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Moving to the UAE as a single mother

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by sdvuba, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    RachieC pretty much confirms what I have heard from a variety of sources. Packages are not so good these days, schools are looking for ways to trim the staff budget and the cost of living in the UAE is a bit higher than it used to be.
  2. Morena123

    Morena123 New commenter

    If you're open to other locations and your main purpose is saving, you could consider some random location like Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan, I believe they have good packages and fewer opportunities to spend all your money living it up! And I think there would be less of an issue with being a single parent there. But I haven't worked in these places, maybe someone who has can comment further.

    I'm in Thailand and it is definitely still possible to save here, if you're sensible. If you can find a job at one of the better schools you should get a reasonable salary and if you're happy to live in a smaller condo or one a little further from the action then you can save money on accommodation. Food and childcare are cheap and the life is easy (I have 3 children, one born here). If your school has an Early Years your child would get a free place which can reduce your childcare further as you don't need a full-time nanny (though once you've had one, it's hard to go back!!)

    Other SE Asian countries are worth a look too - there are some great schools in Vietnam, Malaysia... I would avoid Singapore if you want to save.
  3. teachersn

    teachersn New commenter

    I want to move my wife and 2 children abroad and it does concern me that saving for retirement seems to be getting harder and work life balance may not be too different to that in the UK. But I’m also confused with why that is as most jobs seem to get circa £2500 per month and being rent free that saves me an additional £1000 per month.

    I have 2 children aged 4 and 1. My wife had to return to work so we could afford our mortgage And we now pay £800 childcare p/m.

    I’m on SLT and my wife a head of faculty, on top of mortgage, childcare and other costs we are able to save per month enough to afford 1 holiday a year. Otherwise, we are hoping the TPS will see us right in the future.

    Would we be worse of if we move abroad to the likes of Middle East, China or Far East?
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would gustimate that after your moving and set up costs you should be able to bank one salary if you are both working at your current standard of living, maybe one extra foreign holiday.
  5. mungomango

    mungomango New commenter

    I am in Dubai and I think Dubai is great if you want somewhere really multicultural and if you want to meet others who think the same as you. There is a huge S.African population here.
    I have also worked with a number of single parents at school, all of which manage to make it work. Could you earn more elsewhere? Maybe. Have packages been cut here in the Covid World? Yes. Is it expensive to live in Dubai? Yes. It's always worth a shot.
  6. teachersn

    teachersn New commenter

    Why is it soooo expensive to live in Dubai ? What is it that makes it so expensive vs the UK? I checked Numbeo and the rent is extortionate but also irrelevant. Otherwise it is comparable to the UK for food and bills.
  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Many expats in UAE are on 100000AED per month plus free expenses. As a teacher you are paid chicken s h ! t. Everything is then priced accordingly.
  8. teachersn

    teachersn New commenter

    For example ... I have only ever holidayed there but if a nanny is affordable then I’m not sure what the massive expenses are. Especially considering the free facilities like beaches and parks.
  9. RachieC

    RachieC New commenter

    @teachersn it all depends on the package you get offered. What’s on offer is decreasing. Before you may have got 2+ school places offered, now you may only get one. If you don’t take school provided accommodation, if that’s offered, your allowance to cover rent might be less. As a family, you may not want to be in one of the apartments that are provided as they can be small or in built up or remote areas. Childcare will cost. I was paying 25000dhs per term 7 years ago for 3 days a week. If you get live in help you need a maids room for them or pay for their accommodation and transport to your accommodation. You’ll need at least one car if a schlepping kids around and kids activities cost around 50dhs per hour minimum. Regular sports lessons are 80dhs an hour Beaches and parks are only really pleasant 8 months of the year. Groceries are expensive if you want western brands. We spend around 2500dhs per month on this, another 2500 on electricity/internet/phones and We are very conservative. Car rental probably 1500dhs a month for a basic saloon. Not sure how this compare to U.K. as been here so long.
    teachersn likes this.
  10. shakes1616

    shakes1616 Established commenter

    Have you got any evidence to back up your assertion? 100,000 dhs is a LOT.
  11. teachersn

    teachersn New commenter

    @RachieC this is a great reply, thank you very much!! Seems food is similar but a touch more expensive. Gas electric etc seems v.expensive but cars are roughly the same as are activities. I’d love to go outside for 8 months compared to our 4 . Like you say it is all about the package. But it does not seem crazy expensive considering we also pay £205 council tax p/m
  12. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    A lot is down to choice too. Too many good people opt in to the weekly champagne brunches, the flashier cars, the thrice yearly major holidays to exotic locales, and never find two extra pennies to rub together.
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Just open your eyes and look around at the expat couples with his and her Range Rovers, how do so many parents pay for 3 or 4 kids school fees. Not to mention villa rental and family membership to the country Club.

    Someone is being well paid and it's not you.
  14. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Or someone's lifestyle has been scarily leveraged - and that's easier to believe than that the majority of expats are earning monopoly money. In truth, there are some earning that sort of money. And there are many many more spending as if they do.
  15. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Definitely don't default on your car repayments!
  16. teachersn

    teachersn New commenter

    So can we say that packages are going down but still afford people a better opportunity to save, especially if you are a teaching couple? I have seen people saying they are earning 100k a year abroad teaching and that is just not possible in the UK without being a head or deputy of a large school.

    I also think if you do work somewhere you are happy to stay through hols then it saves money as you are not paying to vacation. Can’t imagine many countries put their prices up as much as UK hotels or holiday companies as the UK do?

    Now pensions - will they be worth it when I retire.... being a 40 year old how many years do I have left before I can claim TPS? What will my pension be like if I leave now ?
  17. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    teachersn, we have to ask whether the TPS will really exist in twenty or thirty years' time. Already it has been eroded and reduced. Now youngsters have to retire at 65 (or is it 66?) and the lump sum has been scrapped.

    I think that many people who live in the UK do not seem to realize what an expensive place it has become.
  18. awells75

    awells75 New commenter

    Dear sir
    I have just moved away from Abu Dhabi after living there and teaching in a great school for 23 years. It is a wonderful place to bring up young kids.
    Having a live in maid is not expensive at all. Approx 500 pounds a month.
    The place is ridiculously safe and the families and kids there are great a brilliant to teach.
    Yes it's expensive but you are paid well when you take in to consideration you have no rent.
    But it makes a huge difference what school you work in. Avoiding profit making schools is key to this. GEMS schools and similar are very poorly paid. However I must add that when take off your rent and tax from your UK salary I bet you will not be better off at home.
    One thing to watch is that they are funny about couples living together that are not married. Your school may not like this and it will cause issues when looking for a place to live or getting other contracts.
    Usually things are put in the man's name but it will depend on who is sponsoring you and your partner.
    If you went with just you and the child, it would not be a problem but the school would have to know what is happening as they will be your sponsor and will know the rules. Each school has a PRO that deals with all government visas etc
    Good luck
  19. shakes1616

    shakes1616 Established commenter

    And just how much pension would you have accrued in 23 years paying into the UK TPS? You don't have that having been in AD for 23 years do you?
  20. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Maybe not but potentially got a lot more from other investments/plans. We can't assume this person is better off or worse off financially without the TPS.

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