Residing and Working within the United Arab Emirates

In direction of the top of my profession, I had waited years for some pleasure in my life. My job with the Australian authorities, after gradual restructuring, had change into a job I used to be not enthusiastic about, neither educated nor skilled. Certain, I completed the job, however I felt like a fish out of the water. I desperately wanted a brand new course as I waited for a promised redundancy bundle.

When my spouse returned from a visit to the Center East and advised I apply for a job within the United Arab Emirates, I assumed she was joking. She was not. Inside just a few days, I searched the Web for vacancies and located that there have been a whole lot. Inside a month or two, I had a job as a trainer on the School of Economics at Al Ain Ladies's School, certainly one of 13 Increased Schools of Expertise.

Since we had by no means lived abroad, it was an enormous determination to have a distinct tradition, far-off from our youngsters and grandchildren. We determined that we'd take the problem and if it didn't work, we might all the time come dwelling.

Our arrival

We arrived at Dubai Worldwide Airport after a 14-hour journey from Melbourne, Australia, to an ungodly hour. We have been advised that we needed to choose up our short-term visas from an immigration counter, however whereas we discovered the counter, the employees was elusive. Our first indication that issues are usually not going so nicely within the United Arab Emirates as in Australia. Inside an hour we'd gone by means of customs, picked up our suitcases and visas and left the airport with a really sympathetic, well-dressed and well-spoken Indian named Vijay. Vijay was a driver who was employed by Al Ain School, and we quickly realized that he was the one who made issues doable for brand spanking new staff ... Mr. Repair It.

After I signed my contract, I bought two envelopes. One had a sum of money to cowl our keep at one lodge for six days, the opposite had a examine for 30,000 dirhams for the set-up. We had no thought what a dirham was actually price, however it appeared like some huge cash ... and I had not labored a day.

Cool down

We discovered Al Ain a pleasant oasis with two lanes, separated by iron fences and date palms. It was surprisingly inexperienced for a spot in the course of the desert, however all over the place we went, we noticed that town authorities was proud to supply a fantastic metropolis with a wonderful street system and wonderful infrastructure. It was a lot nicer than our metropolis in Australia and the water was clearly plentiful.

For us, the distinction in clothes among the many inhabitants, who have been principally Indians, Pakistani, Afghani, Asians and Arabs, was very apparent. Caucasians like us have been comparatively uncommon (about 3,000 out of 400,000 inhabitants). The place the folks got here from, we might inform by their garments, if not their appears. Even the Arabs produce other garments. Guests from close by Oman have a headgear that distinguishes them from the native Emiratis, however each put on an analogous kandora (an extended white dress-like gown).

All we met have been pleasant regardless of frequent language limitations. There was no graffiti and litter was brief. The buildings ranged from intrusive to disintegrating brick settlements for low-paid work. Our lodging in an enormous residential complicated was palatial by Australian requirements; 4 bedrooms and a maid's room, 5 bogs, excessive ceilings and a two automobile storage. We couldn't imagine that two folks needs to be accommodated in such a big lodging.

The orientation of the HCT for our 14 new staff was tedious and complete, the perfect orientation program I've ever skilled. In September, I began instructing Human Sources subjects for latest yr college students and for laptop science and normal enterprise for first-year college students.

The challenges of instructing

For the primary few months, I puzzled if I had made the proper determination. I had 140 college students in courses of 20 between 19 and 25 years. Their English ranged from virtually incompetent to satisfactory and most couldn't type a easy sentence. They have been apparently not used to studying and never very motivated to study. Life in faculty was an escape from their houses.

Women wore conventional robes ... black abeyas from neck to toe and black headdresses. Some solely had their eyes seen. Their names weren't solely tedious, however principally new to me. I had a tough time announcing names and remembering who was who once they all seemed alike; brown eyes, brown pores and skin and black garments. After settling in, I noticed that it was a really immature crowd in comparison with Australian youngsters. Many had by no means been in a store; most had by no means spoken to males outdoors their households; Her information of the world was very shut and match tightly throughout the strict boundaries of her Islamic faith, tradition and her place in life. They'd principally nice, humorous predispositions, which was a lifesaver, as I shortly developed a wonderful relationship with most of them, someway reminding me of my very own daughter, now so far-off.

This unusual man from Australia, with a humorous accent that spoke quick and infrequently used Australian phrases, quickly tailored to his new environment and made associates with the locals.

Whereas the work was a substantial problem to encourage them to offer training in a significant and comprehensible method, it was additionally satisfying to know that at some point what I helped them study could be of worth to them and maybe assist them would United Arab Emirates.

discover associates

The very best a part of this journey was the brand new associates we met with expats from Canada, England, Scotland, Eire, the USA, Jordan, Egypt, France, Turkey and even Australia. Since the price of dwelling was so low-cost, we dined commonly and celebrated each birthday, Nationwide Day, and sometimes ate solely a meal, a glass of wine, and good firm.

Throughout our summer season holidays we now have been in a position to journey throughout Europe, to Canada, Hong Kong and to numerous Center Jap international locations outdoors the UAE. We spent every week in Cyprus. Certainly one of our causes for shifting to the United Arab Emirates was journey. We actually did that and it was so much cheaper than Down Below.

earn cash

My wage was about as excessive as in Australia, however there isn't any earnings tax. In actual fact, there are only a few taxes, though in case you are eating in a lodge now you pay 10% service cost and 6% metropolis tax. There are automobile registration charges, driving licenses, and so on., however all have been a lot, less expensive than I might have paid in Australia. Gasoline was simply as low-cost as meals and virtually all the pieces else, so we lived like kings and disadvantaged ourselves of nothingness as a result of we knew this dream would finish sometime.

Though we didn't go to the United Arab Emirates to earn cash, my spouse didn't work and we did our greatest to spend it on the journey, a brand new automobile and a cushty life. We left numerous money and a few new furnishings and tailored garments and so on. We did very nicely within the United Arab Emirates.


In the event you reside in an remoted place like Australia, it's simple to concentrate on Australia and perhaps be a bit conceited. Visiting different locations enhances your standpoint and is the expertise of a life that each Australian ought to take. That is humble whenever you see international locations the place there aren't any trunks stumbling throughout the streets, no graffiti, no theft, no road brawls, and clear, well-dressed individuals who, in contrast to many others in Australia, are proud. Conversely, some international locations have reminded us how fortunate we're to get right into a jet and return to Australia.

Copyright 2008 Robin Henry

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