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Moving to UAE for work

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Wishfulglobetrotter, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    I recommend changing your username and photograph (if they are your real name and face) to give yourself some anonymity on the forum.
  2. Ds2d12

    Ds2d12 Occasional commenter

    I’m still waiting for concrete information either way too. HR aren’t going very quickly atm and my anxiety is sky high!

    however, I’m in a Facebook group of new Dubai starters and some have already been sent their flight tickets and accommodation details. So things are moving.
  3. Cider678

    Cider678 New commenter

    Anyone got there flight details and accommodation details for any aldar schools for Abu Dhabi this august?
  4. gazboltonfc

    gazboltonfc New commenter

    My brother in law is a teacher in Dubai and he loves it. I'm sure you're going to have a great experience working over there.
  5. Wishfulglobetrotter

    Wishfulglobetrotter New commenter

    Not yet, have you?
  6. jazzdrummer

    jazzdrummer New commenter

    My wife is due to start teaching at an International School - we are due to fly out on 8th August. So far, she has ADEK approval but the visa hasn't been processed as as far as we are aware, Abu Dhabi are not issuing Tourist Visas either so I am really unclear about how we are going to get there, despite having the flight booked.

    A friend of mine suggested flying to Dubai and transiting by land to Abu Dhabi as we will be able to get in that way but it seems to be adding more cost and uncertainty.

    I am scared that she has handed-in her notice to start in August and that they will pull the job at the last minute for some reason. We don't know where our accommodation will be (although she was asked to express a preference a few weeks ago)

    Can anybody shed any light on the visa situation please?
  7. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    I would go on what the school advise. Keep in touch with them best you can.
    I want to be able to reassure you that they won't pull the job last minute but unfortunately in international teaching, no one can be so certain - not even the schools. In my school in the last few weeks they have decided to do one less class than they planned due to numbers so someone has had that unlucky call.

    It's common for you to not necessarily know your exact accommodation before you arrive.
  8. jazzdrummer

    jazzdrummer New commenter

    Thank you. We have literally just been told that we are in a brand new apartment block on Al Reem. It's nice to have something concrete (pardon the pun) rather than 'You'll find out in due course' which is what we've heard a lot of.
  9. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    It's easier if it's a new apartment as you've probably seen the exact plan before arriving then.
    Here in China, the housing market moves so fast that sometimes there is no point in looking more than 2 weeks in advance of a moving date.
  10. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I think some schools are actively trying to “look after” new staff joining them this year. Unfortunately the term “new build” does not conjure up the image of quality finishes in the ME and China. I would definitely take with me a copy of the Reader's Digest Home DIY Repair Manual and a roll of Duck Tape to fix all the leaking pipes. The use of the cheapest labour doesn't produce a quality product and once you pull the nice marble floor cover up to fix the sewage blockage that's when you find where the rats are living.

    Also new build areas tend to be lacking in local shops, cheap restaurants and now far is the nearest Carrefour. Check the availability and costs of taxis to the nearest amenities, how long and what costs to get a driving licence processed. Taxis tend to avoid new build areas as no one lives there. How long will it take to commute to school and will the school provide a bus until everyone has their driving licence and cars.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    febbers is a bit more pessimistic than usual, but alas he is probably right. My memories of Al Rehab (the school for ex-alcoholics) come flooding back.
  12. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I am just being “Realistic” about moving to a new country and definitely you need to look a gift horse in the mouth.

    I was in Dubai just before the lockdown kicked in and stayed for 2 weeks in an new build apartment that was described as been central. It was cheaper to hire a car for 10 days then continue to pay for taxes to get around, long term use of taxes in Dubai is not cheap. Best weekly grocery shopping is in Carrefour if you are a lowly paid teacher. The electric's in the new appartment would trip out when the air conditioning switched on, you could get a mild electric shock touching the kitchen sink as it was wired into the earth cable, which I disconnected wearing pink marigolds!(Getting a constant electric current in the appartment earth cable points to some serious electrical problems.)The washing machine out pipe ran directly under the toilet seat into the bowl but that is ok as it was the maids bathroom as described in the estate agents booklet and the property was yours 2 million dollars. Even the nearest 7 to 11 type shop closed at 6pm due to the lack of business and only enough of a population in the area to support one stray cat.
  13. frodo_magic

    frodo_magic New commenter


    Can't talk about this place, but moved in to a new build for my first Kuwait job. It was a concrete shell, basic would be an exaggeration, barely furnished, miles from anywhere, took an age to get to work on the bus which was hell on earth in the Summer 48 deg heat, no facilities except a small local shop and one selling kebabs, and a block full of recovering alcoholic English teachers, all brewing home brew! I lasted a year before saying enough was enough.

    Happy days.
  14. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Well speaking of alcohol if you are flying into Dubai to start employment for the first time. As you pass through Duty free pick up 4 crates of beer, 3 bottles of JD, 3 bottles of Black Label and 12 x 3Lt boxes of wine. That should keep you going for the first couple of weeks in the desert.

    Have an empty 9.99GBP sports bag from Sports Direct ready in your hand luggage to load the beverages into before you leave the shop, the bags hold 70Lt by volume.(keep it hidden as some taxi drivers dont like to carry contraband if heading into Sharjah)Also keep the shop receipt in case the police give you a visit to prove you have not been buying on the grey market.
  15. markedout

    markedout Occasional commenter

    You can find current entry terms for Abu Dhabi through sites like The National newspaper. It is different to Dubai at present as there has been a surge in covid cases in Abu Dhabi. My friend who lives there is effectively trapped in the emirate, and a colleague who works in Dubai but lives in AD can enter Dubai freely providing she has a negative test to show at the border on her way home!
  16. carrickally

    carrickally New commenter

    Markedout, we are in Abu Dhabi and working on the assumption that the majority of covid cases are currently in Dubai. Just shows how rumour builds when the press releases don't give a detailed picture, no matter which country.

    Jazzdrummer, not sure where exactly on Reem you will be but there is a waitrose in the centre, carrefour at one end of the island and lulu at the other (all of a similar size, like a tesco metro). A taxi within reem will cost you no more than 20dhs, no less than 12.

    As soon as you arrive and have a phone, set up a zomato account so you can at least order in some food, which is relatively cost effective.

    I have heard that residential pools are starting to reopen on Reem too, so that will help you out.
  17. jazzdrummer

    jazzdrummer New commenter


    We are in Al Muhaimat Tower in Al Reem. It looks quite central.

    My concern is really the visa issue. My wife does not have a work visa yet - and - even if it DOES appear, I don't know where I stand myself. There aren't any tourist visas currently being issued/allowed on arrival.

    We have to book a CV-19 test - £140 each, 48-72 hours before we fly on Saturday 8th and I am loath to do that if we aren't going to end up flying on that date.

    There is a lack of clarity/reassurance from the schools - even if they said 'In this eventuality, THIS would happen - alternatively, this may happen' but at the moment, we haven't a clue.
  18. carrickally

    carrickally New commenter

    Jazzdrummer, would you believe I was visiting a friend there earlier!

    While I can't reassure you about the visas (except to say that the school are almoat certainly trying their best and probably aware that ADEK and govt change things at the drop of a hat), Ican tell you that you have a minimarket 2 minutes walk from your building, the new Reem mall is five minutes walk away (not open until late next year, at the earliest) and Boutik Mall is fifteen mins walk. You are also close to the bus route that runs from Boutik mall to Marina mall and taxis would be close by when you order them.

    Best of luck and message me if you need any more info!
    jazzdrummer likes this.
  19. jazzdrummer

    jazzdrummer New commenter

    Carrickally Thank you.

    I am asking my wife to email her school now -we can’t apply for ICA approval as we don’t fall into the categories due to the work visa not having been processed.
    There are no tourist visas - so we’re stuck until something changes at their end.
    It’s making something that was always going to be stressful, doubly-so due to the uncertainty.

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