Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First of all thanks to all the people that have contributed to the very useful stickies on moving to Dubai.

I am about to move to Dubai on a 2 year assignment with my current employer and expect to start on 1st October with my family following some time later.

I have many questions which I realise I could and have Googled, but I would value personal recommendations.

So in no particular order, can anyone recommend any of the following;

  1. A good bank, I'm looking for a one stop shop with good internet and or mobile phone apps.
  2. Insurance company for house contents
  3. Insurance company for cars. We will eventually have two cars, are multicar policies available?
  4. Pet insurance
  5. Second hand car dealers? Are there any public car auctions? Can you check a car's history like we can in the UK?
  6. Estate agents (villa rentals), I have read some real horror stories!
  7. Doctors/Dentists
  8. Vets
  9. Gyms
  10. Areas to live with a dog (my work place will be Internet City)
  11. Schools teaching the UK curriculum. My employer provides 20k AED PA for school fees, but from what I have seen so far that is not going to cover 50% of the fees
  12. A source of second hand furniture and appliances. I am aware of Dubizzle, are they any others?


Other general questions.

1. I understand that the DEWA charge is 5% of the annual rental, but I have also seen reference to a tax that based on the size (square footage) of the property. Can someone confirm all of the property related taxes and how they are calculated.

2. My daughter is currently in a Scottish High School. Has anyone had experience of moving a child from the Scottish curriculum in to the 'UK' curriculum? Was it easy and can it be done mid term or mid year?

3. Can you drive a hire car on a UK driving license whilst waiting for a local license to be issued?


Thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
So basically you're introducing yourself to the forum by starting a thread saying I am too lazy to do my own research but asking for someone to take their time and write detailed answers to all your questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So basically you're introducing yourself to the forum by starting a thread saying I am too lazy to do my own research but asking for someone to take their time and write detailed answers to all your questions.
Thanks, but as I stated in my original post, I can and have done research on the internet, but for me nothing is better than a personal recommendation from somebody that has actually experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
ignore FCJB that's typical of his/her attitude here.

A good bank, I'm looking for a one stop shop with good internet and or mobile phone apps.

HSBC are fine so long as you don't have to interact with any of their local staff. I manage to go a few months at a time without dealing with them. Online is fine as as their UK/Jersey services which link fine online to the UAE accounts. Humans at most banks here are best avoided.

Insurance company for house contents

Never bothered here but try RSA or AXA.

Insurance company for cars. We will eventually have two cars, are multicar policies available?

I think you'll get a discount. Speak to RSA or AXA direct. Look at leasing if only here for a short time.

Pet insurance

No idea.

Second hand car dealers? Are there any public car auctions? Can you check a car's history like we
can in the UK?

Loads. Looks at dubizzle. Car will get a basic check (mini MOT) when re-registering into your name. Pay if you want more. Ownership registration is well regulated so no worries about unpaid finance etc. Never heard of a way to check on write offs etc as in the UK. Pay for an inspection by a garage if you are concerned.

Estate agents (villa rentals), I have read some real horror stories!

All are horrendous. See the sticky and god help you :(

Doctors/Dentists

Nicholas & Asp for both. Various locations

Vets

No idea

Gyms

Depends where you live/work. Often provided if in an apartment.

Areas to live with a dog (my work place will be Internet City)

Jumeriah, Umm Sequim or if you prefer expat purpose built ghettos Springs/Meadows/Lakes /Arabian Ranches

Schools teaching the UK curriculum. My employer provides 20k AED PA for school fees, but from what I have seen so far that is not going to cover 50% of the fees

No idea.

A source of second hand furniture and appliances. I am aware of Dubizzle, are they any others?

Dubizzle is best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,204 Posts
First of all thanks to all the people that have contributed to the very useful stickies on moving to Dubai.

I am about to move to Dubai on a 2 year assignment with my current employer and expect to start on 1st October with my family following some time later.

I have many questions which I realise I could and have Googled, but I would value personal recommendations.

So in no particular order, can anyone recommend any of the following;

  1. A good bank, I'm looking for a one stop shop with good internet and or mobile phone apps. - That's standard with most banks these days; customer service also sucks with most banks out here. So hard to recommend one over the other.
  2. Insurance company for house contents - Check AXA
  3. Insurance company for cars. We will eventually have two cars, are multicar policies available? - Ask the insurance agency
  4. Pet insurance - Some vets sell pet insurance at reduced premiums.
  5. Second hand car dealers? Are there any public car auctions? Can you check a car's history like we can in the UK? - Al Aweer, 4x4 mtors
  6. Estate agents (villa rentals), I have read some real horror stories! - Dubizzle. All a hit or miss
  7. Doctors/Dentists - Plenty of hospitals in Dubai - Medcare, City Hospital
  8. Vets - wouldn't recommend any. My dog was dying; it was a saturday and the vet that was treating him for 12 years just didn't bother to answer my calls. I was literally standing at another clinic crying and they didn't care. They were all busy and asked me to book an appointment.
  9. Gyms - Fitness First or the gym in your apartment building
  10. Areas to live with a dog (my work place will be Internet City) - Villas - Springs, Arabian Ranches, Mirdiff
  11. Schools teaching the UK curriculum. My employer provides 20k AED PA for school fees, but from what I have seen so far that is not going to cover 50% of the fees - Google schools in dubai and you'll get a list of schools, you can whittle down to the ones that teach the UK curriculum
  12. A source of second hand furniture and appliances. I am aware of Dubizzle, are they any others?


Other general questions.

1. I understand that the DEWA charge is 5% of the annual rental, but I have also seen reference to a tax that based on the size (square footage) of the property. Can someone confirm all of the property related taxes and how they are calculated.

2. My daughter is currently in a Scottish High School. Has anyone had experience of moving a child from the Scottish curriculum in to the 'UK' curriculum? Was it easy and can it be done mid term or mid year?

3. Can you drive a hire car on a UK driving license whilst waiting for a local license to be issued? - As long as you're on a visit visa. Once you're on a residence visa, you need to get that license converted.


Thanks in advance
Answers above. I kind of agree with FCJB. Most, if not all of this information can be found in the sticky titled "Read before posting". If you'd bothered to skim through that, you probably would've had most of your questions answered before posting this thread anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
HSBC are fine so long as you don't have to interact with any of their local staff.
Unless you can snag a Premier account.

Only time I ever went into the branch was for the initial meeting with my relationship manager. Everything else I need, I just email the guy direct, and poof...

And the global transfers exchange rate is actually quite competitive...

Reason I am posting this is reading the forums here you will find a lot of HSBC bashing... but to be fair, most of those comments are related to the regular or Advance customers...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
2. My daughter is currently in a Scottish High School. Has anyone had experience of moving a child from the Scottish curriculum in to the 'UK' curriculum? Was it easy and can it be done mid term or mid year?
Not high school, and not mid-year, but we brought our daughter out from the Scottish Primary system, and she has just finished her first year in the English system here.

The schools here get so confused as to what year your child should be in. The age cut-offs are different in England and Scotland, and the years are numbered differently.

P4 in Scotland is actually Year 3 in England.

The school here (and most of those i talked to) hadnt a bloody clue.
It turns out that our daughter is the youngest in her year here, and she has actually skipped a full school year.
She's doing great, and has no idea! The problem might come when she has to go to High School before she's actually 11....

I wish you luck in talking to the registrars.... do the research, and keep asking, and dont take everything they say as gospel.

They are either trying to fight you off because of ridiculous waiting lists, or trying to extract cash from you, regardless of your needs.

When looking at schools, you want teachers that have 'been round the block' Avoid schools with lots of young recent graduate teachers. It is imperative, in my mind, that a teacher has had a firm grounding in the UK school system in the UK before working out here in a multi-cultural school.

Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: MWH

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,636 Posts
So in no particular order, can anyone recommend any of the following;

  1. A good bank, I'm looking for a one stop shop with good internet and or mobile phone apps.
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/147988-bank-account-options-uk-expat-dubai.html?highlight=bank

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/164681-best-bank-join.html

  2. Insurance company for house contents
Most if not all the big insurance companies (local and international) offer home insurance. It is advisable to get it, specially if living in towers etc. As far as pricing is concerned best to contact them and find out. Might be a good option to get all the insurance you require from one provider.

  1. Insurance company for cars. We will eventually have two cars, are multicar policies available?
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/166249-insurance-car-teeth-personal.html

  2. Pet insurance
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/165740-pet-insurance.html

  3. Second hand car dealers? Are there any public car auctions? Can you check a car's history like we can in the UK?
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/164981-car-insurance.html
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/169577-process-buying-registering-2nd-hand-car.html
Almost all of the insurance companies here do multi-car insurance, which brings in discounts (I have multi car with Oman insurance and they treat me great). There are plenty of second hand car dealers, and auction formats too. But there isn't anything like a universal car report tied into the VIN number ala CarFax etc. For the second hand dealers, you would have to get it checked out at a reputable garage of your choice. For the auctions, if allowed you would need to take a mechanic or someone good with cars to go with you to look at them (detailed checkup's aren't allowed at auctions it's mainly 'as-is' basis selling), some auctioneers do have reports for their cars, as to how trust-worthy they are is another matter (I don't have personal experience with auctions).


  1. Estate agents (villa rentals), I have read some real horror stories!
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/165072-dubai-estate-agents.html?highlight=estate+agents

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/138667-real-estate-agents-not-replying-how-go-apartment-hunting.html?highlight=estate+agents

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/142598-estate-agents.html

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/120902-reputable-estate-agents.html?highlight=estate+agents

  2. Doctors/Dentists
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/101381-good-dentist-dubai.html?highlight=dentist

  3. Vets
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/du...g-dubai/146914-i-need-speak-veterinarian.html
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/165740-pet-insurance.html

  4. Gyms
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sandpit/153428-fitness-chit-chat-thread.html?highlight=gyms

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/119706-crossfit-boot-camps-dubai.html?highlight=gyms

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/158389-gyms-dubai-marina.html?highlight=gyms

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/147008-hardcore-gyms.html?highlight=gyms

    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/141521-gyms-dubai.html

  5. Areas to live with a dog (my work place will be Internet City)
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/du...e-when-having-dog.html?highlight=pet+friendly
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/101520-best-place-live-if-you-have-dogs.html?highlight=pet+friendly

  6. Schools teaching the UK curriculum. My employer provides 20k AED PA for school fees, but from what I have seen so far that is not going to cover 50% of the fees
    http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/42945-schools-dubai.html

  7. A source of second hand furniture and appliances. I am aware of Dubizzle, are they any others?

    There are some second hand furniture and appliance places in Dubai, in the Karama and Deira areas specifically. But these are becoming increasingly sparse and personally I wouldn't really recommend getting stuff from there (you don't know where it's been and how it's been used). Stick to Dubizzle and other classifieds like GN4u ads and the classifieds in the papers. But be ready to invest a lot of time and effort and aggravation in the whole process. Appliances just stick with new, you can always go for a cheaper brand rather than LG, Samsung, it's more to do with the hygiene aspect of it.
Other general questions.

1. I understand that the DEWA charge is 5% of the annual rental, but I have also seen reference to a tax that based on the size (square footage) of the property. Can someone confirm all of the property related taxes and how they are calculated.
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/du...dubai/164730-dewa-bill-outrageously-high.html
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/166978-chiller-free.html
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/159288-confusion-dewa.html
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/159484-dewa-cost-villa.html

2. My daughter is currently in a Scottish High School. Has anyone had experience of moving a child from the Scottish curriculum in to the 'UK' curriculum? Was it easy and can it be done mid term or mid year?
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/du...g-dubai/163513-finding-schools-4-6yr-old.html
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/42945-schools-dubai.html

3. Can you drive a hire car on a UK driving license whilst waiting for a local license to be issued?
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dubai-expat-forum-expats-living-dubai/145754-renting-car.html
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/du...ng-dubai/76475-car-hire-license-question.html

There are many more threads on the subject, but yes you can rent a car from some rental agencies with a UK license as long as you are on a visit visa. If you get on a residence visa then you are required to have a UAE visa, some insurance agencies might still rent to you, but if something were to happen, you'd be in hot-water with the police and the insurance company will most probably use the 'void' clause on the car insurance provided by them.

Thanks in advance
About FBCJ's comments, while it may have come across a bit harsh, he does have a point. I do not mind posting links in response to people's questions, but it does make me wonder why the forum search function isn't used more. That is basically what I did and it took me about 10-15 mins (granted that might be more time than what some people are willing to spend responding to a stranger's questions).

In any case hope the above helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
About FBCJ's comments, while it may have come across a bit harsh, he does have a point. I do not mind posting links in response to people's questions, but it does make me wonder why the forum search function isn't used more. That is basically what I did and it took me about 10-15 mins (granted that might be more time than what some people are willing to spend responding to a stranger's questions).

In any case hope the above helps!
Loving this post :) Next time anyone complains that we are too harsh and unhelpful and rude for suggesting they search first and then post, I will direct them to this post :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,636 Posts
On a completely different note, has anyone else noticed that Saraswat just can't get FCJB's letters in the right order? It was once FCBJ and now it's FBCJ :D
I admit sometimes I have to look up his username to get it right, thought it was right this time (my minute dyslexia kicking in), apologies FCJB :D ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
About FBCJ's comments, while it may have come across a bit harsh, he does have a point. I do not mind posting links in response to people's questions, but it does make me wonder why the forum search function isn't used more. That is basically what I did and it took me about 10-15 mins (granted that might be more time than what some people are willing to spend responding to a stranger's questions).

In any case hope the above helps!

I guess my belief is to help those who help themselves (and yet I voted for Obama x2 :)) As you have shown for basically every question listed there is at least one thread dedicated to the topic, most have more than that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,294 Posts
To be fair to fcjb1970, the OP is a bit "sort out my entire life in one forum post for me"

However just to show we are not all mean

1 - Not HSBC, I've had my business account downgraded to the same services of my Junior Super Happy Saver account I had when I was 14 when they took over Lloyds. No chequebook, card only good for withdrawl at ATM's. Can't pay bills, use PayPal, online etc etc.

2 - No idea, I doubt few people have it here.

3 - Insurance is more about the car here not the driver, though I've heard a UK no claims helps. When you go to the RTA, there are brokers that will get you various quotes often cheaper than doing the phoning around yourself.

4 - Like home insurance, seen it offered but few people seem to take it. I think there is a general distrust of the insurance industry here because of hassles with their medical insurance.

5 - Dubizzle for private sales, there are auctions but there is no database for cut and shuts, right offs etc. Heard a few stories about the auctions here - ie right offs from other countries.

6 - Pages and pages of discussions about this, what do you want to know?

7 - Again, break it down.

8 - I've used Al Safa and Nad Al Sheeba, both seem ok to good so far.

9 - You can get a dump full of meatheads on 'roids or an expensive beach club that's gym, beach, bar, pool, tennis courts etc.

10 - A villa with a garden then ideally but what's your budget? Room requirements?

11 - No idea.

12 - Dubizzle is best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
576 Posts
I have many questions which I realise I could and have Googled, but I would value personal recommendations.

So in no particular order, can anyone recommend any of the following;

  1. A good bank, I'm looking for a one stop shop with good internet and or mobile phone apps. ENBD
  2. Insurance company for cars. We will eventually have two cars, are multicar policies available? RSA
  3. Pet insurance PetSecure
  4. Estate agents (villa rentals), I have read some real horror stories! Better Homes
  5. Doctors/Dentists Doctors - Dubai London Clinic & Dentist - Welcare Hospital
  6. Vets The Veterinary Hospital
  7. Gyms Fitness First
Hello MWH,

Please refer to my recommendations above in blue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Pamela, firstly, so sorry to hear about your dog. We love our dog and I have thought long and hard about whether or not a move to Dubai is right for her.

I know there are some very polarised views about taking a dog to Dubai, but she is part of the family and we will do the best we can to make it work.

Thanks for all of your very useful advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
To be fair to fcjb1970, the OP is a bit "sort out my entire life in one forum post for me"

However just to show we are not all mean

1 - Not HSBC, I've had my business account downgraded to the same services of my Junior Super Happy Saver account I had when I was 14 when they took over Lloyds. No chequebook, card only good for withdrawl at ATM's. Can't pay bills, use PayPal, online etc etc.

2 - No idea, I doubt few people have it here.

3 - Insurance is more about the car here not the driver, though I've heard a UK no claims helps. When you go to the RTA, there are brokers that will get you various quotes often cheaper than doing the phoning around yourself.

4 - Like home insurance, seen it offered but few people seem to take it. I think there is a general distrust of the insurance industry here because of hassles with their medical insurance.

5 - Dubizzle for private sales, there are auctions but there is no database for cut and shuts, right offs etc. Heard a few stories about the auctions here - ie right offs from other countries.

6 - Pages and pages of discussions about this, what do you want to know?

7 - Again, break it down.

8 - I've used Al Safa and Nad Al Sheeba, both seem ok to good so far.

9 - You can get a dump full of meatheads on 'roids or an expensive beach club that's gym, beach, bar, pool, tennis courts etc.

10 - A villa with a garden then ideally but what's your budget? Room requirements?

11 - No idea.

12 - Dubizzle is best.
Thanks for the advice Mr Rossi, I have used the HSBC in the UK for the last 30+ years and found them very good. I will take your advice and stick with them in UAE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Loving this post :) Next time anyone complains that we are too harsh and unhelpful and rude for suggesting they search first and then post, I will direct them to this post :)
To all of you, I have to thank you for your help and patience, but I do need to correct fcjb1970's comment. It's not 'laziness', just incompetence.

I have spent man days googling for information, but probably the most valuable thing I have learned from the responses is that you can search this forum.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Thanks for the advice Mr Rossi, I have used the HSBC in the UK for the last 30+ years and found them very good. I will take your advice and stick with them in UAE
Also to add, as far as car insurance goes, my own personal experience recently...

1. Went to the dealership
2. Picked the car
3. Insurance from the dealer was offered, took the details of the coverage
4. Paid a deposit to book the vehicle, balance to be paid by bank check
5. Emailed details to my RM at HSBC
6. RM suggested to decline the dealer offered insurance, said he will get me a quote from Zurich which has a tie up with HSBC and offers special perks to Premier customers
7. RM emails back quote which has more coverage than offered by dealer, but for 15% less, including agency repairs for 5 years (dealer option had 3) and free car replacement for 18 months at no charge (dealer option had this as an addon for quite a bit)
8. I accept the quote
9. RM issues bank check to dealership for the balance, has it delivered to the sales guy
10. Dealership sends over guy to take me to registration office with all the paperwork, he picks me up from work, takes me there and drops me back
11. I shall take a cab to the dealership and take delivery of the car next week :)

In this entire process, I did not step into the HSBC branch even once (yet!)...
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top