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Old 27.03.2015, 12:04
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Offer to move to Dubai

Dear all,

I received an offer to move to Dubai from Zürich. Personally, the idea fascinates me but I am a bit reluctant on salary and savings.

I am currently earning gross salary of CHF 110k + CHF 20k bonus and live in the city centre of Zürich. I am single and lifestyle is pretty normal (gonig out in the weekends, some travels and some sports are main expenses).

What would you reckon is the right salary to ask for to keep more or less the same standard of life in Dubai? Any additional recommendation iro Dubai is appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 27.03.2015, 16:02
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

Just a thought.... maybe asking on a Dubai based forum might yield better results
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Old 27.03.2015, 16:22
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

here I will speak very openly and honestly, based on my experience traveling in Dubai and the experience of several friends and colleagues who have lived and worked there (some for several years):

1. living in Dubai is like living in Disney World - it is fantastically beautiful, the climate is generally very nice, there are beaches, you can drink (mostly), etc. but, just like Disney, it is not quite real - this can be a fantastic experience for a year or 2, but you will notice it more and more.

2. Dubai is expensive, but so long as you are not American it will likely be tax-free in terms of income. the tax advantages often result in salaries being lower than what you may be used to.

3. your profile says you are Italian. if you are white and living in Dubai, you will be treated very well. if you are "brown" (and "brown" in Dubai often includes those of Spanish or Italian descent), however, it will be assumed that you are in the country to serve as cheap help and you will be treated accordingly.

4. travel back to Europe is not particularly convenient, and travel in the surrounding region will not be particularly attractive for reasons you can read about in the news. you will basically be living on an island.

5. it is very easy in Dubai to make the mistake of thinking you are in the west. don't.

as with everything, there are pros and cons and everyone needs to make their own life choices. if I were young and single (I am neither) and offered the opportunity, I would not take it - there is no professional experience that you can get in Dubai that you can't get in Europe other than the experience of working in the middle east. in other words, what will set you apart on your resume will be your middle east experience, meaning the next attractive career offer you receive will likely come from within the region. 7 or 8 years ago it would have been completely different, but things have obviously changed since then.

good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 27.03.2015, 17:27
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

@Papa Goose: Thanks for the recommendation, I have taken that but I also think it's valuable to have a post also here (maybe there are people who have done the same).

@carzygringo: Thanks a lot for your comment. To follow up: I am single but I don't plan to stay longer than 2y, so, given that I also take into account that Dubai is not West, I still think there is a lot to learn and grow even from a career perspective, at least within my firm. Feedback very much appreciated by the way.
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Old 27.03.2015, 17:34
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

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1. living in Dubai is like living in Disney World - it is fantastically beautiful, the climate is generally very nice, there are beaches,
I completely agree on the Disney World aspect. But you must hail from Arizona or New Mexico to refer to the climate as "nice"....
Traffic in Dubai is a nightmare. You need a driver or loads of patience.
Note that the beaches are just, well beaches. Building the artificial Palms I-III, The World etc. has effectively killed most underwater life on the Gulf side.
What bothered me most was the local urge to be/have the best, the greatest, the fastest in everything possible.

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2. Dubai is expensive, but so long as you are not American it will likely be tax-free in terms of income. the tax advantages often result in salaries being lower than what you may be used to.
Note that there is zero social security. Should you lose your job you are not only not eligible for any support - your work permit is revoked on top of it.

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4. travel back to Europe is not particularly convenient, and travel in the surrounding region will not be particularly attractive for reasons you can read about in the news. you will basically be living on an island.
I beg to differ: The Musandam peninsula (part of Oman) and the emirates coast facing the Indian Ocean are just two hours by car. Mainland Oman is just a short haul flight away. There are no security issues in Oman.
I heard that Saudi-Arabia has great sights to offer, too.
If you want to venture further: The Maledives, Mauritius, Eastern Africa are much easier to travel to than from Switzerland.
And you can ski in Dubai.
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Old 27.03.2015, 17:37
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

How about for a quick index:

Your Salary here / Big Mac Price in CH = Your salary there / Big Mac Price in Dubai

Although I imagine you would need more Bling in Dubai than you do here.
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Old 27.03.2015, 17:59
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

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How about for a quick index:

Your Salary here / Big Mac Price in CH = Your salary there / Big Mac Price in Dubai

Although I imagine you would need more Bling in Dubai than you do here.
Don't forget that there will probably be no bacon on the burgers
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Old 27.03.2015, 21:12
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

As long as the beef fat is there, the Mac's flavour is still fine. Holly cow, no beef fat in India.

If you are a woman, life will be different.
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Old 27.03.2015, 22:40
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

I had a business there till a couple of years ago, and used to visit regularly. My longest continuous stay was a month and a half. Speaking from the above limited experience, and my past four and a half years here, I think 'here' is much better especially from a quality of life POV.
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Old 07.04.2015, 17:21
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Re: Offer to move to Dubai

Check out this website to get an idea about rents. As a single European I would chose the Marina or JBR area but they are not cheap. The area has recently received a new face lift and looks very nice

Unless you chose your home close to your work, you might need a car.. same link above would also give you an idea about car prices

I will move to Dubai possibly soon but have been travelling there already very often last four years.. Dining out can be expensive, prices are not as uniform as here and can range from cheap to very expensive. My colleagues who moved out from Switzerland to Dubai four years ago were initially very happy about prices and indulged themselves in various electronics shopping and regretted it afterwards.. only after 4-5months they have noticed that Dubai was not so cheap and bills piled up

My view is that only energy and labour are cheap there.. Thanks to the huge influx of cheap labour from east (which in fact is very sad since you have Pakistani/Indian university graduates driving taxis or doing similar jobs for 1-2k AED a month), you can hire maids or drivers cheap or get your flat cleaned 2-3 times a week for very low amounts. Quality of what you get is different though; having your second hand car repaired might turn into a multiple weeks long hassle with no guaranteed happy ending.

You should also think about a way to stay out of Dubai during Ramadan
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