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The ultimate Middle East Teaching experience and quality of life. UK thread!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by BiologyNW, Sep 22, 2019.

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Where is the best place to live and work in the Middle East?

  1. Jeddah

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Riyadh

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Dubai

    5 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. Abu Dhabi

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  5. Ajman

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Sharjah

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Ras Al Khayma

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Doha

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  9. Kuwait

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  1. BiologyNW

    BiologyNW New commenter

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to this and wanted to start a thread on the above topic. I think it would be very helpful as many teachers are looking at moving abroad and some have families etc. and there's 101 things to consider.

    So whats been your experience of teaching in the middle east either in british or national schools? Is it way more difficult and demanding than the UK? Do they support CPD and career development?

    What the quality of life over there in places like KSA, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE? What about if you have a family? is it worth it if its just one of you working? How expensive is it to live and is there anywhere in particular that is more reasonable to live and save?

    I've also heard that sometimes, contracts offered initially are sometimes changed upon arriving to the country which makes the individual stuck in a difficult situation. Has anyone had these experiences or any advice to avoid this?

    Overall do the positives outweigh the negatives?

    It would be really interesting to see what teachers who have actually worked abroad have to say and would definitely be a help including to me.
     
  2. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    All of your questions have been discussed, fought and explained with rigorous detail in threads that already exist.

    Use the specific city or country as your keyword search. Good luck!
     
    bobbingtoncrescent likes this.
  3. tica

    tica New commenter

    why is Oman not on the first post? Surely the best place in the Middle East.
     
    desertestrella7 likes this.
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    On the whole I must agree with taiyah. These issues have already really been covered on this TES forum, in great detail.

    The Middle East is a rather vague geographical expression. Yes, there are some similarities between the countries of the region, but there are also many, many differences. Some of these are rather "Marmite" things. You might like them, while someone else might not.

    How expensive is it? Well, it depends a lot on whether you have a car. Yes, petrol is cheaper than in the UK, but car repairs are not free. Lots of expat teachers choose to rent a car and that can be a very expensive option. On the other hand, buying a car and then selling it two or three years later can also leave you with some big holes in your pocket.

    Eating out can also be expensive (and it certainly was in Qatar). In Egypt, there were plenty of super-cheap and yummy places to eat.

    In Egypt, Mr. and Mrs. Hippo had some great holidays and we never left the country to go somewhere else for our holidays. This definitely was not the case in Qatar and the KSA. When we were in the UAE, OMAN was not far away and yes, it is a fabulous place. I really liked all of the Omanis I met, whereas a lot of Saudis and Emiratis were not so nice.
     
  5. LCass

    LCass New commenter

    In terms of PD, I'd say it really depends on the school. Some schools offer fantastic PD opportunities, others offer pretty much no PD.

    The cost of living varies hugely for the different countries (and even within countries) but, like in most places, it also depends on your lifestyle. Dubai can be extremely expensive if you go to brunches every week, go shopping a lot and like to go 'out-out'. I could easily spend my entire salary within a week. You can also save a ton of money if you are a bit more careful and try find free or at least cheaper things to do, which is not actually as difficult as people often make it out to be. That said, we found living in northern Oman a lot more beneficial for our retirement fund. The school paid a lovely wage and there was very little to spend the money on. We saved one salary without even trying and usually had a good chunk of money left over from the other salary. A teaching couple at our school there has a small flat back at home they rent out - after their first year and the initial set-up costs (including a brand new car), they lived off the equivalent of the rental income and saved both their salaries.

    For me, medical care provision is also a big factor when picking somewhere to live. The quality of hospitals wasn't so wonderful where we lived in Oman, while I've had some excellent experiences in Dubai. Colleagues tell me that hospitals in KSA are very good, not sure about the other countries.

    In the end it boils down to what you like. I absolutely loved my time in Oman, but for different reasons I loved my time in Dubai (actually just moved back here).

    Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Easily! Loved living in Oman, love living in Dubai. Of course there are frustrations, but those existed back at home. The almost eternal sunshine certainly helps! We just moved back to the Middle East after a stint in Shanghai - I could not handle the winter weather at all!
     

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