Responses in red below.
I am now in the process of negotiating a contract with a new employer based in Dubai. If I would except the offer I would be moving with my family to Dubai by the end of this year. The things I would like to know:
- what would be the cost of housing/renting for a family with 3 kids (4 bedroom house)
Agree with the previous poster to check out Gulf News and Dubizzle for a quick and comprehensive overview
- what would be the best area to look for a house
Close to work and/or school. Commuting in Dubai can be time consuming and frustrating. There is no single "expat neighbourhood", you'll find fellow expats all over the city.
- what would be a good agency to help me find a house
You may need to use several, as not all agents are aware of or have access to all the properties available. In many respects it's best to find individual agents who you feel comfortable with than focus on particular agencies. Once you've narrowed down your search to neighbourhood, post on here (or other Dubai forums) for referrals to agents who work in those areas.
- what would you suggest for choosing a international school
The full list of Dubai schools is here - select a category under "Directory". A shorter list of schools most commonly used by western expats is here. The majority of western expat schools in Dubai are British Curriculum, although there are a few which are American and several (of both curriculum) which now offer the IB program[/URL]
- what would be the cost of school Check out the individual school websites - there's a big range.
- do you have an indication of the cost of living (on a monthly basis)
UBS have just published an International Prices & Earnings Survey here. The gold standard are the surveys produced by Mercer, but they are incredibly pricey - the sort of thing the HR department of an international company would buy. I have on my computer a supermarket survey I did for a Dubai website in Sept 2008 which you are welcome to (the website no longer has it on there). If you PM me your email, I'll gladly send it to you.
Simple questions with probable a lot of answers. But I appreciate any help.