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Stephen Jones

Working in Dubai (UAE)

I've read a while back that quite a few posters here were looking to move to sunny Dubai (UAE)

I'm also in the same boat, I'm currently looking a job there as an IT Project Manager or/and Navision (ERP) developer.

I was wondering if some of you managed to find a job there ?

Is it still possible to get a good expat package (I'm French) these days in Dubai since a the Indian IT workforce is quite big there and they often get paid a fraction of what an American or European can get.

Any tips & advices about moving to Dubai are very welcomed.
Visionware@skymail.fr Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
If you don't get a good package don't go!

Check out what you are giving up before you go anyway. You don't have the restrictions there are in Saudi (the employer can't keep your passport for example), but on the other hand there are less protections for the worker as well.

As for remuneration, if you are competent, and seen to be so, I wouldn't bother too much about them hiring Indians for less. Competence is a rare quality in this neck of the sands, so hold out for a good salary and a good housing allowance (housing in Dubai is expensive), and a first class medical care plan. You should certainly insist on more gross than you are making now, (and ignore the talk about how much you will save - your business - and net salary - you are missing out on things by not paying taxes, and need some compensation for the time to get another job after and the inevitable negative effect any work in the Gulf has on your resume).

Whether you will enjoy the job, as opposed to the city, is another matter. If your company's client is the private sector than there will be all sorts of attemptso to lowball and shortchange it, and if it is the government sector than all kinds of ego and power plays will start to take effect, and actual quality of work will take the back seat.

Anyway, with a good salary you should enjoy Dubai. Make sure you have enough time off for a reasonable number od short breaks (either to the Middle East or to India, Sri Lanka or Thailand) and don't blow all your pay on the holdays.
Stephen Jones Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
Stephen,

Thanks for the valuable infos!

Do you know if it's possible to get a visa to work Freelance there or to set up a company.

Is it a straight forward process or a pain ?
Visionware@skymail.fr Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
How much should I ask regarding the housing allowance ?

I'm looking at fairly nice Condominium complex with swimming pool, gym, spa.
Visionware@skymail.fr Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
Also remember if you're married, your wife needs to wear a veil at all times in public, and you have to escort her (and she has to walk behind you, not next to you). There are police who will enforce this strongly, so make sure she's comfortable with that.
Mohammed
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
>>Also remember if you're married, your wife needs to wear a veil at all times in public

I think Dubai is more Western-style than this. I was there once, and saw a lot of western dressing woman. Other countries may have this rule, but UAE don't (I think).

Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
Mohammed, that's Saudi Arabia, not Dubai.
Homo sapien Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
"You don't have the restrictions there are in Saudi (the employer can't keep your passport for example)..."

Could you elaborate on this, Stephen?  The employer keeps your passport in Saudi?
Kyralessa Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
What Mohamad says is not even true in Saudi either. In the Emorates as long as your wife avoids shorts or short skirts and doesn't snog in public there will be no problem.

With regard to the housing allowance, I really don't know, but Dubai is expensive. Go to www.gulfnews.com and look at the classifieds. From todays link http://www.gulfnews.com/Classifieds2/Dubai1.asp?Cats=d19
I would say you would pay around $20,000 a year for what you are looking for. Remember that Dubai is one of the most crowded cities in the World and putting a swimming pool on top of a tower block is not cheap.
The norm is that they provide you with accomodation, so you would do best to fly over to look at it. It's cheap to fly over at the moment (Air France are doing return flights Paris-Dubai at just over $500, so I would go over and see if the accomodation they are offering, and check out rents if they are offering you a housing allowace in lieu.
Stephen Jones Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
---"Could you elaborate on this, Stephen?  The employer keeps your passport in Saudi?"----

If you are a resident in Saudi then the employer is legally bound to keep your passport, since he would be liable to a fine if you leave without handing in your residence permit.

You are not able to leave Saudi without an exit visa, and if the employer refuses to agree the government won't give you one.

If you come on a business visa, as many ERP consultants do, then you keep your passport, but in that case you officially don't have an employer, so he can simply drop you at a moment's notice.
Stephen Jones Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
Stephen,

Could you recommend any good recruitement agency in Dubai or people who might help me in searching for a position there.
Visionware@skymail.fr Send private email
Sunday, October 24, 2004
 
 
I have been working in Dubai for the last 8 years. All the good things you hear about Dubai are true. The bad things never get mentioned.

If you have a lot of money, its probably one of the best places in the world to live. The best way to get a job here is to come here on a visit/tourist visa and then look for a job. Visit visas are available on arrival for citizens of US/AUS/NZ and most EU countries. You can also check
the websites of the two major English newspapers - Gulf News and Khaleej Times.

Although, all the big names (MS, IBM, SUN, Cisco,...) have got huge offices here, I am not aware of any major software development taking place here; except for what is done inhouse by the big multinationals (mostly oil companies).

Keep in mind that here:
...price is more important than quality
...for 8 months of the year, the outside temp. is 45 to 50 deg. Celcius
...driving attitudes and traffic are worse than anywhere else in the world.
Gentoo Hater Send private email
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 
It sure is a funny place. I've only spent a very short time there, when I was offered a job, and decided not to stay. Not just because of the place - had the job been any less strange, I might have accepted it.

It sure is a surreal place ;-)
Antti Kurenniemi Send private email
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 
Would you care to elaborate on why it is so strange, Antti ?
Nemesis
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 
Dear Visionware

I don't workin computing so can't recommend any agencies in your field. I was under the impression that you had been offered a job already; Do remember that if they think you are looking for a job, they will try and screw you royally.
Stephen Jones Send private email
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 
Stephen, you need an entire website along with a Paypal contribution button.
Simon Lucy Send private email
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 
Stephen,

They did try to screw me they offered me 7000 Dihrams/AED per year with no relocation or any packages

I declined the offer

I just managed to find the same job offer
and it was written down only Indian needs to apply :-(

http://in.jobstreet.com/jobs/2004/10/default/20/289968.htm
visionware@skymail.fr Send private email
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 
The job was "strange" - well, that's not exactly proper word, there were some personal issues involved which I won't comment here that made me not accept the job.

But you probably wanted to know about Dubai, right? It is quite different from where I live; it seems to me that it is a very "shallow" place, where only money matters and nothing else (mind you, I got a similar, though not as strong, feeling from Manhattan ;-). Very much "cool" stuff and beautiful fronts, shiny cars and expensive clothes, pompous water fountains (water is expensive there so naturally it's used for showing off), but nothing much else. Me, I think I'd get bored with it quite soon.

If you don't mind a place that feels "plastic" all around, then sure, it can be a nice enough place to work. Especially for a foreigner it seemed to be an easy place; everything more or less works, and you can go to McDonalds or Starbucks whenever you want to, and I felt very safe anywhere I went. Also lots of poorly paid people from India and Pakistan and other such places around, to serve you and help you with everything. Some like it, but I found it a bit uncomfortable at times, knowing that I probably was making 50 times what they were, and had to work less for it, and got to live in a better place and all that.

If you're thinking of moving there, try to visit there beforehand, like a vacation or something, because it might just not be all that "wow" after a few months, and besides work and partying, you'll have to put in a little effort to find something to do.
Antti Kurenniemi Send private email
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 
Antti sums up Dubai fairly well. There was a lovely article in the Travel Guardian talking about the superficiality of Dubai (my favourite line was the description of her hotel room at one of the best hotels on Dubai, where "to my horror, I found that they had gone to great trouble and expense to make it look just like a Sixties Indian Restaurant.")
http://travel.guardian.co.uk/countries/story/0,7451,1334584,00.html
Stephen Jones Send private email
Monday, October 25, 2004
 
 

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