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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all...

I have an offer to relocate to Dubai in August with my current firm, earning 16,000 AED per month. Is this an average PA's salary and sufficient to cover the cost of living in Dubai?

They will pay for my outbound flight, a return flight home each year, put me in accommodation for 14 nights whilst I look for somewhere to live, give me a 6 month cheque for rent (payable back monthly), $2,000 relocation fee. I will be half PA and the other half will be working on a long term project. By looking at the rest of the threads, I am wondering if the salary they have offered is sufficient, although they are giving me some perks, i.e. flights etc.


So, here are a few initial thoughts and Q's below, if anyone could please help with any of these, I would be really grateful :)

Housing
My employers told me I should find somewhere for approx 6,000 AED per month in a reasonably nice area
  • At this cost, will I be looking at a flat share or my own place? It is hard to tell from the websites.
  • Would I need to pay this by post dated cheques or monthly?
  • Do Dubai do direct debit or standing orders?
  • Are bills generally included in the advertised amount and if not, how much are they roughly?
  • I have looked at the Marina, Jumeirah Tower, JBR? and 'something' gardens, some look really nice and quite plush but others look not so nice and quite basic. Can they differ so much, regardless of being the same cost and sometimes in the same building (I think?)

Finances
  • I have a few outstanding debts back home that I intend to clear monthly whist working on a tax free salary
  • How easy is it to transfer funds from UAE to UK account monthly?
  • I am assuming this wont happen in minutes as it does in the UK
  • Will there be a cost to transfer?
  • What is your advice on banks and transferring funds from UAE to UK

If anyone could help me as I have the contract on my desk waiting to be returned... Thank you :)
 

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See responses in red.

Hi all...

I have an offer to relocate to Dubai in August with my current firm, earning 16,000 AED per month. Is this an average PA's salary and sufficient to cover the cost of living in Dubai? I would say so.

They will pay for my outbound flight, a return flight home each year, put me in accommodation for 14 nights whilst I look for somewhere to live, give me a 6 month cheque for rent (payable back monthly), $2,000 relocation fee. I will be half PA and the other half will be working on a long term project. By looking at the rest of the threads, I am wondering if the salary they have offered is sufficient, although they are giving me some perks, i.e. flights etc.


So, here are a few initial thoughts and Q's below, if anyone could please help with any of these, I would be really grateful :)

Housing
My employers told me I should find somewhere for approx 6,000 AED per month in a reasonably nice area
  • At this cost, will I be looking at a flat share or my own place? It is hard to tell from the websites. You should be able to get your own 1 bedroom apartment for that in the Marina, less if you go to JLT/The Greens.
  • Would I need to pay this by post dated cheques or monthly? Post dated cheques, between 2 and 4 for a year's lease usually.
  • Do Dubai do direct debit or standing orders? No
  • Are bills generally included in the advertised amount and if not, how much are they roughly? Only AC/Chiller fees are generally included and you'll need to insist on this. Some landlords will refuse though. You'll need to pay for electricity/water (DEWA) and telephone/internet (probably Du).
  • I have looked at the Marina, Jumeirah Tower, JBR? and 'something' gardens, some look really nice and quite plush but others look not so nice and quite basic. Can they differ so much, regardless of being the same cost and sometimes in the same building (I think?) It generally goes Marina, JBR, JLT, The Greens in terms of preference, all of them are basically ok though, some buildings will be worse than others, you just need to do a little research and do plenty of viewings. Avoid Discovery Gardens though.

Finances
  • I have a few outstanding debts back home that I intend to clear monthly whist working on a tax free salary
  • How easy is it to transfer funds from UAE to UK account monthly? Easy (online depending on the bank), but usually costly. £30 per transfer rings a bell.
  • I am assuming this wont happen in minutes as it does in the UK 3 working days usually.
  • Will there be a cost to transfer? See above.
  • What is your advice on banks and transferring funds from UAE to UK

If anyone could help me as I have the contract on my desk waiting to be returned... Thank you :)
 

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Thats a lot of questions!

That salary is enough to live on in my view. If you are coming out single and looking to send money home to clear your debts it's probably worth considering a flat share but you could get a half decent 1 bed for that.

There are plenty of them in JBR and around the Marina and in JLT. These are where most expats live, and if it were me I'd stay clear of Discovery Gardens or any of that area.

You will need to pay rent in post dated cheques as standing orders and Direct Debits are non existent.

It depends on the individual landlord when it comes to what's included with regards to bills so it's difficult to say.

Sending money home is easy enough but not as easy as it should be (story of the UAE). You can get this done at a number of exchange centres who offer loyalty bonuses like air miles etc but obviously there are small charges but not enough to make it seem like you're getting robbed. This takes a couple of days normally.

The main thing is though, if you embrace the lifestyle you can have a fantastic time here. I'm not going back in a hurry and I'm earning a fair bit less than you, so it can be done.
 

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16,000 would probably put you in the top quartile of PAs in Dubai, who are generally from the subcontinent, or if westerner, tend to be in Dubai along with their husbands (and primarily moved here because of the husband's job).
Gavtek has already answered your questions, and you should read up on the stickies at the top of the forum threads which should give you more insights.
You could actually get a good studio for 50-60K p.a. in one of the better areas (and thus save up on your salary further for other things).
 

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[*]At this cost, will I be looking at a flat share or my own place? It is hard to tell from the websites.

Plenty of mid range studios/one beds at this price. Remember to factor in bills though. You many also want to share so you don't commit to anywhere without knowing the area and to meet people in a new city.

[*]Would I need to pay this by post dated cheques or monthly?

No such thing as Direct Debit here so post date cheques. Like you said your employer is sorting out the first 6 months so that gives you time to sort out your you bank account.

[*]Do Dubai do direct debit or standing orders?

As above, no.

[*]Are bills generally included in the advertised amount and if not, how much are they roughly?

No and it varies, apartments are generally quite cheap for electricity and water. Phone/TV packages are either by Du or Etisilat depending what building you are in.

One of the other benefits of sharing is that the person name will be on the lease and all this sorted, you'll probably be paying an inclusive flat fee with no commitments.

[*]I have looked at the Marina, Jumeirah Tower, JBR? and 'something' gardens, some look really nice and quite plush but others look not so nice and quite basic. Can they differ so much, regardless of being the same cost and sometimes in the same building (I think?)

Build quality is what varies the most and then location. I would certainly look online but use your 14 days to cover as much ground as possible. People advertise their apartments online well above market rate to take advantage of people who are either just of the plane or their company is paying and not bothered about the price, or both. Also remember to haggle hard, something we Brits are not used to but you are in Dubai now!

"Something" Gardens is probably Discovery Gardens. Personally I would avoid there as it's a bit further out of a town and got a reputation. Personally speaking the best value for money is to be found in Al Barsha, Jumeriah Lake Towers and possibly The Greens. However some people *must* live in the Marina and will pay 10-15k more to do so, despite it being a 10 min cab ride/walk.

[*]I am assuming this wont happen in minutes as it does in the UK

No

[*]Will there be a cost to transfer?

Yes
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone :)

This has been really helpful.... I can't wait to get out there now and to start my new life in Dubai!

I hear Skype is blocked to download out there but if I come with it already loaded onto my machine, will I be OK or have these laws changed?

I shall sign and return my contract in the next day or two.... :eek:
 

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lonni76 said:
Thank you everyone :)

This has been really helpful.... I can't wait to get out there now and to start my new life in Dubai!

I hear Skype is blocked to download out there but if I come with it already loaded onto my machine, will I be OK or have these laws changed?

I shall sign and return my contract in the next day or two.... :eek:
Make sure that you have Skype already downloaded on everything, phone, laptop etc as you are correct you can't download it once over there but using it is no problem at all! I'm moving out around the same time as you & have no idea where I'll be staying yet so do let me know if you find a gem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Make sure that you have Skype already downloaded on everything, phone, laptop etc as you are correct you can't download it once over there but using it is no problem at all! I'm moving out around the same time as you & have no idea where I'll be staying yet so do let me know if you find a gem!
Will do!! I have 14 days there before I start work to find some digs so if I find any, I will be sure to let you know!

Great to know that you are getting there at the same time and i'm not the only one. People think i'm mad when I tell them as the heat is so unbearable at that time of year, but there isn't much I can do about it as work have specified the start date.

Have you lived there before or will this be your first time?

I know friends of friends out there but noone directly, I hear this isn't an issue though.. especially with the large expat community.. I hope!

As for Skype, my iphone and laptop have both crashed and burned at the same time so will need to either upgrade them both before I come out or am wondering if could buy the phone and PC out there and transfer the Skype app across from my iTunes acount... not sure how this works!

Thanks for your help...
 

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All I will add to the above is that 14 days isn't very long to get a place, I would think a month to 6 weeks is much better, you can't rent somewhere until you have your residents permit - that can easily take 2-4 weeks.

I'd negotiate a longer stay, start at 2 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All I will add to the above is that 14 days isn't very long to get a place, I would think a month to 6 weeks is much better, you can't rent somewhere until you have your residents permit - that can easily take 2-4 weeks.

I'd negotiate a longer stay, start at 2 months.
I have emailed HR to request this, thank you!!

I have spent ages stressing over all these Q's, I don't know why i didn't join a forum/community sooner!

Thanks for all your help! :D
 

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lonni76 said:
Will do!! I have 14 days there before I start work to find some digs so if I find any, I will be sure to let you know!

Great to know that you are getting there at the same time and i'm not the only one. People think i'm mad when I tell them as the heat is so unbearable at that time of year, but there isn't much I can do about it as work have specified the start date.

Have you lived there before or will this be your first time?

I know friends of friends out there but noone directly, I hear this isn't an issue though.. especially with the large expat community.. I hope!

As for Skype, my iphone and laptop have both crashed and burned at the same time so will need to either upgrade them both before I come out or am wondering if could buy the phone and PC out there and transfer the Skype app across from my iTunes acount... not sure how this works!

Thanks for your help...
I haven't lived there yet, spend a hell of a lot of time there in the lat few years in the build up to it though so if I can help in anyway just let me know & I'll certainly try!
I have some friends out there too, we'll all get you out in no time!
I have no idea how iTunes & apps actually work so can't be of any assistance there, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't lived there yet, spend a hell of a lot of time there in the lat few years in the build up to it though so if I can help in anyway just let me know & I'll certainly try!
I have some friends out there too, we'll all get you out in no time!
I have no idea how iTunes & apps actually work so can't be of any assistance there, sorry.
The social life sounds great, be good to finally get there and settled and start living the life/dream... thanks again and I will def let you know if I need to know anything else (sure there will be loads!) thank you :)
 
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