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Working in the UAE

Need some insight from Expats already in Dubai!!!

Here's where to talk about working in the Emirates. NO ADVERTISING - jobs wanted and all employment-related adverts will be deleted. These belong in our adverts section. This forum is for discussing work-related issues.

Need some insight from Expats already in Dubai!!!

Postby lightning » Thu 24 Jan 2008 17:53 GMT

I applied for a job that I am very well qualified for. I got an email asking for renumeration amount...and if I was available for a phone interview at a certain time. I replied back with what I make now and that it would have to be more than that and I would also need housing covered by the company. I never sent a specific amount. I told them I would be available at the time they specified and I waited for the call but no call came. What should I do now? Did I ask for too much? What is the usual procedure. I would like to have this assignment but do not want to seem to eager. I would think that they would at least say they found someone else for the position but so far no emails or phone calls since. Any ideas?
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Postby veralynn » Mon 28 Jan 2008 04:26 GMT

This sounds pretty typical - hiring procedures seem to take forever here and there's so much red tape and no-body ever bothers to keep you in the loop. So don't be too disheartened just yet.
However, if they're baulking over the renumeration then you don't want to be working for them anyway! Standard expat package (in Abu Dhabi anyway, I'd assume it was the same for Dubai) is salary, housing, healthcare, education allowance (if you have kids) and one flight per year for you and your dependants to your home country. Quite a lot of people also get their water & electricity paid for. So don't sell yourself short!
If I were you I'd contact them (you've got nothing to lose!) and ask why they didn't call you, is there some problem etc etc.
Good luck!
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Postby veralynn » Mon 28 Jan 2008 04:29 GMT

PS Meant to point out that as your salary would be tax-free here does it really need to be more than what you are on already? Even if you got the same salary you'd be, say, 30% better off, depending on how much tax you pay at the moment.
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Postby lightning » Wed 30 Jan 2008 00:52 GMT

That's the thing if the salary was the same and they were paying for everything but the housing allowance is not very good, no education paid for. BTW for an update, they contacted me again for a interview and again no call or email. This time they had given me a 2 hour window but it's been 2 days and nothing. So now I've been blown off twice by them. I still did the professional thing and sent a email offering to be available again for a phone interview. I really would like this assignment but not so sure that it will be worth it if I have to come out of pocket for housing. Is that typical? Anyone else pay for their own housing or have to make up the difference?
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Postby veralynn » Wed 30 Jan 2008 05:25 GMT

So let me get this right because I don't understand your first sentence: what you really want to know is if you got the same salary (albeit tax free) but the housing allowance isn't very good, could you survive? Assuming you just need a one-, but preferably two-bed apartment (if you have a family run a mile because if they're not going to pay for education either it'll cost you a fortune) let's say the average price for a reasonably decent place is 100,000 dirhams a year. THIS IS JUST AN ESTIMATE!!! Prices change all the time, plus I'm in Abu Dhabi, not Dubai, but this should give you a ball-park figure to help you assess your situation.
Housing allowances are the bane of everyones' lives here. We pay 20,000dhs a year towards our housing, for example. Some people get no allowance but a huge salary and they can then decide how much of it they want to spend on housing.
They don't sound like a very professional outfit either, so you might want to carefully consider your options here.
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Postby lightning » Thu 31 Jan 2008 12:19 GMT

They offered the same pay I'm making now. The housing allowance was 36000 dhs per year. (The position however, I just found out is based in Sharjah. This may be a little less expensive for accomadations) They do not pay an educational allowances. So if I were to take the assignment then I will have to come out of pocket on housing and education, plus I have to buy a car and furniture. The first year I would break even. They did write me to let me know that they will call me when convenient so we will see how it works out. I thought that the what they were offering was just an initial offer and that we would negotiate for more pay, housing, and education. They did offer vacation and insurance for the family.
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Postby veralynn » Sun 3 Feb 2008 04:19 GMT

Hmm. This is not sounding good. The housing allowance is peanuts. Sharjah is cheaper but it is also a dry emirate, so it depends on how you feel about that! Also, I'm not sure about the choice of schools so that might be something you need to research a bit more. If I were you, I'd accept the pay but tell them you need enough housing allowance to cover a family home and an education allowance for school fees. Obviously the amount varies, but just to give you an idea my kids' fees are about Dhs9k per term for my 9 yr old and about Dhs15k per term for my 12 yr old, which is a big chunk of money if you have to pay for that out of your own pocket.
Just another thing to consider - traffic between Sharjah and Dubai is legendary because it is so awful, so don't imagine yourselves just popping into Dubai every day for schooling/shopping/a beer.
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Postby lightning » Sun 3 Feb 2008 17:43 GMT

Veralynn thanks for all your help. Do you know anything about what they ask in the Ministry of Interior interview?
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Postby veralynn » Mon 4 Feb 2008 04:05 GMT

No problem. Absolutely nothing I'm afraid. Are you going to be working for the military or something?! Try the Lonely Planet website's Thorn Tree forum. There's far more people on that and you might find someone who knows something. Good luck!
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Postby lightning » Sat 16 Feb 2008 13:56 GMT

ok so for an update on my situation. I interviewed back on the 31 Jan and was told they would contact me soon. So per protocol I sent a thank you email for the interview and then a follow up email about 10 days later. I've not received a response yet. In fact during the interview they said they would contact me in regards to an interview with the Ministry of Interior. I know things work slow there, should I assume that I did not get this job or should I send another follow up email? I don't want to pressure them or seem to eager. I would very much like the assignment as it would be a good addition to my CV. Any help on this would be great. Veralynn always comes through for me!!! Any others responses would be welcomed as well!!!
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Postby veralynn » Sun 17 Feb 2008 06:35 GMT

Hi again! Don't give up just yet! And certainly don't assume you haven't got the job - for my husband's current job he was initially interviewed in February but didn't get to sign on the dotted line til December. 10 months of fannying around being interviewed, re-interviewed, interviewed by the sponsor, interviewed by the top boss etc etc etc. So yes, things do move slowly here.
I wouldn't worry that you're pressurising them if you send 'reminder emails'. Just keep it polite and don't show any hint of annoyance with the time they've kept you waiting.
VL
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Postby lightning » Sun 17 Feb 2008 12:27 GMT

Thanks Veralynn,

I knew I would get a response from you!! I will keep sending reminder emails and maybe soon my wife and I can meet with you and your husband for drinks!! On me of course!!
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Postby veralynn » Mon 18 Feb 2008 04:30 GMT

Sounds good! But unless you're talking about lemonade you'll have to come to Abu Dhabi! (Actually I do believe there is a rugby club in Sharjah that has somehow bypassed the law, so technically maybe we could have a beer in Sharjah!)
Good luck and let me know if/when you hear anything.
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