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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I am an American, living in the UK who has just received what seems like a very nice job offer in Dubai. I need to make a decision rather quickly and would love to speak to other Americans with school aged children to give me a realistic view of what to expect. The company offering me the position is making it sound like a paradise...of course. My questions are:

- Are the schools good? My son is 11 and is attending an excellent private school here. Do they compare there?
- Are things like Apple TV, Internet, American websites, etc really banned there??
- Can I feel safe travelling into and out of Dubai?
- Is the cost of living higher or lower? Depends on what forum you're reading it seems like!
- General pros and cons...anything is helpful.

I'm also willing to jump on a call with you as well. Desperate for REAL information.

Thanks!

Kim Jex
 

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Yes.
No, but there is a firewall and some US services are geo-locked
Safer than anywhere in the USA
Totally depends upon what your lifestyle is.
Pro's - far too many to mention unless you only want to speak to people from the USA :D
Cons : Stupidly hot in the summer

You'll undoubtedly enjoy it as long as you don't keep trying to compare it to home. Its just different - not bed different or good different but both.

You'll be fine as long as the job offer is good and reliable.

My wife is part of the American Womens Network and there are less US ladies in it than the other countries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! As I've lived in the UK (Yorkshire) for over 5 years and am very used to being one of very few Americans, I'm quite used to not being around other Americans:) With that £$^% Trump in office, have you heard of any Americans having trouble travelling between Dubai and the US? My son visits his dad there throughout the year...

Thanks!

Kim Jex
 

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Thank you so much! As I've lived in the UK (Yorkshire) for over 5 years and am very used to being one of very few Americans, I'm quite used to not being around other Americans:) With that £$^% Trump in office, have you heard of any Americans having trouble travelling between Dubai and the US? My son visits his dad there throughout the year...

Thanks!

Kim Jex
Except for 14-16hrs flight, there is no trouble at all. Visa on arrival.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi-

Can I ask a few other questions? Is 27000 PCM AED a good salary for a single mother and 11 year old? Also, is being a single mom viewed as being an "issue"?

- I'm being offered 40000 per year towards my son's school - is this appropriate?
- Do most employment offers come with a car allowance (mine does not and I'm wondering if I should ask)?

Thank you!

Kim Jex
 

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Hi-

Can I ask a few other questions? Is 27000 PCM AED a good salary for a single mother and 11 year old? Also, is being a single mom viewed as being an "issue"?

- I'm being offered 40000 per year towards my son's school - is this appropriate?
- Do most employment offers come with a car allowance (mine does not and I'm wondering if I should ask)?

Thank you!

Kim Jex
I'm sure you'll get lots of input from some very knowledgable folk ..... there are lots of threads on salaries and living expenses it might be worth a quick search.

Whether a salary is 'good' really depends on what you are doing ? Also how it compares to what you are earning now .... do you get accommodation provided or have you got to find this from salary ?
 

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Thank you so much! As I've lived in the UK (Yorkshire) for over 5 years and am very used to being one of very few Americans, I'm quite used to not being around other Americans:) With that £$^% Trump in office, have you heard of any Americans having trouble travelling between Dubai and the US? My son visits his dad there throughout the year...

Thanks!

Kim Jex
I haven't had trouble when Trump was in office but during that £$^% Obama's term I was held for about 1-1/2 hours because the agent was suspicious of all the middle east stamps in my US passport. But this was one time in the last 5-1/2 years, 2-4 trips back a year.

The salary is OK, but not fantastic for an American, same with the school fees, my company pays 65% and I think that would be about the same. When I first came I received about 20% more than my US pay, housing (my apartment is 150,000 a year), vehicle and mobile. You are under that US tax threshold, so that is a bonus but things are more expensive here and will be getting more expensive with the new VAT tax coming in January. Cars and gas are cheap though! (same as US)
 

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I'm an American residing here in Dubai, and I've some American here earning below 20,000 monthly with kids, and they're doing fine. I think you should be fine with that. Though it all depends on lifestyle
 

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I would strongly think about schooling, as schools in Dubai cannot be compared to best UK one, despite many people telling you otherwise. If you son is good in anything, sport, math, etc, forget it, really. Nobody here is really interested, money first, this is the main rule about Dubai you need to know.

My daughter is 4.5 years and there is no way I am going to put her through more than 3-4 years of education here.
 

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Is it easy to meet and socialize with other Americans?
I've been here over 5 years this time and have a handful of American friends, we are not that many in this country! I like my diverse group of friends (I even hang with pomes) so do not miss being surrounded by Americans in the least, in fact I consider it a positive thing to be able to have this diverse experience.

There are many US teachers here I am told and if you have school age kids you should meet some of them, and there is a US style football league that I have not attended but know American players and fans. I wouldn't sweat the fact you are a minority here, embrace the experience and become friends with people from all over the world, I've enjoyed doing that anyway.
 

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If you have a child at a good UK private school and are happy with your life in the UK then I would not move to the UAE, at least on the package offer.

A good quality international school in the UAE comparable to a good UK or USA private school will set you back at least 80k a year, and even higher. Look at the fee structures for American School of Dubai, Dubai American Academy, JESS, DESC, Dubai College and Wellington for an idea of how expensive school fees are at the better schools. You will need to dip into your basic salary to cover the differential between the school allowances and the actual fees, which do go up every year.

27k for a parent and child is doable even if you pay extra for the fees your allowance doesn't cover but it's not a generous lifestyle. You are probably looking at a simple 2-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Dubai such as Sports City, and a quiet life. Apartments will set you back around 9-10k a month including all the bills. Odds are you won't save much money, if that is a priority.
 
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