Replies: 33 - Last Post: Jun 10, 2012 1:20 PM Last Post By: Kira
May 26, 2012 10:45 PM
15Ah ha this is where I step in!
I've lived in AD for 13 years and don't find it claustrophobic at all. Yes, it takes longer to get to the east coast or Muscat for example, but it's only another hour so it's not like we're at the other end of the universe.
Yes, there is less going on than in Dubai but there's plenty of entertainment here and if you really want to go to Dubai for something different, again, it's only an hour away! Personally I like the quieter and less blingy atmosphere here. I find it all much more 'normal' than Dubai.
The only thing I would say is that most expats here are probably slightly older and more family-orientated than in Dubai but not exclusively, of course.
This is probably all a bit vague, and of course just my opinion, if there's anything more specific you would like to know, fire away.
(PS The only time I ever met Genghis I was on the G&Ts too!)
May 26, 2012 11:39 PM
16I was going to send you a PM Vera, and ask you to step in here. You beat me to it.
Kira, I know you're very familiar with expat emplyment contracts etc, but do be careful with a 3 year fixed term contract - there are two aspects to consider:
1. If you sign a 3 year contract (2 years is very common for teaching positions I think, but 3 years seems a lot) then leaving before the end of the contract means that you dont qualify for gratuity, which is a significant financial loss.
2. If you are on a fixed duration contract in the UAE, then you do not have the right to transfer to a new employer. So having invested money in moving out to the UAE, you are then tied to your current contract unless you want to spend another wodge of money to leave again. When you cancel your residency, they have the right to impose a 1 year ban. Many dodgy employers who insist on fixed term contracts know that they have you over a barrel so its not uncommon to find them reneging on contract details once you're there.
I'm out of date on the UAE labour law, and I know that there have been significatn changes over the last couple of years which will be relevant to you, so try and get hold of a copy online. And if necessary, demand a clause in your contract that gives you the right to change jobs if the employer defaults on his contractual commitments.
May 26, 2012 11:44 PM
May 27, 2012 2:03 AM
18Ha ha Genghis, don't believe you for a minute but duty free usually sells it so if I do come I'll grab a bottle!
Interesting ... like the fact that Vera said it's 'less blingy' suits me down to the ground to be in a little more of a 'normal' environment; been looking at accomodation, can't believe the prices but have asked them for a package that includes accomodation.
Which leads me to - Vera - where would you live in AD that's convenient? I'm very similiar to Genghis - age & no children etc - I discovered yesterday I do know of a couple with kids in AD who are telling me bits & pieces but for someone like me ... what social life is there? what to do over the weekends (apart from go to Muscat & drink gin with Genghis!)
It's not a teaching position - if you get on your e-mail Genghis I'll tell you more (you write reams on here!!!)
Thanks for the tip about the HR law .. need to research that
May 28, 2012 5:00 AM
Well we are approx the same age as well then, but I do have kids so have chosen to live close to the British school (at the moment).
Town is convenient for proximity to everything but then of course it is noisier and parking can be a pain in the proverbial unless you get an apartment with parking included. Rents are cheaper off island but who wants to live there? (Not me!) Like with most places you would have to see what's available and what suits you most when you get here. Rents are high but are actually quite reasonable at the moment (well, for AD anyway) and are falling.
As for social life I really don't think you would need to see too much of Genghis (!). There are plenty of single people here. And G &T drinkers too ;-) Weekends involve much the same things they would anywhere else plus outside opportunities when the weather plays nice. Always loads of concerts, sporting events, eating and drinking to be done. Really, pretty much whatever you want to do, you can do here. What do you usually like to get up to in your spare time?
I'm useless with labour law I'm afraid. It changes all the time so I can't keep up with it, but worth checking out you're not going to get stitched of course.
Good luck! Let me know if there's anything else.
May 28, 2012 5:49 AM
20AD is a lot quieter than Dubai, but this can be advantageous - traffic is less of a problem and with a smaller expat population, meeting people is probably slightly easier. As mentioned in several posts, the drawbacks of the place are higher rents, problems finding parking (especially downtown) and less expat oriented nightlife/entertainment.
I have friends living downtown in Elektra Street where 1 bed apartments are available for around AED65k per annum. They enjoy living there and you are close to shops and other amenities. There is a lot of new accommodation around the Al Raha Beach, and Khalifa City area, out near the airport. There is a choice of apartments and villas. People working at the airport or with airlines tend to live around here. The advantage of living here is the places are mostly all new, rents are much lower than downtown, they usually have parking provision, it's convenient for the airport and you are about 20 mins closer to Dubai. However, if you need to drive into the city from here, it's about 20-35 mins depending on traffic (about 35km) and the place still looks like a bit of a construction site. If you are working in the city, I would suggest living in the city rather than out by the airport.
I would recommend you check out property on dubizzle.com and for things to do in AD, have a look at timeoutabudhabi.com.
May 29, 2012 12:38 AM
21Thanks ... should hear more today or tomorrow
Not sure what housing allowance I may be offered .. however, the work is related to the airport but with an office in AD (no idea where), one just opening in Dubai & the need to open one in Kuwait - with all this in mind & looking at the situation - Al Reef looks interesting although a little way away from the coast ... Are these villas inhabited by families mainly? Or??
Not a city fan - I'm hoping that if this does happen I can have a 'house' rather than an apartment
Thanks again for the advice & links
May 29, 2012 1:04 AM
22I'm not an Al Reef fan. We have friends who lived there and to be completely honest it looked like a huge council estate. Miles out of town and NOTHING around it either (except the end of the runway....) BUT, there are plenty of 'mid-way' places on offer. I.e., out of town but on the island, or just off the island. The 'Between Two Bridges' (or Bain Al Jesrain (I think)) area would be a nice example.
When do you think you might get here? It's usually easier (and cheaper) to find places over the summer as that's when most people tend to leave.
May 29, 2012 1:16 AM
23They were talking about a start date in 2 weeks time, which is a bit quick for me plus I presume I'll need to get a visa prior to arrival ...
Thanks - saw Al Reef was the other side of the runway ... wondered what it was like - so you've sorted that part out for me!!
Should hear more today - lots of decisions to be made .... ho hum!
May 29, 2012 3:41 AM
May 29, 2012 7:57 AM
25Thanks - am able to work like that initially??
Wondering if you know the answer to this question http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2193072&messageID=19905325#19905325
How to get my two cats there too & if it's going to be a small fortune?!!!
May 29, 2012 10:56 PM
May 30, 2012 12:46 AM
27Its very common for people on western passports to arrive on a tourist visa, and then the residency visa is processed once you're in country. As long as the paperwork is in process, its not normally a problem - although you wont be able to get security passes, permanent driving licence etc, or open bank accounts until you're a legal resident.
When you're negotiating your contract, make sure that they agree to pay the rental on your villa, and then take it from your salary on a monthly basis, otherwise, you'll have to hand over cheques for the full years rental immediately - let the company take the strain.
May 30, 2012 10:36 AM
28Thanks - had actually had a look at that; I'm also bilingual (live in France currently) so finding the French community would be interesting for me too!
Had more feedback today; all positive ... do I go or?!!!!!!
May 31, 2012 1:08 PM
29Vera - any knowledge of Al Reem Island ... started looking around there as Genghis had suggested the south side of the island & it seems there's a fairly 'fast' road up that side of the island leading to the airport.
It would really help if these guys actually told me where the office is - I'm in the dark about that still
Al Reem looks interesting, not particuarly keen on living in an apartment but ... ideal location for the money it seems!
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