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Hi all,

I am an Australian, living in Japan. However, I am also currently in the application pipeline for a company based in Abu Dhabi with a great chance of receiving a job offer at the end of it. So I have decided that now would be a good time to start researching things such as cost of living and other norms within the employee benefits scheme of things so that if I do in fact receive an offer I won't undercut myself.

This opportunity has actually appeared out of thin air. I know nothing about relocating to another country for work, nor anything about UAE (which I find exciting!!).

I guess what I really need is financial information. So here are the questions I'm hoping to find answers to:

Relocating - Are there any upfront costs with renting, such as bond? Any other fees? Any recommendations on the minimum amount of money I would need?

Apartment/Villas - I'm 24yo, male, single and not particularly picky. All possessions I own are in my suitcase. The cheaper the better. Would apartments/villas be the way to go? Any good websites I can use to browse property listings?

Salary - What would be the absolute minimum I would need to be able to work, pay my bills/rent, eat well, entertain myself on the weekends (I'm not overly wild), and still be able to put some money away in savings?

Benefits - I know that this company provides health care. But are there other things I should push for? Commute allowance? Any other benefits that I should probe about?

Public Transport/Commuting - I've read that there is a bus network in Abu Dhabi, but realistically, will I be needing are car for my day to day life?

Anything else my ignorance has missed? - perhaps I haven't considered an important step? Any keywords I should be searching for?

These are the questions I have asked myself and that I need answers to. Whilst I am proactively researching this on my own, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask some people who have no doubt been through this already :) I appreciate any and all help. Whilst I wait for your super helpful replies, I'll get back to Googling and reading more here at expatforum!

Thanks in advance everyone!
 

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Hi all,

I am an Australian, living in Japan. However, I am also currently in the application pipeline for a company based in Abu Dhabi with a great chance of receiving a job offer at the end of it. So I have decided that now would be a good time to start researching things such as cost of living and other norms within the employee benefits scheme of things so that if I do in fact receive an offer I won't undercut myself.

This opportunity has actually appeared out of thin air. I know nothing about relocating to another country for work, nor anything about UAE (which I find exciting!!).

I guess what I really need is financial information. So here are the questions I'm hoping to find answers to:

Relocating - Are there any upfront costs with renting, such as bond? Any other fees? Any recommendations on the minimum amount of money I would need?

Apartment/Villas - I'm 24yo, male, single and not particularly picky. All possessions I own are in my suitcase. The cheaper the better. Would apartments/villas be the way to go? Any good websites I can use to browse property listings?

Salary - What would be the absolute minimum I would need to be able to work, pay my bills/rent, eat well, entertain myself on the weekends (I'm not overly wild), and still be able to put some money away in savings?

Benefits - I know that this company provides health care. But are there other things I should push for? Commute allowance? Any other benefits that I should probe about?

Public Transport/Commuting - I've read that there is a bus network in Abu Dhabi, but realistically, will I be needing are car for my day to day life?

Anything else my ignorance has missed? - perhaps I haven't considered an important step? Any keywords I should be searching for?

These are the questions I have asked myself and that I need answers to. Whilst I am proactively researching this on my own, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask some people who have no doubt been through this already :) I appreciate any and all help. Whilst I wait for your super helpful replies, I'll get back to Googling and reading more here at expatforum!

Thanks in advance everyone!
Hi there!

I have recently moved to Abu Dhabi, answering from my experience till now!

Relocating There are no upfront fees per se. But then the rents here have to be paid in advance in usually one or two installments via cash/cheques. Most of the companies will give you an advance on your House Rent Allowance which you can use this to pay the rent. Also if you take up a furnished place, some landlords may ask for some amount to be kept as refundable deposit which would be given back to you once the tenancy contract is over.

Apartment/Villa Househunting in Abu Dhabi can be a daunting task! Depending on where your work location is and whether you'd want to stay in the city or a little away from the city, rents will vary. A studio apartment in the city would cost you anything between AED 40K upto 60K and a studio apartment a little away from the city would cost you something between 28K to 45K.
Property brokers can help in looking for a place and it would be a good idea for you to negotiate with the company to pay for the broker's commission. Search for listings on dubizzle. com and olx. ae (sorry not allowed to URLs yet ;))

Benefits This varies from company to company and since you don't have family, kids this shouldn't bother you much as long as you have a good 'take home' salary. A lot of companies generally do provide - commute allowance, telephone allowance etc.

Public Transport Public transport is pretty decent. Local buses have good connectivity and will take you from anywhere to anywhere for a flat rate of AED 1! Cabs are easily available and are reasonably priced, though a day or two before there was some news of an increase in the cab fares. IMO Having a car will be good though as you aren't dependent much on the public transport and you can explore nearby places on the weekends.

Umm, there are other formalities which you'll need to complete once you are here. Listing what I can think of here:

1. Getting the Residency Visa (Getting it stamped on your passport) -
2. Medical Test
3. Getting a Emirates ID (Company's PRO should help you with that)
4. Labour ID (This would be done by the Company)
5. Getting the Health Insurance Card (Again would be done by Company)
6. Alcohol License (Illegal to buy alcohol without having an alcohol license)

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi newguyintown,

Thank you sooo much for that informative post!! That is more than I could have every expected, thank you!

the rents here have to be paid in advance in usually one or two installments via cash/cheques.
Is that all of the rent in advance? for example, 6 months/a year's worth of rent in advance? If so, thank you very much for bringing this to light. This is exactly the kinda stuff I was hoping to find out here on these forums, so that I can better plan ahead.

The public transport sounds awesomely cheap! Are there buses that travel between the city centre and outer-city suburbs?

Also, thank you for listing the formalities! That alcohol license is something I'll definitely have to get a hold of :)
 

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You are welcome!

Is that all of the rent in advance? for example, 6 months/a year's worth of rent in advance?
Yes that is all of the rent in advance. Although nowadays one can find an increasing number of 'monthly' options, where in the rent has to be paid monthly, but the places will not that be great. Also most of these places are without a 'formal contract' without which you'd not be able to get resident parking for your car.

The public transport sounds awesomely cheap! Are there buses that travel between the city centre and outer-city suburbs?
Oh yes the coverage of public buses is comprehensive and they do travel between the city centre and outer city suburbs. Buses are also available to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and those are cheap as well.

I don't drink alcohol so wouldn't know for sure, but my friends tell me that it's not that hard to get it without the license, but then again why be on the wrong side of the (very strict) law? So yeah please do get hold of it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again newguyintown for your very helpful post!

I have one final question:

What would be a liveable salary? Basically, when/if this company makes me a job offer, and throws some numbers at me, I need to know whether or not I'll survive!

I understand this is a kind of vague question, as it all depends on ones lifestyle. So here are a few things I would like to be able to do on my salary:

  • obviously I'd like to be able to cover all my expenses (rent, utilities, transportation to work)
  • I wish to live alone but I'm quite open to cheaper apartments and living location (especially since bus coverage is comprehensive!).
  • I'm not a huge party animal and I don't intend on blowing $100 every other weekend on clubbing and drinks etc.
  • I wish to be able to eat out once or twice a week, maybe have a beer with friends or check out some of the local activities/attractions. Basically I do wish to have some form of a social life.
  • I'd like to put a little bit away for savings/emergency money.

Hopefully this is enough information to suggest a base salary from.

Thanks again newguyintown for all your help!!!
 

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You are welcome :)

I'd say anything around 15K AED or above should be good. As I said the biggest expense is accomodation and you can save quite a bit if you live in the outer suburbs and if you have a car you'd be fine.

The only problem with the public transport would be the walk to the nearest bus stop during summers! It'll be very very hot! :)
 

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He is referring to 15k a month.
 
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