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British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Old Mar 31st 2014, 10:51 am
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Default British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Hi! OH and I have been in Dubai for 8 yrs now and our stay finishes in October and Houston is definitely on the cards although no ink to paper yet. My concern is the gun culture in the U.S, Texas. Having lived in a very safe city for all this time, I really would appreciate thoughts and comments from all other British expats before I let hubby put pen to paper!! Thanks!
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
Hi! OH and I have been in Dubai for 8 yrs now and our stay finishes in October and Houston is definitely on the cards although no ink to paper yet. My concern is the gun culture in the U.S, Texas. Having lived in a very safe city for all this time, I really would appreciate thoughts and comments from all other British expats before I let hubby put pen to paper!! Thanks!
Don't worry about it. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people have guns here and if you have kids that are of an age that are going to friends houses, you'd be wise to have them take a gun safety course and be aware of how to handle them safely but it's not really been an issue for me (been here coming up 5 years). Like any big city there are certain areas you'd do better to avoid but overall for a big city I don't think it's any worse than any other (certainly no worse than London IMO).
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Thanks for that! All kids now at uni back home, so not a problem!
On another note, I love indian cooking... Are there many indian grocery shops there? Spices are so cheap here, but not expecting them to be quite as cheap in Texas somehow!
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

I agree with Bink pretty much entirely. We have yet to have any need for a gun safety course, but that may change once our kids are older.

I'm not sure it's better or worse than London. There are areas that you just don't want to go to in both, especially after dark. Houston maybe has the advantage in that you are less vulnerable in your own car (which is the only option for most).

Houston is a sprawling, multi-cultural city. If you live in the suburbs, the quality of life is good and the cost of living is low, but most of the cultural destinations are in or near downtown, and traffic during rush-hour is bad. If you live closer to downtown, quality of life is good, housing costs are quite high, you're near all the cultural destinations, and traffic is bad all the time.

There is a wiki article on Houston. Have a read through for more info.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
Thanks for that! All kids now at uni back home, so not a problem!
On another note, I love indian cooking... Are there many indian grocery shops there? Spices are so cheap here, but not expecting them to be quite as cheap in Texas somehow!
Yes, depends where you live as to how close they are but they do exist. I have an Indo-Pak grocery store a mile or so up the road from me. Oh, and the spices aren't as cheap (nor are groceries in general IMO).

Depends what you're looking for in terms of spices - a lot of the supermarkets have a pretty decent selection of them.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

I find the last thread extremely scary given I've never visited the States before and makes my decision that much harder! However, all views are deeply appreciated! I need to know the good, bad and ugly!
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
I find the last thread extremely scary given I've never visited the States before and makes my decision that much harder! However, all views are deeply appreciated! I need to know the good, bad and ugly!
I wouldn't let Horace the Grouch scare you - just look at his posts to see his happy outlook on life.

From someone that actually lives here - I like it. If you immerse yourself in Houston, there's a lot that it can give back.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

DubaiCat

We recently moved to Houston, with children, and the gun culture was a concern before we arrived. To be honest, like anywhere, there are some places where i would not go for safety reasons. I would not let this put you off.

I've been to Dubai many times - my Dad worked there - there are not many similarities to Houston, except maybe the summer heat (Dubai is worse).

The people are really friendly, there is a good social scene, and there are a couple of good malls - no comparison to Dubai, but not many places would be. Traffic is no worse than the Sheik Zayed road during rush hour. Choose to live close to work is the best idea to avoid this issue.

It might not be pretty everywhere here, but there are some really nice looking neighbourhoods and communities and parks. We are very happy we moved our family here, and are making sure we enjoy every new experience we can.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do x
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by LJSassy View Post
DubaiCat

We recently moved to Houston, with children, and the gun culture was a concern before we arrived. To be honest, like anywhere, there are some places where i would not go for safety reasons. I would not let this put you off.

I've been to Dubai many times - my Dad worked there - there are not many similarities to Houston, except maybe the summer heat (Dubai is worse).

The people are really friendly, there is a good social scene, and there are a couple of good malls - no comparison to Dubai, but not many places would be. Traffic is no worse than the Sheik Zayed road during rush hour. Choose to live close to work is the best idea to avoid this issue.

It might not be pretty everywhere here, but there are some really nice looking neighbourhoods and communities and parks. We are very happy we moved our family here, and are making sure we enjoy every new experience we can.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do x
See? Even a person who lives there admits the place isn't nice to look at it
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
See? Even a person who lives there admits the place isn't nice to look at it
True, but we still really like living here. Coming from Scotland, not many places will be as scenic by comparison, but our quality of life here is many times better.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Are any large downtown areas nice to look at?, they are all pretty much concrete jungles. We moved from Scotland too and have been here for 6 years. We love it, you can't beat sunny skies year round to lift your spirits. There's tons to do, sports, arts, beaches, parks. I am sitting on my patio this morning sipping my coffee and watching the herons on the lake outside my window (yes a man made lake but pretty nonetheless).

Yes, Texas is a big gun state and you will hear reports of gun violence but in 6 years I have never seen a gun, other than in stores for sale or strapped to a cop and never heard gunfire. I wouldn't hang around in an underpass at 2am in some areas of Houston, but I wouldn't do that in London or Aberdeen either. Use your common sense!

Plenty of indian groceries for spices with the added benefit that they sometimes stock the odd British grocery item, I have had a couple of good curry's in restaurants but they are not quite as good as a British Indian curry.

I am sure if you have a good attitude you will have a blast over here.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

I must admit that after living in most parts of the world and other parts of the US I find Houston is not the best. It may be great if you have children here but also having 2 at uni in the UK I find Houston to be extremely boring. It is also expensive to eat out or shop unless you are into outlet shopping. Yes you will live in a big house and drive a big car, the driving here is crap though, but if you want more than that Houston is not for you.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Thanks for all the replies! Hubby's place of work will be Sugarland and I've been thinking of us living there re commute and bad rds plus congestion.. Also read that Sugarland has a low crime rate compared to other parts of Houston. Would Prefer to live in a gated community as I do at present (not that I need to here, but would feel safer if I did in the States)! All replies are appreciated!
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
Thanks for all the replies! Hubby's place of work will be Sugarland and I've been thinking of us living there re commute and bad rds plus congestion.. Also read that Sugarland has a low crime rate compared to other parts of Houston. Would Prefer to live in a gated community as I do at present (not that I need to here, but would feel safer if I did in the States)! All replies are appreciated!
I think Sugar Land is nice. There's decent housing options in the area and I like the shops and amenities there - We would have looked closer at Sugar Land (and Katy) but wanted to try and stay within 30 minutes of inlaws which meant staying further north. If his office will be in Sugar Land then commuting shouldn't be an issue and if you're travelling outside of rush hour you'll have good access to the museum district, Hermann park, the Galleria etc.
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Old Mar 31st 2014, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: British expat relocating from Dubai to Houston,Texas

Originally Posted by DubaiCat View Post
Thanks for all the replies! Hubby's place of work will be Sugarland and I've been thinking of us living there re commute and bad rds plus congestion.. Also read that Sugarland has a low crime rate compared to other parts of Houston. Would Prefer to live in a gated community as I do at present (not that I need to here, but would feel safer if I did in the States)! All replies are appreciated!
If you don't have children with you then live more in Houston itself not Sugar Land. Most of the ladies that get together for coffee etc do not live in Sugar Land and they don't seem to want to drive a lot here so tend to stick to their own areas. Katy and The Woodlands are good but the commute for your husband will be too long, especially The Woodlands. I wouldn't worry about a gated community.
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