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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've an interview next week for an academic post in Abu Dhabi having been approached by an institution. I'm married with 3 school age children and looking to find out an honest opinion of what it is like in Abu Dhabi for families, we have all the usual expat questions and fears of moving to completely different country and any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok so I got the job and not sure what a good salary is for a family of 5. Their initial offer is around 20000 a month plus what seem to be fairly standard extras like rent allowance, insurance, relocation allowance, education contribution and some flights. Its easy enough to do the conversion to GBP but not sure that’s useful since I’m not sure what cost of living is like, not expecting to live like kings of course and wonder what difference the lack of tax would make. How does that sum sound as a potential income for 5, I’m sure we won’t starve but not sure if it’s a little or a lot?
 

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Ok so I got the job and not sure what a good salary is for a family of 5. Their initial offer is around 20000 a month plus what seem to be fairly standard extras like rent allowance, insurance, relocation allowance, education contribution and some flights. Its easy enough to do the conversion to GBP but not sure that’s useful since I’m not sure what cost of living is like, not expecting to live like kings of course and wonder what difference the lack of tax would make. How does that sum sound as a potential income for 5, I’m sure we won’t starve but not sure if it’s a little or a lot?
Hi,
The devil is in the detail.
For you - it's the allowances that are going to make the difference,
In your post you state that "plus fairly standard extras like rent allowance, insurance, relocation allowance, education contribution and some flights"
There is no "standard extras" - they all vary by company and negotiation.
If your allowances are enough to cover rent and school fees - then 20,000 a month is OK.
If, however, you need to use a significant amount of your salary to pay for housing and schooling - then it won't seem so good.
In order to evaluate the offer - you need to state the amounts they are paying for housing and schooling along with the type of place you want to rent and the type and level of school you want to send your children to.
Cheers
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok thanks, there’s 13000 per moth for accommodation, 80000 per year for schooling, max 40000 pr child and i have three. Then there’s 20000 relocation payment paid in 2 instalments in the 1st 6 months. There is also an annual flight included. Really appreciate your opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Missed the 4 bed apartment to rent, don’t live like a king here but don’t want to live in a box either. Regarding schooling again as good as I can afford really, i see there is quite a lot of variation in education and it seems costly.
 

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Ok thanks, there’s 13000 per moth for accommodation, 80000 per year for schooling, max 40000 pr child and i have three. Then there’s 20000 relocation payment paid in 2 instalments in the 1st 6 months. There is also an annual flight included. Really appreciate your opinions.
Hi,
So - is the school allowance a total of 80,000 for all three kids?
What type of place are you looking to rent - villa or apartment?
What location in Abu Dhabi do you want to live?
What schools did you have in mind? - where are they located relative to your work and where you want to live?
Health insurance for the whole family and annual flights are actually fairly standard.
Cheers
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The 80000 is total, its specifies max 40000 per child so presumably based on 2, i plan to negotiate that. In terms of living, no preference, i’ve Looked in al khalidiya simply as i’ve Seen it mentioned on a few forums and its fairly central but not really sure of the area of course. Just looking for a reasonable neighbourhood, close enough to amenities and the town and safe enough of course but that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem from what i’ve Found. I suppose its knowing the decent places to live, which will cost more of course and whether this package allows that and then getting on and having a look. Seen 4 bed apartments for around 140000 per year but can’t really see quality, close enough to the corniche and certainly better views out the window than my current living room! Lol
Schools, i’ve Looked at the British school of khabairat based purely on outstanding ADEC but more work to do on that. Oldest is in yr 10 so GCSEs next year.
My commute from there would be around half and hour plus traffic, which seems to be significant at peak times. Not too concerned about that. I appreciate i’m Asking quite a lot and very grateful for any advice, or even reliable sources to search myself.
 

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The 80000 is total, its specifies max 40000 per child so presumably based on 2, i plan to negotiate that. In terms of living, no preference, i’ve Looked in al khalidiya simply as i’ve Seen it mentioned on a few forums and its fairly central but not really sure of the area of course. Just looking for a reasonable neighbourhood, close enough to amenities and the town and safe enough of course but that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem from what i’ve Found. I suppose its knowing the decent places to live, which will cost more of course and whether this package allows that and then getting on and having a look. Seen 4 bed apartments for around 140000 per year but can’t really see quality, close enough to the corniche and certainly better views out the window than my current living room! Lol
Schools, i’ve Looked at the British school of khabairat based purely on outstanding ADEC but more work to do on that. Oldest is in yr 10 so GCSEs next year.
My commute from there would be around half and hour plus traffic, which seems to be significant at peak times. Not too concerned about that. I appreciate i’m Asking quite a lot and very grateful for any advice, or even reliable sources to search myself.
Hi,
When are you looking to move here?
New school term starts tomorrow - so in a week or two, the schools will know what vacancies they have at each year group.
Apartments vary so much - but I think you are going to need to budget above 180,000 for one that is of a modern, high quality standard and around 240,000 for a really nice one.
Be careful of estate agent photos - they are often not of the actual available apartment! - especially in the taller towers. The photo will show a sea view from a high floor. The actual apartment will be on a lower floor where other buildings obscure the sea view!
Decent schools cost 60,000 to 100,000 per pupil - so it is important for you to try and negotiate a higher school fees allowance.
Cheers
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice, I guessed it was likely about the apartment pictures, estate agents the same the world over!! I’d be looking to sort that on arrival.
The employer is looking for an early January start for the job.
How is negotiating recieved? Don’t want to shoot my self in the foot as it were.
 

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Thanks for the advice, I guessed it was likely about the apartment pictures, estate agents the same the world over!! I’d be looking to sort that on arrival.
The employer is looking for an early January start for the job.
How is negotiating recieved? Don’t want to shoot my self in the foot as it were.
Hi,
We live in the world of haggling!
Some haggling is expected but the key is knowing how far to push!
Ultimately, it often depends on your role and how unique your skills and experience are, compared with other candidates.
Cheers
Steve
 

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Have a look at Al Reef as a 3-4 bed house there can be 115-140k now, al Yasmina is a decent U.K. Curriculum school charging low to mid 40s per child per year - if you can keep the difference of your housing allowance and add that to school fees you might just about cover rent and school. Al Reef is 20-30 mins towards Dubai VS Corniche so maybe your commute would be less..


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