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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, we are currently waiting on my hubby's formal offer coming through (it takes an age over there doesn't it!) and have started looking into housing & schools as we are relocating with our two girls aged 11 & 10 and our wee boy aged 6 from Scotland. I'm just looking for any advice on where would be best to start looking for schooling & accommodation area wise as neither of us have been to Dubai before. My hubby's offer is 40k aed per month & this includes our allowance for school, rent, car, etc. I am also looking to find work once we relocate, probably within a school so I can put my childcare qualifications to some use so we will hopefully have more income with that too. Also I'm just wondering about how anyone who have relocated with their kids, how did they find settling in and making friends? The oldest & youngest should adapt pretty well but I'm worried about our middle one. Thanks in advance for your help, it's hugely appreciated xx
 

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Look for a school first for the children then the accommodation. You do not want to be driving all over the place during school run.
40KAED per month is tight for a family of five if it has to cover all your outgoings. Or do you have an additional housing allowance? School fees are expensive here for a good education and can range from 40KAED to 75KAED per child. You will need to research your schools and apply for entrance tests. Be prepared for schools to charge for your children to sit the tests.
If you choose to send your child on the school bus be prepared to pay approx an extra 10Kaed per child a year.
School uniforms are a rip off over here as you must buy from the designated school uniform shop.
Finding work in schools can be hard and take in to consideration TA roles pay a low wage of approximately 5000 dhs a month or lower. They are pretty sought after roles for working mums in Dubai.
Look at the khda website for information on schools.
Re settling, it took our son awhile to find his feet even though he made friends quickly. He missed his relatives in the UK immensely. Also, his father was working long hours and I was settling in to a new job. The earlier school day starts were and still are some days a bit of a slog even after 2 years.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your advice, it's a bit of a nightmare not knowing where everything is. I've heard back from a few schools who have space including Hartland International & GEMS Firstpoint School The Villa. I'm not too sure about going for a U.S. Curriculum instead of British either, I think I'm just making it harder for myself ?
 

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Three kids to educate plus housing out of only 40K a month.

It's doable but as BBMover said, it will be very tight.

Try to keep your housing costs down to a minimum. I'd look at Mirdiff or JVC where you can find a 3-bedroom villa for as low as 130k because you really need to factor in another 20-25k a year for operating expenses (annual 5% housing tax and dewa/utilities/internet).

You do need to be very careful in which schools your kids go to and where you live to keep the costs down to a minimum. Dubai is not a place where you want to live from pay cheque to pay cheque. You always want some breathing space at the end of each month and on 40k with three kids to educate it will definitely be tight.

Is there any chance you can go back to the company to try and negotiate another 5k a month? Every little bit will help.

Last but not least, do you have the means to pay the entire year's rent in one cheque upfront? Or possibly two cheques? And all the school fees upfront as well for each term? Or will the company assist?

I'll be brutally honest with you. The package figure may seem great to you now but odds are very good you'll be one of those families who leave after 2 years because while surviving in decent and quiet circumstances, you're also not saving a single penny while housing and schooling expenses continue to go up and the salary isn't. Maybe it's not a priority for you, maybe this offer is a strategy to get into the UAE market and eventually move to a better position, but be aware of this likelihood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that advice. Yes we will have the money upfront for housing & school fees as we are selling up at home so will have a decent amount of savings to get us sorted. The 40k AED has already been increased from 35k and includes everything like housing, schooling, car allowance & flight home! I am hoping to work while we are there too so that should hopefully help too. Thanks again xx
 

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Is health insurance for all the family (including dental) covered by your husbands employer? He needs to check this and if it's completely free. Some companies will only cover the employee and family is added to the policy for a cost.

A trip to the GP can be between 50 and 80 quid, so with three little ones it's worth finding out soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good call on the insurance! I'll get hubby to check it out. He will be working for a British company out there & im sure he said we were all included in the health insurance but you never know. We are still waiting on all the paperwork being sorted out so until then we are just trying to do our homework so that we are ready to go. Thanks again xx
 

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im sure he said we were all included in the health insurance but you never know.

BIG mistake is to assume anything in Dubai, even the most basic of common sense or that some else has your best interests at heart.

Treat people like your 6 year boy and make sure you get the same answer back three times to convince yourself someone has actually understood what you ask of you them :)

You'll find all this out for yourself though, aw the best
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cheers for that, I've got feeling this is going to be some experience lol I should always remind myself that to assume is "to make an ass of u & me!" xx
 

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Hartland is a new build school opening in September and I think fees are going to be steep?
Also, check on their secondary education as I think they were not able to be granted thus for next academic year. There's a lot of hype around the school but who knows. Personally, I would look at schools that have reports and some type of reputation.
If coming from the UK do not go US as the grade system is different to UK and you never know when you may head back? You could look at IB curriculums? Fees may be reasonable?
Definitely make sure you have medical for all the family.....they like to charge for every little thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, what is IB curriculum? Scottish curriculum is different from the English and that's why I was concerned about the schooling as the kids would be placed on their age but we are currently a year behind English curriculum as our kids start when they are 5 where they would of started when they were 4 down south. Is there any thoughts on schools being better than others? We currently have to attend our catchment school so have no option & to be honest where we currently are wouldn't be difficult to beat! xx
 

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Hi,
IB is the International Baccalaureate - a modern alternative to the traditional GCSEs and A levels.
It is an international qualification that is recognized in many countries and is therefore favored by expats who move around the world - as it makes it easier for kids to be accepted in different countries.
The UK have recognized this and are introducing a UK version of this qualification soon - it was announced this week.
Cheers
Steve
 

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A few links for you to read through:

IB education programmes| International Baccalaureate® - International Baccalaureate®

https://www.khda.gov.ae/En/DSIB/Reports.aspx

Your children will be placed in year groups depending on their chronological age not their school year group. An IB curriculum may suit as I believe the Scottish curriculum is built upon a creative curriculum? IB philosophy in the Primary years is inquiry led learning which is further developed through MYP and Dp. IB have a career related certification too with some schools in Dubai offering the full programme.
 
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