What do I ask for???

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What do I ask for???


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Old 21st May 2010, 05:37 PM
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Red face What do I ask for???

I have been seeing a lot of conflicting information regarding what constitutes a good package. I understand, thanks to many of the post here, that it all depends on what your expectations and needs are. With that said, I am currently living and working in Atlanta, GA in the US. I am an IT Systems Analyst (10 years of experience) making around 60K per year. I am working on a master’s degree in Project Management and applying for a position as a Project Coordinator. I am married with 2 small children (3 and 1 year old sons). My wife is currently an elementary school teacher (4 years experience) making around 40K per year and is applying for teaching positions over there.

I have many questions, but I want to explain what my expectations would be. If I were to accept a package it would need to support all of us if my wife does not work. This would include housing (3 bedroom apartment in ‘expat’ neighborhood), utilities, 2 cars (used fairly nice 4x4s), medical, dental, relocation (flights for the 4 of us, ship some things over, help finding a place, and money to furnish it), daycare for the boys, groceries and such, enough money to shop and go out to eat and have fun as a family (we don’t drink alcohol), and I would need an extra $2000 USD per month to take care of expenses back home (mortgage, student loans, credit card payments, etc.).

1. What would I need in a package to live that type of lifestyle there?

2. Would I do better to ask for more money in the package or take less in pocket money in exchange for getting the other items paid for?

3. Would I be able to get that as a project coordinator?

4. If I could not get it by myself, would we be able to make more than enough if we both worked?

5. How should we try to negotiate the contracts if we both end up getting offers?

6. We currently pay $300 per week for both of the boys to go to day care, what should I expect to pay for a good school there?


I guess those are the questions about salary and financial need. I was asked to submit my salary requirements to the company and I want to do so by Sunday morning there. I have some general questions about life over there, but I will ask those in a later post.

Thank you for your responses,

V. and T.


Last edited by VandT_USA; 21st May 2010 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 21st May 2010, 06:08 PM
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1. What would I need in a package to live that type of lifestyle there?

At the very least then, I would say you would want to ask for at least 1/3 more then what you currently get. You should be getting at least 80k us/295k dir with housing, schoooling, transportation, schooling provided, imho. But that salary seems quite low for someone with ten years of experience and a degree as I was making 50k in the states in a car rental company after one year. I wouldnt come for less then 120k in your position.

2. Would I do better to ask for more money in the package or take less in pocket money in exchange for getting the other items paid for?

It never hurts to ask for more money. The employees here are used to UK and european moving expenses. It costs more for you to move thing here then for things to move from Europe. Someone else was having an issue with what the company was offering to pay as very low compared to what it was going to cost to bring things over.

How long are you planning on coming over?? If its years, then bring it and maybe ditch most of the belongings when you get ready to move but build in that they give you the complete moving package for here and there at the start of your employment. Also, keep in mind. If you get here, and for whatever reason, you dislike it here, you will then have to move the belongings back with you.

3. Would I be able to get that as a project coordinator?

Apply, apply, apply. You never know.

4. If I could not get it by myself, would we be able to make more than enough if we both worked?

She will be given a very similar rate at what she is receiving there I would believe, minus the perks of flights home, medical, housing, schooling, etc. The teachers might step in and tell you they give perks to teachers childrens????

5. How should we try to negotiate the contracts if we both end up getting offers?

Aim high is my suggestion. Dubai is expensive. Teachers contracts are less negotiable though.

6. We currently pay $300 per week for both of the boys to go to day care, what should I expect to pay for a good school there?

Someone else will come along about day care specifically but soon enough your three year old will need to be in school school. From my understanding, 30k a year in school fees is normal. Try to get these included in your negotiations that they will pay a certain percentage or amount.




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Old 21st May 2010, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jynxgirl View Post
1. What would I need in a package to live that type of lifestyle there?

At the very least then, I would say you would want to ask for at least 1/3 more then what you currently get. You should be getting at least 80k us/295k dir with housing, schoooling, transportation, schooling provided, imho. But that salary seems quite low for someone with ten years of experience and a degree as I was making 50k in the states in a car rental company after one year. I wouldnt come for less then 120k in your position.

2. Would I do better to ask for more money in the package or take less in pocket money in exchange for getting the other items paid for?

It never hurts to ask for more money. The employees here are used to UK and european moving expenses. It costs more for you to move thing here then for things to move from Europe. Someone else was having an issue with what the company was offering to pay as very low compared to what it was going to cost to bring things over.

How long are you planning on coming over?? If its years, then bring it and maybe ditch most of the belongings when you get ready to move but build in that they give you the complete moving package for here and there at the start of your employment. Also, keep in mind. If you get here, and for whatever reason, you dislike it here, you will then have to move the belongings back with you.

3. Would I be able to get that as a project coordinator?

Apply, apply, apply. You never know.

4. If I could not get it by myself, would we be able to make more than enough if we both worked?

She will be given a very similar rate at what she is receiving there I would believe, minus the perks of flights home, medical, housing, schooling, etc. The teachers might step in and tell you they give perks to teachers childrens????

5. How should we try to negotiate the contracts if we both end up getting offers?

Aim high is my suggestion. Dubai is expensive. Teachers contracts are less negotiable though.

6. We currently pay $300 per week for both of the boys to go to day care, what should I expect to pay for a good school there?

Someone else will come along about day care specifically but soon enough your three year old will need to be in school school. From my understanding, 30k a year in school fees is normal. Try to get these included in your negotiations that they will pay a certain percentage or amount.
Well said Jynx .... May I also add to look for a package that will relocate your family and effects return expenses on completion of the contract .... I have one and to me that is gold ...

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Old 21st May 2010, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jynxgirl View Post
At the very least then, I would say you would want to ask for at least 1/3 more then what you currently get. You should be getting at least 80k us/295k dir with housing, schoooling, transportation, schooling provided, imho. But that salary seems quite low for someone with ten years of experience and a degree as I was making 50k in the states in a car rental company after one year. I wouldnt come for less then 120k in your position.

This is a low salary for my level of education and experience. I took severl steps back in my career a few years ago (due to relocation and having to take the first job I could get) and have been trying to fight my way back up the ladder. In the US the position I am going for would make around 80K so adding 1/3 would take it to around 106K. Why is it that people always say don't come for less than 120? What makes that the magic cutoff number?


Someone else will come along about day care specifically but soon enough your three year old will need to be in school school. From my understanding, 30k a year in school fees is normal. Try to get these included in your negotiations that they will pay a certain percentage or amount.

When you say 30K for school fee, is that usd or dir?
Also, are all jobs there for a specific contracted period? I have not seen anything about the length of the contract so far.

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Old 21st May 2010, 08:09 PM
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Well said Jynx .... May I also add to look for a package that will relocate your family and effects return expenses on completion of the contract .... I have one and to me that is gold ...
The reality is that once they make the move over the great big ocean... The stuff is done for. Maybe it makes it from Europe in decent shape but seems everyone I know who has to move stuff gets it not quite in the same condition.

If its really nice stuff that you want to keep for 20 years, then I would strongly suggest do not move it and get it ruined. Just store it.




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Old 21st May 2010, 08:12 PM
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Also, are all jobs there for a specific contracted period? I have not seen anything about the length of the contract so far.
I dont know the in and outs of laws here, but seems everyone gets on contracts usually for certain periods. After one year they have to give you a ticket home and have to pay you so much in vacation and so forth. So, its usually surrounded by a year contract. There is a 90 day probation period though. There was recently a thread about a guy was was let go of in that period. I would strongly suggest that you should have something built in to the contract that if they were to release you during that period, that they have to pay the fees (if you bring your household belongings with you - I would suggest not) to have them send it back. They prob wont but try anyhow.




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Old 21st May 2010, 09:32 PM
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My feeling was I should get at least the same in salary as I make in the USA. This is more take home because of the no taxes. On top of that a living allowance that covers at minimum rent. Company should definitely pay full health coverage for your family and I believe tuition for kids. I think an annual airline ticket home seems standard for a family (maybe required).

It is all an individual thing, my personal feeling was if this did not allow me to keep at minimum my current standard of living and be putting noticeably more money away than I could if I lived in the USA it did not make much sense.

I was actually hired as an employee of the company. I am not on a set time contract

Good luck

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Old 22nd May 2010, 12:27 AM
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Lightbulb Starting to come up with some numbers.

Thank you all for the responses. This is what I am coming up with for an expected salary package in USD.

a. 72k salary / 6K Monthly General Pay
b. 42K Housing per year / 3.5K Monthly is this enough for a decent place?
c. Medical coverage for the family
d. 6K Transportation / 500 Monthly I figure the company would only pay for 1 vehicle.
e. 30K relocation package (this is to cover flights for the family, shipping some of our things (most will stay in the states), and furnishing our new apartment) will this be enough in your opinion?

This comes up to 120K of cash and perks, plus the 30K (Im thinking of it like a signing bonus). What do you think?

Also, is anyone in IT Project Management or knows of what some average salaries are for these positions. I guess Ive gotten use to US companies always verifying how much you are currently making and not wanting to give you much more, but is this the case there?

Thanks again for all the help. This information is invaluable.

Vernon and Tania

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Old 22nd May 2010, 12:32 AM
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The reality is that once they make the move over the great big ocean... The stuff is done for. Maybe it makes it from Europe in decent shape but seems everyone I know who has to move stuff gets it not quite in the same condition.

If its really nice stuff that you want to keep for 20 years, then I would strongly suggest do not move it and get it ruined. Just store it.
When we moved from New York to Georgia, the moving comany broke our bedroom set and lost 2/3 of my wife's wardrobe. Needless to say we are very weary of shipping all our things halfway around the world. Not to mention the fact that it would take about 6 weeks for our things to get there.

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Old 22nd May 2010, 01:00 AM
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This comes up to 120K of cash and perks, plus the 30K (Im thinking of it like a signing bonus). What do you think?
For the sake of people helping you, you should convert that to dirhams. 3.67 x the amount




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