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Delighted of Dukhan

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by moscowbore, May 21, 2009.

  1. Sounds fab, apart from the traffic! May I ask if one could save a substantial amount of money, and is there a limit on transfer of monies back to the UK? Also wondered why the school does not have its own website. Do you get annual flights home as part of the package? I really appreciate any advice, Qatarsoon!
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    Living in Dukhan means that there isnt much to spend your money on. Most people drive 4X4s which is their main expense. Other than that there are no bars or nightclubs to squander away your hard earned. I reckon a singleton could save 70 percent of their income easy if they dont go on lots of trips. I have sprogs and I still save about 60 percent. Singles get three, yes three, flights home per year. Us old folk with sprogs get one family flight per year. The school will have its own website soon but it wont be what you expect. We work for an oil company which has its own set of very rigid rules. One of these rules is that there will be no pictures of Dukhan on the web or anywhere. They dont allow pictures of their oil installations to be published. It makes it very difficult to find out even simple things like term dates for prospective employees.
    I have to mention that Dukhan is not for everybody. It is very quiet here, which suits me. There are numerous social occasions here and lots of sporting events to attend but if you are looking for exciting night life its just not here. I have lost 7 kilos since August because I now go to the gym regularly.
    The early rises are a killer for me. First meetings are 6:45.
    Ask anything specific. I would recommend you apply. You will receive a information package.
  3. Thanks for that info, Qatarsoon. How do you find the school ethos ie pupil behaviour, staff morale, etc? Happy New Year!
  4. Qatarsoon, happy new year! Your threads over your year leading up to going to Dukhan has been so entrtaing and useful. This latest info. even more so. Thanks for taking the time to give follow up info.
  5. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    I do aim to please!!

    The students are very well behaved and on the whole very motivated to do well in class. There can be some strangeness where an oil company tries to run a school like they would any other department. They try to apply rules which simply dont make sense in a school. On the other hand, we are currently having 23 new classrooms added and every teacher has their own pc. There is only one staffroom and generally I have found all people in the school very supportive. Some people attend every social event and some, like me, pick the ones which appeal. I will be going to see Andy Murray play tennis tomorrow after school for free. People respect other peoples' space and living in a small community this is very important.
  6. Oh gosh! How exciting! Are you going to Doha to see the tennis or is he coming to you?!
    About the mundain, do people employ home help eg. maid/house keeper? Or do you have to do the UK style...DIY ?
  7. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    Nearly everybody pays for someone to come and do cleaning. Its a bit of a hassle getting a live-in maid/nanny. It costs you about 100 pounds per month and many, many trips to Doha. You can get a cleaner to come in 2 or 3 times a week for about 40 pounds per month apparently. I dont pay a cleaner I pay my children to clean.

  8. Qatarsoon has pretty much hit the nail on the head when talking about living in the Qatar boondocks. There isn't much to spend money on, and even though Doha' s malls have expanded massively in he last few years, there still isn't really that much the average Westerner would want to buy - we have al the major western chain stores now, but their often very randomly stocked and organised - most people I know just use amazon and buy clothes and Tech, etc, when they go on holiday. Added to ths, driving round Doha is such a stressful and dangerous experience that eventually you keep it to the minimum. We do a biweekly supermarket shop and a bimonthly trip to the off licence, but otherwise hardly leave our gated community during termtime.
    The upshot of this is that after you've got your 4x4 and your 60 inch telly, most of your earnings go straight into savings. I save more money every year than I earned in the UK, despite spending all three monhs of the holidays travelling in other countries: In termtime, I can literally go for weeks on end only spending the odd quid on sandwiches and cokes.
    The major downside remains the huge difficulty in getting the simplest things done, which hasn't really improved in the 5 years I've been here. Public servants and bank employees, etc, range in personality from the merely indifferent to the downright hostile, Doing anything at all - opening a bank account, collecting a parcel from the post office, geting your car insured, etc, inevitably involves dozens of phone calls, half a dozen trips to the bank etc itself, and hours of waiting in queues. This isn't helped by the disinclination of many Qatari businesses to keep anyhing like regular business hours and the fact that many of their key employees seem to spend a least 4 hours a day having lunch.

  9. Surprised re: your comments about hostility, chevalier, I heard that the locals are a friendly bunch (on the whole!).
    Re: your trips to the off-licence, how does the alcohol licence system work? I assume it's much more expensive?
  10. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    Alcohol requires a license which costs 1000 riyals, about 170 quid. You need a letter from your employer saying that they allow you to drink alcohol and a payslip showing your monthly salary. The amount you can spend is dependent on your salary. There are two off-licenses, they are called "Bonds" here, in Qatar. One on Doha, the other in Dukhan in our compound. I am not a big drinker so I have never been. Booze is slightly more expensive but there are bargains to be had on certain beer, apparently.
  11. Qataris are a friendly bunch, but there's an entrenched bureacracy that means everything is more difficult than it should be. At the risk of sounding offensive, ne often gets the feeling from Qatari people that they find the very idea of working a bit of an alien concept. A visit to the post office always entails trying to distract them from watching youtube for enough time to buy a stamp, and often having to instruct them on how the letter weighing machine works. Your presence as a customer is always treated as an unwelcome interruption to the day.

    As for booze, its about 5 quid for a bottle of wine and 25 quid for a crate of lager - not too much over UK prices, If you have specialised tastes it starts getting dear - 4 cans of guinness is a tenner.

    A pint in a hotel is about 8 quid, but few expats frequent the hotel bars too often - Generally speaking., the 'pub ambience' is something that hasn't been achieved, and their rather depressing places full of rig workers on the lash and Filipino prostiutes.
  12. You know how to liven up a party Chevalier! I have not laughted so much in a long while! Sounds like the wild west during the prohebition :) I have an interview in Feb. Hope I make it, really wanting to join your ranks! Any tips for the interview?
  13. About housing..I received a lovely DVD showing the accommodation available. Do teachers get villas or flats? I have one dependent, is there two bedroomed accomodation for my size family? (they only mentioned 3 and 1 bed villas or flats).
    Also, how far away from school is the accomodation? Do you need a car? Is Dukhan like the USA where you <u>have to</u> drive everywhere?
  14. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    There is only single accomodation(1 bed) and family accomodation(3 bed). At this time of year a lot of teachers walk to school but thats impossible when its over 40C. You would get a large 3 bed flat.
    Some of the new arrivals here have decided not to have a car purely because driving is a dangerous business here.
    If you have kids a car will be a necessity. Inside the compound its possible to cycle but when it hots up forget it.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The alcohol situation is not quite so bad, provided that you can actually find the QDC (the quaintly-named Qatar Distribution Company, aka The Booze Shop). They sell those rather good boxes of South African plonk. Prices are not too awful, but you do have to stump up your 1000QR for the liquor licence (which you get back when you leave).
    Yes, the driving in Doha is pretty awful (Mrs Hippo refused to drive) and you just have to get used to the idea that there are certain times on certain days of the week when no one in their right mind uses a car.
  16. We too have received the DVD. Do the villas have an outside area ie a garden or patio, Qatarsoon? What about washing facilities-is there a laundry room? Like the look of the school/accommodation, just wish there were more images of the accommodation and its immediate surroundings. Hard to put it into context re:distances between housing/school/shops.
    The DVD refers to a new shopping mall being built. Is it finished now, and what's it like?
    Thanks for your help yet again, Qatarsoon!
  17. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    hi motspur and all
    There are no villas left. New staff will be allocated a flat. Single flats are small. Family flats have at least 3 bedrooms and are spacious and have a separate laundry room. the area around the flats is kept very clean and tidy by an army of workers. Rubbish is collected every day, none of this one-wheelie-bin-a-fortnight business.

    it is illegal to take pictures inside Dukhan. Hence the lack of pictorial info.

    Inside the compound everything is walkable. There is a small supermarket inside the compound which is very cheap. There is a slightly bigger supermarket outside the compound about 2 minutes drive away. This sells fresh meat and is very reasonable. The collection of shops outside the compound, i.e. the new shopping mall, is growing and now includes a proper post office, a computer shop, a stationer, a tailor(very cheap), a telephone shop and a barber.

    I will repeat that the distances inside Dukhan are small but they are impossible to walk when the temp gets up near 50C.

    I believe Messaieed houses families in villas.

    Please keep asking questions. I hear some people are coming to Dukhan for their interviews. It was about this time last year that I had my interview.
  18. Hiya qatarsoon,
    I am having an interview very soon for Dukhan school. can you please help me with any tips about the interview?
    it is my first interview for abroad and I really dont have a scooby of any thing about it.
    many thanks.
  19. No I am going to london for the interview. However I will be interviewed by the Headteacher and HR Head of QP.
    can direct me please to a place where I can find the School ethos in please?
    I need to read a bit on that before the interview.

    Many thanks.
  20. Hi,
    I also have an interview and I am quite excited. I have worked in Doha before, so aware of ups and downs, just wondering how you rate the standard of education for your own children, mine will both be primary age. Also, do timings of the school day differ greatly for primary and secondary, if so, is there any childcare provision for children of teachers?(My children are primary age but I am secondary!) Thank you for taking time to provide so much wonderful information!

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