Dubai documentary

Redwurzel

Well-known member
There is a BBC documentary about living in Dubai which to me was quite interesting watching.

No tax for those that worked there, seemed too good to be true. I expect free public services are very limited or does the country have lots of oil and gas?

A bloke from Newcastle who worked as a junior manager in Morrison's was offered a £80k (inc free medical care) a year job managing 16 Music Instrument shops. It looked like the wages were high there and the job opportunities very good. However the property seemed expensive £1500/month to rent a 1 bed flat in a nice location. Even so it must be possible to save over £40k a year if you have a management job.

Brits needed a work permit but if who had a job that was given for £800 a year.

Plenty of alcohol and bikinis worn in hotels which is totally against the Islamic faith - I thought.

Can such a lifestyle exist for ever, in the Middle East?
 
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fozzylegend

Member
the bbc doc is very economical with the truth i think. it also used a lot of shock factor. the guy from morrisons being offered a job to look after 16 music shops seems very far fetched but if anyone knows him i am happy to strand corrected. as for 'tax free' that is true... however there are hidden taxes everywhere.... free public services are non existent. rent, health insurance and schooling are your three biggest outlays. back in UK two of those are free so what you save in tax... you pay out elsewhere. also your home comforts such as a pint or a bacon sandwich come with a premium... as i said, what you save in tax is spent elsewhere. that said it was much easier to be stuck in a lockdown and restrictions the last couple of years with nice weather than rainy england. Also, there was no 'regular' expats on the show because that would have been too boring. my advice, come and see for yourself if you didn't already. it's quite a place.
 

Nero

Well-known member
A friend of mine accepted a job there a few years ago. His Missus hated it and although he was tax free it was very expensive for lots of things. He was back living in Scotland within 18 months.

As for alcohol. It's not quite as it seems in the Middle East. I worked offshore in the Persian Gulf for a few months. I use to fly into Dammam on the way to work, but my employer flew all Americans and Europeans home via Bahrain. The reason being alcohol was served in hotels there. We also crew changed on a Monday which I found a bit strange initially. However, the reason was the causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain was rammed between Thursday and Sunday. Lots of Saudis took advantage of alcohol being available and went to Bahrain for the weekend.
 

Magic Man

New member
I've not seen the doc but I can image how exaggerated it is. I've lived between Dubai & Abu Dhabi for the past few years, as above, although it is 'tax free' you do tend to pay a higher price for the majority of things than you would at home. That being said, I have just filled my car up for 120 AED (around 24 pound), so it's not all bad.
 

S7DiscoDown

Well-known member
I'm not a fan. I often moan about it and say I'd never go on holiday there as my mates are booking it as a 'dream holiday'.

I've probably spent a total of around 10-12 weeks in Dubai for free (well on deployment with the Navy). I just never liked the place. We once broke down and spent 5 weeks alongside. I was brassic.

Everything is so expensive and pretentious as everyone' appears' to have money (although many rent super cars etc). Bell ends with 4 litre bottles of Gray Goose and taking photos of every cocktail or meal.

I imagine it's brand has been tarnished by the sheer amount of YouTubers and influencers that go. Absolutely not not for me and definitely not for everyone. I've had a few mates go and all they do is complain about the price of everything.

I imagine if money is genuinely no object then 'crack on' as nice beaches and you'll get looked after.

That said I've not been for 9 years. The first time was 98 so I'm sure it's changed. I did pick up an original James Bond early naughties Blue Omega Seamaster for about a 3rd of the price and still own to this day. Think it's still worth about what I paid 👍
 

joeydiaz

Well-known member
Turned a job down there about 6 years ago working for BASF. The package was insane but I hadn’t even visited the place and I wasn’t ready to up sticks.
 

Cardiffdaffs

Well-known member
I worked and lived there for two years in the late 90s. May have said this before when the novelty wore off after about 2 months I started to dislike the place. Under that veneer of high end hotels, golden beaches, flash properties cars and endless miles of skyscraper glass is a state that I found abhorrent and a city with little soul.

Seeing the masses of Asian construction workers queuing up in burning heat waiting to be picked up to go to the latest project, living from hand to mouth in dusty labour camps. Many with no money and can’t afford to go home with no state support. You can only turn away and feel guilty from the plight of these people.

In the end I couldn’t wait to get away. Summer months weather wise is way too hot for comfort and you spend most of it indoors. Clearly those who enjoy a sun soaked life style living with expats like it And I certainly did initially. And with money you live really well and sport is a major feature. Horse racing, golf, cycling in the winter months up in the mountains. But in the end I grew to hate the place.
 

zzzzz

Well-known member
Never worked there but have in a few other Muslim countries but have holidayed there.
I found it the most vacuous place I've ever been to. Utterly false and lacking in any character, tradition or charisma, full of garish hypocricy.
The world is too small to give even a second thought to going back.
 

fozzylegend

Member
been here for almost four years now. we have our little circle of ex-pat friends and we spend a lot of time in each others company. there are no millionaires or pretentious folk in our circle. That and a constant stream of family visitors to come and stay with me make sure i keep my feet firmly on the ground helps.
Desert camping and arsing about on quad bikes while we grill and sip a few cold ones is as extravagant as i get. i see the people from the bbc doc all around.... luckily i don't swim in those circles... my family wouldn't let me go 'that way'
 

fozzylegend

Member
I've not seen the doc but I can image how exaggerated it is. I've lived between Dubai & Abu Dhabi for the past few years, as above, although it is 'tax free' you do tend to pay a higher price for the majority of things than you would at home. That being said, I have just filled my car up for 120 AED (around 24 pound), so it's not all bad.
180 aed from CAFU fills the truck for me
 

Magic Man

New member
been here for almost four years now. we have our little circle of ex-pat friends and we spend a lot of time in each others company. there are no millionaires or pretentious folk in our circle. That and a constant stream of family visitors to come and stay with me make sure i keep my feet firmly on the ground helps.
Desert camping and arsing about on quad bikes while we grill and sip a few cold ones is as extravagant as i get. i see the people from the bbc doc all around.... luckily i don't swim in those circles... my family wouldn't let me go 'that way'
Very similar myself, mate. I can understand why some people may have issues with the place on the face of it. I'm currently living in Abu Dhabi, it's perceived to be much less 'pretentious' that Dubai, but, that said, no matter where you live in the world, people looking on from afar are always going to look down their noses at you one way or another. No matter where you are living, you make your own way. The UAE is most definitely not perfect, but I'm not sure the UK measures up to be much better - if at all (especially at the moment). The benefits I see living here for myself and my family far outweigh the life we were living in the UK - but that's just my personal situation, others may be swayed differently.
 

Zoophonic

Well-known member
Very similar myself, mate. I can understand why some people may have issues with the place on the face of it. I'm currently living in Abu Dhabi, it's perceived to be much less 'pretentious' that Dubai, but, that said, no matter where you live in the world, people looking on from afar are always going to look down their noses at you one way or another. No matter where you are living, you make your own way. The UAE is most definitely not perfect, but I'm not sure the UK measures up to be much better - if at all (especially at the moment). The benefits I see living here for myself and my family far outweigh the life we were living in the UK - but that's just my personal situation, others may be swayed differently.
To be fair some of the comments above have been from people who have lived there. Me I went to Dubai on holiday and the Rugby 7s. It was ok but won't go again. Didn't like it really - can't put my finger on it but the comments it has no soul resonated with me.

It like Canary Wharf in the desert and wouldn't live there either.
 

Nero

Well-known member
Very similar myself, mate. I can understand why some people may have issues with the place on the face of it. I'm currently living in Abu Dhabi, it's perceived to be much less 'pretentious' that Dubai, but, that said, no matter where you live in the world, people looking on from afar are always going to look down their noses at you one way or another. No matter where you are living, you make your own way. The UAE is most definitely not perfect, but I'm not sure the UK measures up to be much better - if at all (especially at the moment). The benefits I see living here for myself and my family far outweigh the life we were living in the UK - but that's just my personal situation, others may be swayed differently.
Britain cannot lecture any other country or how people leads their lives in my opinion. Britain is a mess politically, has been arguing amongst itself since 2014 and has a system of government that is not fit for a modern society.
 

Magic Man

New member
To be fair some of the comments above have been from people who have lived there. Me I went to Dubai on holiday and the Rugby 7s. It was ok but won't go again. Didn't like it really - can't put my finger on it but the comments it has no soul resonated with me.

It like Canary Wharf in the desert and wouldn't live there either.
I think the 'no soul' thing is probably because everything is brand new, I get why that doesn't appeal to some people. What is the soul of the area you are currently living in, just out of curiosity?
 

zzzzz

Well-known member
I think the 'no soul' thing is probably because everything is brand new, I get why that doesn't appeal to some people. What is the soul of the area you are currently living in, just out of curiosity?
Centuries of tradition. A rich history dating back to the time before people started recoring it.
A rich cultural tapestry and a hugely diverse society. A democratic soul.
To compare the UK with Dubai interms of soul is just ridiculous.
 

zzzzz

Well-known member
Britain cannot lecture any other country or how people leads their lives in my opinion. Britain is a mess politically, has been arguing amongst itself since 2014 and has a system of government that is not fit for a modern society.
It's far from perfect but it is a democracy.
To compare it to Dubai is just daft.
 
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