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Situation in Dubai

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Timetofly, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. mungomango

    mungomango New commenter

    I suppose I just want to echo what others have said. Dubai is not for everyone, either personally or professionally but it can be great. I have worked in 2 other countries before arriving here 7 years ago and they all have their pros and cons.

    There are still loads of job opportunities in Dubai each year, but there is a lot of competition for the positions. Having said that we still struggle to fill some positions each year so it's not always the case. However, too many schools opened, then industries cut jobs so schools are struggling as a whole to fill seats and it's a tough market. There have been various wage freezes for teachers etc.

    I arrived here on 14k 7 years ago (plus accommodation etc) as a Head of Department and now I earn a considerable amount more, but I have also had promotions. At the time I was earning the same as I would have in my previous job in a well paid country in Europe.

    If you are young, it is a great place to live - loads of partying opportunities. However, I came here at 30 and I am now 37 and it's also great. I only go to brunch about 3 times a year. But I also go to the souks in Old Dubai and watch the Dhows sail to Iran, I go to a really cheap Vietnamese restaurant and eat a massive bowl of Pho for about 3 GBP. I go and watch the birds at the bird sanctuary, walk my dog at lakes in the desert and watch sunrises in the cold winter, I eat cheap Indian delivery food, I go to the mall when it's hot and can't take any more shopping, I am going to Abu Dhabi this weekend for a staycation at a 5* resort where I will lie in the sun (although it's actually pretty cold at the moment) and eat at an amazing Indian restaurant. In half term I could have seen Alicia Keys, Snow Patrol and Jamiroqaui in concert at the Jazz Festival or seen Roger Federer play in the Dubai tennis. 3 weeks ago I went to see Othello at the Dubai Opera House which was an acclaimed English touring production. I am going to see Michael McIntyre in concert in a month's time. I've seen top quality golf, Formula One.

    There are people that hate it here, and I go through times when it's far too hot, some people are too arrogant and I just want to walk in the cold and green. But most of the time it's a great place to live!!
  2. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    I hear Othello was brilliant by all accounts :)

    Myself and my young family are going out to Kuwait this August, and myself having been to Dubai airport more than 20 times, but never to Dubai itself, we are looking forward to a weekend or longer there on holiday in the not too distant future.

    However, despite all the negativity we know people who are teaching there and absolutely love it. After a year or two in Kuwait we are very much hoping to target Dubai as a destination. I know what everyone has said in this thread, and are aware that it may not happen or be suitable when we are ready for it, but if we can find somewhere we can both teach and a decent education for our two young ones then we will jump at the chance.....
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. Yes, "Dubai bashing" is quite a popular sport on this forum. I have no doubt that many young(ish) teachers have a lot of fun in Dubai.
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I had a good look around Dubai and the rest of the UAE last month on a holiday and a couple of job interviews. I would say Dubai would be an easy city to live and work in with my experience and knowledge.

    The difficult bit is finding a job in a handful of schools in the UAE that I would consider working in for various reasons. Also finding a salary I would consider as anything under 15K would be low wages and I would be looking for 17K as a minimum.

    Dubai is not a cheap place to live as 1KG of fresh pork chops at Spinneys was 70AED and the frozen package was 35AED, at least Carrefour was cheap for the weekly shop.

    I can understand the demand of UK teachers to work in Dubai, but I can well see the dark side of the place. A great many new shopping malls, but many only have half the shops open. When you look behind the marble walls its all plaster board and MDF. The Metro system makes transport very easy, but to get to the Atlantis takes four separate Metro lines at a high cost, cheaper to take a taxi home then pay for the return monorail and metro fares.

    We spent a good family day out at a man made beach and island where the builder had gone bankrupt and not build any apartment's on the man made island. Only the land had been made out of the sea and roads to where the villas and apartment would be, so easy access to the beach and sea.

    I can recommend the cod and chips on sale in the Dubai Mall, Rock Bottom's still serves a good pint and compared to China I actually found the driving in Dubai to be very polite.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The driving in Dubai is very polite, compared to China? Well, that is not much of a recommendation.
  6. bead

    bead New commenter

    Well said Powergnome 3. Even here in Kuwait, the lifestyle is way better than most other places, as is the work/life balance. This is why many, many people return from the so called great places to the middle east.

    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    De gustibus non disputandum!
  8. Timetofly

    Timetofly New commenter

    I think this has turned into another pros or cons list of life in Dubai. For me I have no choice. That is where we will go next but it’s whether schools are taking on overseas hires with children. I’ve heard lots of contradicting things so it’s good to get some advice. Nice to hear people are still hiring. From speaking to colleagues who have worked in Dubai it seems the not for profits are a good bet. Also interested in Ford Angel and the Crown school but again hear conflicting things. Won’t be applying until next year anyway so I guess plenty time to research!
  9. rednelly84

    rednelly84 Occasional commenter

    I've been in Abu Dhabi for a decade. Its a very different place to when I came.

    Starting salaries have dropped, gratuities and other benefits once considered as standard have also been drastically cut and in some cases, done away with. Its now a young people's place. I'm in my mid 30's and we've just hired 22 year olds for September. In the school I work in, this would've been unheard of 10 years ago. Young, relatively new teachers need not apply. Families were favoured for stability but the economy now dictates a vastly different agenda. Take my mid year supply order. I put in for a box of 100 glue sticks. I was given 10. That's to do me until July. The starting monthly salary for my school was once AED14.5k for a teacher with 2 to 3 years experience. It's now AED9.5k.

    The children I now teach are significantly lower ability as more and more expats choose to move on. My school has been non selective for the past few years so we have to accept anyone that walks through the door, even if they perform poorly in their token entry assessments.

    I'm finally leaving and can't wait. I have loved my time here and feel very humbled by the experiences I've had, the people I've met and the places I've travelled to. In conclusion: the UAE is not now the place to be.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  10. Powergnome3

    Powergnome3 Occasional commenter

    That is one opinion, Red Nelly, and as it is your personal story, it is completely valid; however, my experience is somewhat at odds... while I agree it is tougher times, and I do know even one of the top three schools has had its package reduced, for me it has been, and remains, a very lucrative (in all ways, not just financial)place to be - and I am fortunate to be in a school where the recent salary review did not reduce the package.
    It does, however, go to show that you really do need to do your homework on schools.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  11. Cashworth24

    Cashworth24 New commenter

    Omg I hope I get a job in Abu Dhabi and my life is like this very soon.
  12. spatialplanning

    spatialplanning New commenter

    Recommendations, please!! :)
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    My recommendation is something called The International Schools' Review. In the ISR, you will find lots of reviews, written by teachers. Some reviews are probably more reliable than others.
    hplovegame48 likes this.
  14. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    There are so many qualified, experienced teachers leaving the UK at the moment its difficult to compete. I had a recent conversation with some principals currently in Dubai and it was a depressing experience. The are public school educated, double barrelled named, oxford graduates applying for classroom teaching jobs paying 12000AED/month.
    tyler durden likes this.
  15. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    Not sure it has reviews of Pho restaurants though.
  16. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, Mr. Frosty, I am not sure you would have much appetite after reading some of the ISR reviews.
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  17. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    :D I've read a lot of ISR reviews that have left me feeling queezy!
  18. theintlteacher

    theintlteacher New commenter

    Wow that is a depressing indictment of the state of play in the UK. Brexit was all we needed to make the move, and don’t regret it for a single minute. Anecdotally, most colleagues who want to move are securing posts at good schools. Prior international experience seems to be still highly-valued even against the Oxbridge contingent.
  19. RachieC

    RachieC New commenter

    I have been in DXB for over 10yrs. Lucrative packages are harder to come by and if you have children and need a housing package, you’re going to find it harder as all schools are finding it tougher to get bums on seats so are looking to save money where they can. I’m looking for a new role and despite my experience, am finding it hard as I feel I’m more ‘expensive’ than those that are newly qualified.
  20. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    It's not only DXB. The rest of the ME are starting support and cover only the teaching spouse. In addition, SeeRrH did hold a fair and warned off candidates with families. Could be a sign to come with a permanent effects.

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