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Would you live in Abu Dhabi or Qatar?


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#1 Lifesgood

Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

DH was contacted by a headhunter the other day regarding work with a couple of well known airlines in the UAE. He said he wasn't interested just at this point, but it got me thinking - would we move to the UAE to live for a few years?

We have lived in London pre-kids, which is not the same thing at all, and were contemplating going back there, or to Singapore/Hong Kong/Shanghai if opportunities arose. We have many reasons not to go, ageing and unwell parents at the top of the list, but I have always been put off the UAE because of how restrictive and risky the life there seems.

WDYT? Would/do you live there? Have you lived there?

#2 raven74

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

My aunt, uncle and their (then) two small kids (5 and 7)  lived in the UAE for two years.  They lived in an expat compound at the time.  They moved freely about though the women had to wear a hijab and abaya when out in public - 20 odd years ago though.  
They loved the experience, made a ton of money and don't regret it one bit.
ETA:  Jewelry.  OMG, the beautiful jewelry, the gold.  My aunt got some stunning pieces so cheaply!

Edited by raven74, 16 February 2013 - 04:06 PM.


#3 kpingitquiet

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

I wouldn't, but mostly for climate reasons. Adelaide is about as hot/dry as I could ever handle long-term. I used to live on the edge of the Mojave and that was murder...I moved within a few months.

I don't know anyone in Qatar but do know a few people who have lived in the UAE quite happily, at least for a short-term arrangement.

#4 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

I go into total meltdown at anything above 25 degrees, so it would be a big "No" from me.

#5 Procrastinator5000

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:14 PM

I couldn't do it. You're always inside in air conditioning, going from either home or to the mall. Everything seems so manufacturered and detached from nature. The climate (weather plus dust) looks just horrendous.

Having said that, I've only heard happy reports from people who have lived in Dubai or Oman, so..



#6 opethmum

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:18 PM

I would not live there at all. The risks are just to great for westerners. Of course they would like to provide a great lifestyle and get you living in a bubble but I could not endorse living in a country that has poor work rights for their poorest citizens and immigrant workers and the gap between rich and poor so great and their legal system being highly subjective.
Not to mention the restrictive religious freedom too even if you do not believe in anything you can effectively be put to death for your views.


#7 Maple Leaf

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:20 PM

No I wouldn't. Really have no interest in living in the UAE.
The following article was a bit eye opening for me.


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commen...ai-1664368.html

#8 ~sydblue~

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:22 PM

If it were just me and DH, yes probably. With girls that will turn 9 & 14 this year though, nope. Not a chance.

#9 Procrastinator5000

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:24 PM

Oh yes, and the slavery and racism.

#10 #YKG

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:24 PM

One of my close friends grew up in Dubai and mi Ed to Australia when he was 19, another friend goes there every year for a month both report good things.
Both have said no issues with having to wear head coverings for women or clothing choice you just need to make sure you observe religious things, my friend who goes over every year got in trouble last year for drinking water in public during a period of fasting or something along those lines.
Both have said the heat is a different type of heat. I want to go and if I liked it wouldn't have an issue with living there

#11 .Jerry.

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

A work colleague worked in Qatar for a year.  She enjoyed the experience (had her ten year old daughter with her) but it was a challenging time.

A friend of my sister has lived in Abu Dhabi for about ten years now.  They enjoy it.  It affords them a lavish lifestyle that could not be replicated anywhere else, but it does have drawbacks - censorship, restrictions etc.  They mostly interact within the british expat community - country club etc.

#12 Coffeegirl

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

Friends of ours, husband works for a UAE airline, but is based in Sydney.  They often have stop overs in Abu Dhabi when they fly to London and she loves it.

He was supposed to sent on a 3 mth training course late last year and she was going to pull her 3 kids out of school and move over with him.   The training  course was cancelled, but they would move in an instant.

#13 Squeekums Da Feral

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

I couldnt do it.
If im honest I wouldnt leave Australia long term.

#14 baddmammajamma

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

No.

I am uncomfortable living in any country that doesn't a high level of democracy & freedom. To be honest, that was a big factor -- not the humidity, not the high rises -- that made us eager to leave Singapore after 2+ years of living there. Coming from the U.S. or Australia or Canada or the U.K, you can almost take things like political rights (especially dissent against the government) & civil liberties for granted.

My understanding is that Qatar & the UAE are even more restrictive. I just wouldn't feel comfortable.

#15 Maple Leaf

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE (silverstreak @ 16/02/2013, 04:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I read that article years ago Maple Leaf and it still haunts me today. Shocking! sad.gif



I know! I have never forgotten it. I think anyone considering a move there should read it.

#16 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:43 PM

I can't deal with the heat very well so...

The worse thing though is what I have noticed among friends/associates who have done extended stints there is that they develop a sort of 'Days of the Raj' mentality - lose sight of their humanity and become able to ignore what is happening outside the compound bubble.

I think the huge money, and the separated life enables people to go past admitting "We love the money, but the human rights abuses here are disgusting." and puts them into a place of somehow justifying the life.

I don't love money enough to let that happen to me.

#17 JaneLane

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

No way I could live there, 25 degrees is pushing it heat wise for me. I wouldn't mind a quick visit just to see all the opulence (and do some shopping!) but could not stay long.  

A family friend lived and worked in Dubai for around 6 years with her 2 teenage kids going to school there.  She loved it but came back when the GFC made things hard.

#18 baddmammajamma

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 16/02/2013, 05:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The worse thing though is what I have noticed among friends/associates who have done extended stints there is that they develop a sort of 'Days of the Raj' mentality - lose sight of their humanity and become able to ignore what is happening outside the compound bubble.


I have seen this very dynamic in play, and it ain't pretty.

Maple Leaf, thanks for sharing that confronting article. I read it when it first came out, and I haven't forgotten it.

#19 Squeekums Da Feral

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:56 PM

QUOTE (Maple Leaf @ 16/02/2013, 04:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No I wouldn't. Really have no interest in living in the UAE.
The following article was a bit eye opening for me.


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commen...ai-1664368.html




ohmy.gif  Thats scarier than I imagianed

#20 Freddie'sMum

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

I think it would be an amazing place to visit (says she who only has Australia and NZ stamped on her passport) but I don't think we could live there permanently.



#21 miriams

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

I've read quite a bit about Westerners getting into serious debts etc over there so I'd probably think twice. Although Westerners are not treated quite as poorly as many of the migrant workers from the subcontinent, they still have to be quite wary of getting shafted when it comes to contract renewal etc.

#22 Lifesgood

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

QUOTE (Old Grey Mare @ 16/02/2013, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I go into total meltdown at anything above 25 degrees, so it would be a big "No" from me.

This would be a huge problem for me too. I get prickly heat rash when it goes over 28.

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 16/02/2013, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No.

I am uncomfortable living in any country that doesn't a high level of democracy & freedom. To be honest, that was a big factor -- not the humidity, not the high rises -- that made us eager to leave Singapore after 2+ years of living there. Coming from the U.S. or Australia or Canada or the U.K, you can almost take things like political rights (especially dissent against the government) & civil liberties for granted.

My understanding is that Qatar & the UAE are even more restrictive. I just wouldn't feel comfortable.

And this.

#23 The Old Feral

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:20 PM

I've lived there.  I wouldn't again, but enjoyed it at the time.  There's a fair bit of  misinformation in this thread,  I suggest you do your research.

#24 ~sydblue~

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

QUOTE

I read the part about the Australian woman who beat their Nanny, and I actually felt ashamed to be australian.
Not a very good example for her kids.

#25 Jane Jetson

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:28 PM

No. I'm a socialist and a feminist so I don't think I'd like it there.




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