful in my application for the position in Abu Dhabi.

I am married and we both work in IT - I'm a consultant, he develops in cloud computing. We have 2 kids (9 and 11), my husband is currently working away from home 3-4 days a week, then from home the other days, because he can't find a job based outside of London. So by moving we are looking for more family time, and a better quality of life.

I've been worried by some of the threads talking about the stress of contracts, etc. I guess I am asking how you feel the quality of life is and how settled employments are?

I am not money driven - I want a job that is stable, that I enjoy and where we can be together as a family, but obviously also need to pay the bills and initially on one salary with a mortgage in the UK also hanging over us.

So we'd be moving on the strength of my offer but my husband would be looking for a job also. The HR person says that finding a job is much easier when you are living in Abu Dhabi than before you arrive - is that true?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.
If you do your research and the money is right then go for it, the problems that you will find is schooling but being their ages it will be a little easier than having finding places for smaller ones that will be your hurdle, i would contact some of the schools to see the lie of the land. In order to get into BSAK or Aldar schools you have to apply jan/feb for the following academic year. There is brighton college which is new, whether there are places who knows it really depends on the year group, next academic year they will be going up to year 10, it was a new sch opened this september but they are having teething problems, as the head was "let go" at the end of the 2nd term! be aware that a lot of the schools here are profit schools and they are not cheap. housing you will not struggle finding now as there is a good supply and demand but of course the prices have come down a little but still quite high and you need to pay in most cases 1 year up front and other moving costs too such as 5% commission etc. In order to give a better opinion figures would be helpful.
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Old May 6th 2012, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Thanks for the help.

I have been offered a basic salary (which I will be negotiating on), housing (company provided, no option on this contract to rent and be reimbursed), and a "general allowance" which equates to a few hundred pounds every month but is unspecific about what it's for.

Personal and medical insurance for the family is included - I have that in writing.

Education is up to a set amount per child and I am looking at Raha which means we would fall roughly 30k short annually.

Nothing on transport allowance.

I have been trying to work out food costs (been told to expect 600AED per person per week - is that your experience?) and utility bills for a 3/4 bedroom apartment or small villa. Again, I know there are forum replies but I would guess it's dependent on the size of the house so unfortunately I am asking again...

I think money wise we can come to an arrangement that suits us - the contract just being 14 months is worrying me, because we would both be giving up permenant jobs here (granted with the travel problems) for something so unsecure. I am really churned up about this decision. Anyone have a crystal ball?
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Old May 6th 2012, 8:27 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Try & get school fees fully covered.

If you are on an AD visa it is a legal requirement that your employer provided medical cover for you and your family. You need to make sure that the cover is adequate as all plans are not the same, despite having to be ADHD compliant.

Food bills vary widely, depending on where you shop and if you buy 'Western' brands. Many items are expensive and you can find more local alternatives for a fraction of the price, especially when it comes to basic groceries, fruit and vegetables. If you like to drink that's what will make a difference to what you spend.

Your utility bills for an apartment will be far less than for a villa, especially in the summer months.

Last edited by Meow; May 6th 2012 at 10:16 am.
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Old May 6th 2012, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Thanks again. Lots to think about.
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Old May 6th 2012, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Originally Posted by sian4776 View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum, just had an offer of employment in Abu Dhabi for 14 months, but been told it will become permenant if my performance is good enough. I've joined this forum for some advice on whether to take the leap or not. Looking at some of the other threads, the offer isn't great but we haven't started negotiating yet. I was put forward for this position by an ex-colleague when our company in the UK was announcing redundancies. I did actually keep my job here, but I have also been successful in my application for the position in Abu Dhabi.

I am married and we both work in IT - I'm a consultant, he develops in cloud computing. We have 2 kids (9 and 11), my husband is currently working away from home 3-4 days a week, then from home the other days, because he can't find a job based outside of London. So by moving we are looking for more family time, and a better quality of life.

I've been worried by some of the threads talking about the stress of contracts, etc. I guess I am asking how you feel the quality of life is and how settled employments are?

I am not money driven - I want a job that is stable, that I enjoy and where we can be together as a family, but obviously also need to pay the bills and initially on one salary with a mortgage in the UK also hanging over us.

So we'd be moving on the strength of my offer but my husband would be looking for a job also. The HR person says that finding a job is much easier when you are living in Abu Dhabi than before you arrive - is that true?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.
PM me your email address. I'll send some contacts within the local industry for your husband to email. I know there are a lot of companies out here crying out for genuine cloud experience.
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Old May 6th 2012, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Brilliant, thanks. Have sent you a mail.
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Old May 7th 2012, 6:58 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

I've put together my expected costs based on the posts I can see, could someone please let me know if I am on the right track?

Monthly
Food (family of 4) 5,000.00
Petrol 150.00
Car Hire 3,500.00
School shortfall 2,500.00
Utility Bills 3,000.00
Other 5,000.00
(spending money, savings etc)

Thanks once again!
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Old May 7th 2012, 9:55 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

See the red text below.

Originally Posted by sian4776 View Post
Monthly
Food (family of 4) 5,000.00 Realistic.
Petrol 150.00 Way too low. I spent 120 AED/week for a 4x4 in Dubai. Depends on how much driving you will end up doing, but with school runs anticipate spending 100 AED/week for a family car.
Car Hire 3,500.00 Depends on the car. A cheaper car such as a Yaris will rent for 2,000 AED/month. If you can it's more cost effective to buy an used car such as a Pajero for 40-50,000, which can be resold down the road at minimal loss of value.
School shortfall 2,500.00
Utility Bills 3,000.00 Way too much for apartments. You'd probably spend no more than 1,000 AED/month for peak usage in the summer months, and half that in the winters. Villas will be much higher. You said the company will provide you with housing, which usually means they will cover the utilities costs too. Find out if this is the case.
Other 5,000.00
(spending money, savings etc)
You're forgetting entertainment, dinners out with drinks, cinemas for the kids, clothing, holidays and all that.
Thanks once again!
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Old May 7th 2012, 11:05 am
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Here in Bahrain, which i understand is a bit more expensive than AD, we spend about 2000 a month for a family of four. Lots of local veg and basics but with a few western things like marmite, cheeses etc.

Do bear in mind that if you like it and stay, school gets more expensive.

Not sure if you budgeted for one or two cars, but it will be hard going with just one.

I'm sure I'll get shot down here but I reckon you need about 5/600000 aed including housing and school fees to be comfortable.
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Old May 7th 2012, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

If your "Food" category includes only supermarket / market costs, and not meals out and booze, then 5k is more than plenty unless your kids are typical teenagers (ie they eat huge amounts). On the other hand if you'll insist on eating more-or-less exactly what you eat now, and shop only at Spinneys, then 5k may not be enough. There are 3 levels of grocery shopping: the high-end supermarkets like Spinneys, the other supermarkets (although there is a sliding scale among them: the likes of Carrefour and AD Co-Op), and then the fruit/veg/meat/fish markets. What you spend to get one basketful in Spinneys you'd struggle to carry if you spent at the market; plus the markets' produce is generally local (local to the region, that is), fresher and riper (no perfect-looking but tasteless tomatoes from Holland, just misshapen but juicy ones from the neigbouring countries). Whether your inclinations and lifestyle will allow you to shop at the markets rather than the supermarkets I don't know, but if you're on a budget then I'd say it’s a must.
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Old May 7th 2012, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Should I stay or should I go?

Thanks - the 5,000 for food was based on mostly local produce but with a few home comforts (marmite etc). I've lived in Pakistan and Morocco as a kid and am comfortable with buying local food.

The other 5,000 was for socialising and general shopping (clothes, any unknown bills etc).

I guess if I have a reasonable estimate of what to expect we will be quite careful the first few months until we find our feet.

I've been reading about the cycling and beaches (or lack of?) - are there any other places for older pre-teen kids? Do some hotels let you buy social memberships to use their facilities for example? Or arts and crafts places?
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