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To stay put or to move to the UAE

To stay put or to move to the UAE

Old Feb 15th 2016, 7:51 pm
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Default To stay put or to move to the UAE

My wife and I are in our mid 30-s and we have two small children. We Live in Scotland. We are currently in the process of deciding whether to emigrate from the UK or not. We have been expats previously having completed a 4 years stint in the UAE. We are considering other countries but our heart is steering us more towards a move back to the UAE – we have done it before so it does not seem scary! We remain mindful about the prospect of staying where we are but we find the weather miserable, all our friends and family have moved away, and the opportunities for upward career progression are flat (I have not had a pay increase since 2014).

Born in Scotland, I work in HR and as a career changer have been in the industry for 5 years (total work experience 11 years). I hold a Masters and a Bachelors and currently work for a American multinational. My wife has a Bachelors in Marketing and we expect that she would work at some stage if we moved back to the UAE (she has not worked since she was on maternity leave in 2014).

I keep up to date with the news from the UAE daily and appreciate that the country is facing challenges from the low oil price but I am really stuck in two minds as to whether moving to the UAE is a good idea or not. What me and my wife want to achieve soon is to be in a good place where we can make an informed decision. Our hearts and minds are not aligned at the moment and I guess that is part of the problem in making a decision. FYI, we would be selling our house that would release a fair bit of equity. I just wanted to find out if there are any other members on this forum who can share their experiences of moving back to the UAE – good or bad. Much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Feb 15th 2016, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

What is your exit strategy ? In other words if you go to the UAE, how will you know when it is time to leave and where will you go ? Will you come back to Scotland ?
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Old Feb 15th 2016, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
What is your exit strategy ? In other words if you go to the UAE, how will you know when it is time to leave and where will you go ? Will you come back to Scotland ?
Yes to come back to Scotland when the kids are of college/university age.
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 2:45 am
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

I'd try and find a job first before thinking too much about it.
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 3:42 am
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
I'd try and find a job first before thinking too much about it.
Spot on
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 5:15 am
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

You are asking if it's worth it looking for jobs in the UAE? I can see where you're coming from because once you start applying for positions and the interviews are held, is it worth it to go with the flow and let the tide carry you back to the UAE? Or is it a temptation best avoiding from the start?

The UAE is like Hotel California Been here before, left, then returned. I have mixed feelings about coming back. The first time around was brilliant, but this time not so much. It's not because of work, which is fine, but the old friends aren't here anymore. Coming here in your mid 30s is different than in your 20s. The partying/bars/impromptu camping weekends aren't so attractive, nor is the permanent flux of expats coming and going and friends disappearing. It's a busier, more complicated place. Some of the older, quieter charms have disappeared. When you were here last you were probably childless but if you came back you'd have a family and would need to worry more about housing and school fees and the expense of raising children in the UAE. It won't be so carefree. Yes, it's sunny, but the summers are long and dreary. And so many people here are materialistic, selfish and arrogant that it's tiring having to deal with it after a while, although like all places if you make a good set of friends with similar values, it's fine. I also don't think that HR roles, even at director levels, pay that much so my guess you'd not save much money.

It sounds like what's really bothering you is the dreariness of the Scottish winters. I know what's it's like. Why not consider elsewhere in the UK closer to family? Look into the South west?

Last edited by DXBtoDOH; Feb 16th 2016 at 5:18 am.
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 5:40 am
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

I will start the job search soon and intend to fly out later in the year to look for jobs. Plan is to set up interviews before I head out.
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 9:15 am
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

Why UAE, other than because you know it? Admittedly if you get your kids into one of the best British schools then, from what I've heard, that would be great for them. But you'd need a well-paid position to afford that and still have a comfortable life style consistent with what you seem to want (and as a previous poster said, HR isn't generally that well paid). If you can't afford to get and keep your kids in a top school, then I can't see the point.

If you've no real attachment to Scotland, why not look further afield for emigration rather that expatrification? The Middle East is, after all, a superficial, racist and hot dump, and its either a) going to get worse before it gets better, or b) going to get worse before it gets worse.
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 9:27 am
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

For those resident in Scotland, university tuition is free. If you return from UAE when children are going to university you will probably have to pay full fees. "Residence" for tuition purposes is open to interpretation but generally means for at least 3 years prior to starting studies. International fees are considerable.

Last edited by scot47; Feb 16th 2016 at 9:33 am.
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 2:11 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

HR Director 36-55k plus package if working for reasonable company and British. I know these things
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

1. Never ever sell property in a somewhat stable (low risk/low returns) area and invest in a highly unstable and expected to crash soon area. That idea is bad bad bad. Despite me having property here for a few years, I always tell my friends etc to not invest here now as prices are falling. I have made enough off of it by rent that I can afford a small drop on it if I have to cut and run one day (soon?) So no my friend, dont sell and come here.
2. Like said earlier, find a job first and then if it is an extreeeeemely good job, which sounds unlikely given the situation now, then decide.
3. Never count on your spouse also finding a job or a good job for that matter. IF she finds a good job then that would be a bonus, but your way of working out the cost of living number should only be based on jobs in hand, not jobs to be had.
4. There are NO cement deals here, no matter what anyone tells you. The day the banks say no to everyone, your company will just say thankyou and goodbye and dont forget to write. Are you sure you want that type of thing hanging over your head all the time. Not to mention the kids first having to adjust the huge change from there to here and once (not if) everything goes t**s up, putting them through another major change and trying to find a job back in your homeland. Again, doesnt sound practical to me.
5. Sounds to me that you and your wife just miss the sun here and are just sick of the rain there. As mentioned above, try and find a job somewhere else within Scotland which will better suit your sun needs
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

36k-55k for a HR director job. Jesus. I'm in the wrong job (teaching)
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

Thanks all very much for the insight and advice. Guess I will need to take a trip later this year to scope out opportunities. One thing I won't be doing is leaving without a solid job offer if indeed I do decide to go.
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Old Feb 16th 2016, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

Originally Posted by SaudiRiyal View Post
36k-55k for a HR director job. Jesus. I'm in the wrong job (teaching)
Depends on the industry and country. That salary is about the going rate for experienced Senior Manager - Director salary could well pull down more - but that would be for large Oil / Gas or large contracting companies - both of those industries are suffering a slump here in KSA so opportunities will few and far between right now. HRD will also be difficult for a non Saudi to hold - those type of roles are generally reserved for oh so talented locals.

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Old Feb 17th 2016, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: To stay put or to move to the UAE

you gotta to be crazy to even consider selling up and then moving out here....this place is totally unpredictable....NEVER sell your mortar and bricks back home....that's the worse thing you could do.....especially to come out to this region.

i think you are kinda running before you can walk.....you need to first secure a decent job.
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