Ask an Expat in UAE

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  • Edward,

    your wife will have to follow you over, as you will have to sponsor her when you get your residency... after all the paperwork is done, you basically tell ADEC when she will be able to depart and they have the travel agency work with you in arranging the flight. The soonest a "foreign" spouse was able to get here was about one husband was still working, so he took his time! :) As much as I missed him, I was happy that by the time he got here I was kind of settled and had a car and was able to help him settle in quickly. He got work within a month of arriving, so that was good, too.

    Brandy, yeah, that is about the going rate for a Yaris/ Tiida...the other option is to buy or lease a car and some teachers have gone that route, too.

  • $400 is a lot to spend on a car, thats more than I pay for my much bigger RAV 4 here in the states! Do people share cars?

  • I love the idea of sharing a car, especially a rental during the first few months. I know last year's group had discussed this, but I don't know whatever came from it. Obviously, these arrangements would have to be made once people find out where they are living and teaching.

  • one might check into hiring a driver. i did this in egypt it was more expensive than taxi but cheaper than ownership.

  • Randy, how does hiring a driver differ from taking a taxi?

  • in egypt he drives for you at a guarenteed rate and at times you specify. it is kind of like he is your employee. he gets a guaranteed amount of money for a week month whatever and you get guaranteed service. they do moonlight when you do not need them or you can work out an exclusiive deal. that is the way people did it in egypt. there some liked the guaranteed monthly income versus an inshalla on what they could make or not make. uae could be different we will just have to wait and see

  • Thanks, Randy. I'll file this information away.

  • oooooooooh, Randy, I like that idea,lol.

    Lisa, is leasing/buying a car less expensive? I looked into that and read about how you have to be careful bc they get cars that have been damaged by accidents, possibly floods, they tear them down and build them back up-which is dangerous. I dont want that to happen. I like the idea of shipping (plus you can put other belongings in your car). If your car is paid for, it saves you about 5000 dollars if you stay for at least two years.

    Sharing a rental is another option. I agree with Megan, that is a bit to spend ESP when you have a car payment back home.

  • Brandy, I read on another post that bringing your own car to the UAE is not recommended due to the difference in weather. Our cars in the US just are not made to withstand the heat and humidity that they have over there. I am sure once we all get there and know where we will be living and working we can all figure something out. *fingers crossed*

  • I read the same thing. There are a few cars that are made to withstand the heat and Mercedes are one of them. Im going to call the dealer to find out. My husbands is an older model but a mercedes just the same,lol. Ill see what he says.

    Ive been reading an Arab car guide or something like that though I cant recall the name. Been googling like a crazy woman,lol.


    Getting a UAE license is NO BIG DEAL. Get your States license translated by one of the many translation offices once you get here. Get a passport size picture from one of the many photo studios. Go to the drivers license office on Muroor Road (4rth street) and pay the fee and you will have it under an hour. Of course you need copies of your residence visa and passport photo page.

  • Sharing a rental is a little difficult and adds an additional charge to your monthly rental fee for insurance....many people do, however, car pool and this helps out with the rental cost.

    Most of the people I know who bought a car bought new...I am not sure about specifics on that...not a bad idea if you plan on being here for the long run; personally, I like not having the worry about maintaining a car here, although I do still have a car I am making payments on in Canada.

  • Hello everyone,

    How is the mail handled in AD? Meaning, will we need to get a P.O. Box, delivered to housing, etc.?

  • If you want to receive mail in the UAE, you will have to get a PO Box. Some things may be delivered to your door (credit cards and other banking materials etc.) but they will be delivered via courier to wherever you happen to be at the time (home, school, wherever you want them to meet you).

    I have not needed to get a PO Box as all of my bills arrive via email/text message here.

    My mail in the states has been forwarded to a family member's house and I have packages sent to my school's PO Box when necessary.

  • A PO Box costs 200 dirham per year. You can have mail delivered to your school PO Box, or you can share one with colleagues/friends, they give you two keys.

  • Thanks Crystal and Aezad! Great advice!

  • Can you give me a rough estimate as to when school actually get out for the summer. I know we have not attended orientation yet LOL, but my family reunion takes place every two years and we go on a cruise. So, I am included in the Jun/Jul 2011 family reunion I need to give them a time frame. Would it be safe to say that I'm on summer vacation from 15 June through 31 July 2011.

  • No, I wouldn't plan on vacation until July....we started later last year than we will be starting this year, but we don't get vacation until July 8th....until September. NOTHING is EVER set in stone....this is a country where flexibility is a MUST! :)

  • Did you have enough notice to book flights to your summer destination ( I am presuming home)?

  • We will not receive our travel stipend until June, however Etihad allows you to book your flights in advance and pay 2 weeks prior to traveling. They also give a 20% discount for ADEC teachers.

  • I have a question about the furniture allowance and Etihad. If we have to purchase all appliances, furniture, household goods, etc., it seems that the allowance would run out quickly. Tenatively, I will bring some $$$ for essentials, and then gradually purchase over time. But I'm just curious what to expect out of pocket, and how far we can stretch that allowance. Crystal, is the 20% from Etihad for ADEC teachers for all flights and travel from the UAE, or just to/from home? Thanks once again :)

  • Hi Tandy,

    You can furnish an entire flat on the furniture allowance (especially without kids). You can find household furnishings at every price range here and appliances are actually less expensive (in my experience). Of course it ultimately depends upon what you want/need. There are also several used furniture stores and people around here sell their stuff all the time (expats are always coming and going and needing to sell things).

    Of course you're not going to acquire the same items you've collected over your entire lifetime at home. If you're going to need a big Kitchen Aid mixer, a few hope chests, rocking chairs, china cabinet (with china) etc., the furniture allowance isn't going to last long. But if you're expecting to live like you did in your first nice apartment, you shouldn't have much of a problem acquiring the basics.

    The 20% Etihad discount for ADEC employees isn't exclusive to traveling to your home city, however there are restrictions...not sure about the details - you'll find that very few people around here are ever sure of any details :)

  • Thanks, Crystal! That's a bit of a relief, because my calculations were well over the allowance, with just the basics! I just need to wait until I get there, and not have that worry now. I asked about the airlines because I am really looking forward to travel opps - I am hoping that it will be affordable to fly to Europe and other countries. A 20% discount would be great!

  • Does ADEC pay for our ticket to our home country in July and then back to UAE for August before school starts?

    Furniture: check out the IKEA online in Abu Dhabi... great prices! I am a crazy for sheets, duvets, and pillows.

    I am bringing over some room darkening drapes, though, can't stand light in my bedroom.

  • Yes. They pay you the going rate for round trip airfare to your home city, you book the flights.

  • Can anyone speak about class size for the third grade?

  • In my school, I have 26 students in both first grade classes. I do know of some teachers that have over 30 in their classes. There was an attempt to bring in extra teachers to reduce the numbers, but it is still a problem in some of the schools.

  • Thanks Jami, I will certainly be challenged! What do you mean by "both" first grades? I know we only teach English, math and science. Are these classes taught consecuatively? Are there libraries in the schools? How about libraries in town?

  • I teach one class of first graders in the morning Math, SC and English. I have a break and then teach a second class of first graders Math, Sc. and English. There are seven periods in a day. Period 1-3 before break (one class of 26); then period 4-6 (second class of 26). Period 7 is my plan period. One of my co-teachers has one class of 26 first graders, then after break she has a class of second graders (26). She has to teach both first and second graders, however they are pretty much at the same level. She does the same lessons with modifications for both grades. Our school has a "Library", but very few appropriate books we can use. There are a few public libraries (one is at the university and one is at the English speaking school), but you have to pay a deposit and I have never even tried to go and see what they are like. Sorry I can not comment on those libraries.

  • Great advice Nancy; I truly appreciate your thoughts. That being said, since I am still teaching for three more months I have an opportunity to gather materials and set aside things I might use in the UAE. I don't want to add hours to my day, but often I see things that I THINK I might use overseas. It's hard to know. I think I speak for many teachers when I say anxiety comes from not feeing as if we will be prepared for our new positions. I think anxiety could be simmered, at least for me, if I felt like I had a place to start. Even if I don't use one thing I brought in a classroom, I would feel better if I FELT like I was ready for week one!

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