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Teacher and wife relocating

Teacher and wife relocating

Old Feb 11th 2021, 2:07 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by HistoryStudent19 View Post
Several reasons; safety, location/cost of travelling to Asia, historical sights, museums, souqs - don't fancy the absolute modernity of somewhere like Dubai for instance. We're a quiet couple so aren't going to be looking for a crazy young persons lifestyle.
Safety? No difference between the two countries, as long as you stay away from the locals. Road safety is better in the UAE these days.

Location/cost of travel to Asia: flights out of DXB are many more, broader range of airlines including budget airlines, and tickets are cheaper. Doha is a trapped market and you pay for it. Although flights originating both in Doha or DXB are expensive with the premium carriers, it's worse in Doha due to the real lack of budget options. Many more direct flights out of DXB to lesser cities in Asia as well. If you like to travel and want a travel base in the Gulf, Dubai is by far the best place to be.

Historical sights: everything you see in Qatar is a disneyfied recreation, including the Souq Waqif. It's fine for a periodic visit but you won't be spending a lot of time there. Dubai Creek is more real than Souq Waqif in Doha because it still has a big retail and wholesale presence with traders from all over the world and the dhows are neat. Doha does have some decent museums, but so does the UAE, both Sharjah and Abu Dhabi round up the cultural offerings. UAE also has more variations in the countryside, from deserts to mountains and beaches. Qatar is 95% ugly and dreary scrublands. In Dubai you have many beaches to pick from right in the city, in Doha, outside a few and crappy private beaches, the only public beaches are a hour's drive outside the city.

I don't know what you mean by absolute modernity. Doha is a very new city, it's even newer than Dubai. Most of it is jerry built and crappy but it's still new by the standards of the UK. The quality of housing and retail and groceries in the UAE is much better.

If you have your heart set on Qatar, by all means go for it. But be warned that just because it's smaller it doesn't mean it's offering you something quieter (and thus better, in your view). It just means more limitations.

If you really wanted somewhere quiet and laid back in the Gulf, look for jobs in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi may be the perfect place for you, methinks. It's quiet and relaxed but not stultifying like Doha can be. Al Ain may even tick the boxes.
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Old Feb 11th 2021, 2:27 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
Safety? No difference between the two countries, as long as you stay away from the locals. Road safety is better in the UAE these days.

Location/cost of travel to Asia: flights out of DXB are many more, broader range of airlines including budget airlines, and tickets are cheaper. Doha is a trapped market and you pay for it. Although flights originating both in Doha or DXB are expensive with the premium carriers, it's worse in Doha due to the real lack of budget options. Many more direct flights out of DXB to lesser cities in Asia as well. If you like to travel and want a travel base in the Gulf, Dubai is by far the best place to be.

Historical sights: everything you see in Qatar is a disneyfied recreation, including the Souq Waqif. It's fine for a periodic visit but you won't be spending a lot of time there. Dubai Creek is more real than Souq Waqif in Doha because it still has a big retail and wholesale presence with traders from all over the world and the dhows are neat. Doha does have some decent museums, but so does the UAE, both Sharjah and Abu Dhabi round up the cultural offerings. UAE also has more variations in the countryside, from deserts to mountains and beaches. Qatar is 95% ugly and dreary scrublands. In Dubai you have many beaches to pick from right in the city, in Doha, outside a few and crappy private beaches, the only public beaches are a hour's drive outside the city.

I don't know what you mean by absolute modernity. Doha is a very new city, it's even newer than Dubai. Most of it is jerry built and crappy but it's still new by the standards of the UK. The quality of housing and retail and groceries in the UAE is much better.

If you have your heart set on Qatar, by all means go for it. But be warned that just because it's smaller it doesn't mean it's offering you something quieter (and thus better, in your view). It just means more limitations.

If you really wanted somewhere quiet and laid back in the Gulf, look for jobs in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi may be the perfect place for you, methinks. It's quiet and relaxed but not stultifying like Doha can be. Al Ain may even tick the boxes.
Thank you, that's very illuminating. May get hubby to research jobs in UAE before I get too attached to the idea of Doha.
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Old Feb 11th 2021, 5:29 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by HistoryStudent19 View Post
Thank you, that's very illuminating. May get hubby to research jobs in UAE before I get too attached to the idea of Doha.
There are people who go to Qatar for a few years, have a good time in their own way, and leave, content with their experience. But if you're moving to the Gulf you might as well go to the best place from the get go. It just makes things easier in the long run. I only want to warn you from developing preconceived notions about either Qatar or the UAE without really understanding either place and how they contrast. Dubai isn't Benidorm on the Gulf, Qatar isn't a ye olde historic place with genuine character. To think in those terms is a mistake. But there is a reason why people generally only leave the UAE for Qatar if paid a great deal of money, and why people leave Qatar for the UAE all the time.

Qatar is quiet, and you may be looking for a quiet place. But this is what it likely means for you. You'll spend every day in a 2-bed apartment in a small compound somewhere on the outskirts of Doha, where teacher accommodations generally are. The compound itself may be pleasant, if a bit crowded, but is surrounded by somewhat crumbling older villas and housing worn to dust from the intense heat of the Gulf with really nothing within walking distance. To go anywhere requires a car. But "anywhere" after having seen Souq Waqif means a handful of boring malls and revisiting the same handful of restaurants on the Pearl where you pay over the odds for mediocre food. If you fancy a dip in the sea, the realistic option is heading north of Doha for about a hour to share a crowded beach with a bunch of people. But maybe you're just fine with lounging around the compound pool. You have a nice day, then suddenly it's very dusty, and then very hot, and the sky is an intense white glare for much of the year. Then suddenly it's too cool to spend hours by the pool. So you realistically stop going to the pool and spend most of your time inside your crappily furnished apartment waiting for your husband to come home from work. So you start doing things like brunches, or spending small fortunes for an afternoon at a hotel beach (guess passes aren't cheap), just to stave off boredom. You meet a nice person in your compound and become friendly, then suddenly she announces she's leaving, either for home or for another country (expat churn is very high in Qatar, I'd say the typical Western expat lasts less than two years). Day in, day out. That's a quiet life in Doha.

This can also be your life in the UAE, if you wanted. But you also have things you can do. Not only is the dining much better, but if you fancy a trip to the desert, go for it. A driving weekend in the mountains of Oman? Absolutely. Go up to Musandum or explore the East Coast? It's right there. Huge social life with something for everyone if they look for it. It's not all bars and clubs. That's why I keep saying you need to be careful about wanting a quiet life and thinking Doha is the answer.



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Old Feb 12th 2021, 6:59 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post

If you really wanted somewhere quiet and laid back in the Gulf, look for jobs in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi may be the perfect place for you, methinks. It's quiet and relaxed but not stultifying like Doha can be. Al Ain may even tick the boxes.
Al Ain is a great call. If I were to be lured back to the ME once the kids leave home (few years yet) I'd definitely consider Al Ain.
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Old Feb 12th 2021, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by HistoryStudent19 View Post
Hi all.
My husband came home from school yesterday with the idea of us possibly relocating (once Covid has buggered off) to the middle East for a year or two while he teaches (Primary, head of subject, already has TEFL). I'm disabled and don't work, so we have no commitments here in the UK and I could do with a change of scenery. I'm only concerned about us being able to afford for me not to work while we're out there.
Would it be feasible if one of us cannot work? What are the living costs like? I have absolutely no experience of living abroad so this really is just an idea right now. Any advice would be excellent, thank you.
Have you both thought of Egypt? We knew quite a few teachers (while my husband was working in Cairo) teaching at international schools in Cairo, Egypt (Cairo) is much cheaper than the middle East and also has very good international schools plus the summers are not as hot as in the middle East.... plus you can either live in the city with plenty of cafés restaurants that serve alcohol (if you so wish) or on the many "new estates" which also have lots of leisure activities and the added bonus is the 'history" you have in and around Cairo which would be excellent for you. Anyway it's just a thought. If it were me and you don't have anything to hold you back in the UK then go for it....you only live once. Good luck
Ps we also knew some teachers who taught in Turkey (Istanbul) at the international schools they have there and they also loved their experience.
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Old Feb 12th 2021, 8:49 am
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

It's a funny one Qatar. I've known a few people over the years who've gone there after being in Saudi thinking that it would be better.. But they've all hated it and said they'd wished they'd stayed in Saudi. Completely anecdotal but there you go. The Qatari people being the main issue.

I imagine Qatar would shrink very quickly and there comes a point when you realise that you've done everything and this is it.

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Old Feb 12th 2021, 10:06 am
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

IMHO Qatar isn't THAT bad, based on my own experience living there from 2016-2017. Sure the locals can be obnoxious, but no different to many locals in Abu Dhabi or Kuwait. My only beef with Qatar was the high cost of living, its easily the costliest country in the GCC. Though I suspect salaries are relatively higher as a result, if the recent HSBC Expat Explorer poll is anything to go by (where Qatar was deemed to be the 6th best country for living & working as voted by expats)

https://expatexplorer.hsbc.com/survey/

OP,
There's not a massive difference in quality of life between any GCC countries, your husband should ideally go for the best paid teaching job with excellent career prospects - wherever that may be. But given a choice, IMHO Oman is the best GCC country to live and work in. Most locals are very friendly and humble/down to earth, amazing scenery, good driving standards (easily the best in GCC), low crime rates, cost of living is reasonable, weather isn't as brutal as other Gulf states etc. Oman makes Dubai/UAE look like Ibiza. However well paid expat jobs in Oman are getting rare, so for many Oman is just a pipe dream. You never know though...good luck!!

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Old Feb 12th 2021, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by psychopomp1 View Post
IMHO Qatar isn't THAT bad, based on my own experience living there from 2016-2017. Sure the locals can be obnoxious, but no different to many locals in Abu Dhabi or Kuwait. My only beef with Qatar was the high cost of living, its easily the costliest country in the GCC. Though I suspect salaries are relatively higher as a result, if the recent HSBC Expat Explorer poll is anything to go by (where Qatar was deemed to be the 6th best country for living & working as voted by expats)

https://expatexplorer.hsbc.com/survey/

OP,
There's not a massive difference in quality of life between any GCC countries, your husband should ideally go for the best paid teaching job with excellent career prospects - wherever that may be. But given a choice, IMHO Oman is the best GCC country to live and work in. Most locals are very friendly and humble/down to earth, amazing scenery, good driving standards (easily the best in GCC), low crime rates, cost of living is reasonable, weather isn't as brutal as other Gulf states etc. Oman makes Dubai/UAE look like Ibiza. However well paid expat jobs in Oman are getting rare, so for many Oman is just a pipe dream. You never know though...good luck!!
Where are you living now ?
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Old Feb 12th 2021, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

I did 17 years in Saudi. Lasted all of two weeks in Qatar.
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Old Feb 12th 2021, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by psychopomp1 View Post
IMHO Qatar isn't THAT bad, based on my own experience living there from 2016-2017. Sure the locals can be obnoxious, but no different to many locals in Abu Dhabi or Kuwait. My only beef with Qatar was the high cost of living, its easily the costliest country in the GCC. Though I suspect salaries are relatively higher as a result, if the recent HSBC Expat Explorer poll is anything to go by (where Qatar was deemed to be the 6th best country for living & working as voted by expats)

https://expatexplorer.hsbc.com/survey/

OP,
There's not a massive difference in quality of life between any GCC countries, your husband should ideally go for the best paid teaching job with excellent career prospects - wherever that may be. But given a choice, IMHO Oman is the best GCC country to live and work in. Most locals are very friendly and humble/down to earth, amazing scenery, good driving standards (easily the best in GCC), low crime rates, cost of living is reasonable, weather isn't as brutal as other Gulf states etc. Oman makes Dubai/UAE look like Ibiza. However well paid expat jobs in Oman are getting rare, so for many Oman is just a pipe dream. You never know though...good luck!!
I wonder how much Qatar paid for the ranking in the explorer poll? Hey, they have a history of bribing entities.... I'd take that 6th place ranking with a great deal of scepticism.

I'd disagree that there isn't massive difference because there is indeed massive difference in QOL. That aside, Qatar is more affordable than the UAE. There was a brief period when Qatar became very expensive, about five years ago, and housing costs skyrocketed. But housing is much cheaper now that the bubble burst and many professional expats have left. I found most things (groceries, dining, activities) cheaper in Doha. The tradeoff is that the quality was also worse. If your goal is to save as much money as possible it's probably easier to do it in Qatar.
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Old Feb 12th 2021, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by UKMS View Post
Where are you living now ?
Currently in UK but about to go to Qatar again with QP....that is unless ADNOC can tempt me to UAE with a stonking offer (doubt it).

Last edited by psychopomp1; Feb 12th 2021 at 3:21 pm.
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Old Feb 13th 2021, 6:06 am
  #42  
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

Originally Posted by HistoryStudent19 View Post
I get too attached to the idea of Doha.
I can only assume you haven’t been to any of these places - you are the first person I ever heard of that dreams for a life in Doha. I can understand why people want to move to Syria or KSA for religious and cultural enlightenment (or even just a good ole fashioned jihad), but Doha. Lol.

Abu Dhabi, Muscat or Al ain is actually what you are looking for. Muscat being the real gem in the region. but not Doha.

and to add about the museums being shit, the souqs by and large are even worse - don’t be thinking they are like some Moroccan market of all nice backstreets, colourful, open food and cheery stall owners making jokes. Think depressed Indians living in poverty running a shop selling the usual Chinese made crap for their local boss in a place that smells far from pleasant most of the time.

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Old Feb 13th 2021, 1:05 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: Teacher and wife relocating

The comments by DXBtoDOH (and others) are pretty spot on on weather, things to do, etc. It is however the nature of the region.

Ultimately, if travelling to Asia is your goal, move to Asia. There are plenty of expat and private schools in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, PRC, and elsewhere who will welcome UK native teachers.

Travel around Asia is far cheaper with various low cost airlines operating. Flying back to the UK is probably and extra 4 hours or so due to direct flights. Healthcare is world class in some cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong and facilities for the disabled are much better,
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