I got an email from my brother, about the life of a working individual in the UAE. It was truly an insightful one, and this is how I found inspiration to write this article, which will definitely be of help to all the people who decide to come here for a better life and are attracted by the extra moolah which is offered for jobs in UAE.
UAE is a wonderful place to live and a lovely destination for shoppers. People around the world come here specially to buy gold, which is known for its purity. Surprisingly, it’s also cheap compared to other countries. It’s also a great tourist destination and a melting pot of all cultures and traditions. Emirates airline and the convenient duty free shoppers zone at the Dubai International airport, makes it a major travel hub with flights connecting to almost all the major cities in the world.
The rate of inflation here is above 15%. The average rent for a non-sharing room is 2500 Dirham per month, and with family, it is a cool 3-4k minimum. . If you choose to live in Sharjah or Ajman, deduct 20-30% from the above figures, and add at least 2-5 hours of transportation every day to your workplace in Dubai or Abu Dhabi respectively.
My brother who has been in Dubai since past five years used to multiply his salary by 13 Indian rupees and that forms the main criteria for your decision to work here, think again! Firstly, nowadays you roughly get 12 Indian rupees per Dirham at the max. Secondly, the money is useful only if you manage to save.
That brings me to the main point, Savings!
The average salary of an educated and less experienced (2-3 yrs) person in Dubai is around AED 7k-8k. Most of the subcontinent expatriates who are educated and have 2-3 years of experience fall into this bracket. Out of this, deduct 2500 Dirham’s for your accommodation. Lucky if you are allowed to share your room with another person, then maybe you can save half of this amount. Take out another 900 Dirham’s for your food, depending upon your eating habits you can add another 900 Dirham’s to it if you are a food lover. And if you are living in an accommodation of your own, then deduct another 1000 Dirham’s for electricity and water. Approximately 50% of your salary goes for your basic living amenities. And if you are unlucky not to be provided transport by your company, you will have to shell out another 5-10% of your earnings for that. In effect, 5000 Dirham’s are required for living in the most reasonable fashion! Any decent individual needs that much to survive here. And if you decide to buy a car, or other such luxuries, well manage your calculations yourself. That leaves you with your final savings. But wait, we still have to talk about credit cards, entertainment and education for children. Does that make the picture clear?
The traffic situation is worse and deteriorating further. There is no hope for improvement until the Metro rail project will be completed. Hoping that it finishes by early 2009, the authorities are trying their best with new projects and expansion of current road network, but the results are still to be shown. 4 years ago, it used to take around 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel to Abu Dhabi from Dubai. Now it takes around 2 hours if you are lucky enough not to find traffic, which is very unlikely to happen and sometimes it can take up to 3 hours.
Having said that, I would like to mention that if you are offered a 5 figure salary, then be optimistic as your future can be promising. So next time, before you jump onto this bandwagon, think about it deeply. The quality of life here is extremely good, and you get proper facilities for your money. But then again, if you convert and see, some facilities are expensive too. For example, calling from UAE to India is around $0.65 normally. The rate for the other way round is just $0.23 a min roughly! VOIP is also banned and Internet facilities are good compared to India, but relatively costlier compared to other developed countries.
Finally, I would say that a salary of 8K dirham’s without family is good, but with minimum saving of 4K. Essentially it takes a minimum of 10-12K for a rosy future with family. You will be hard-pressed if you bring your family without earning more than 10K.
That’s my analysis about the life in Dubai or UAE. Having said all this, I would still prefer to work here, since there are no taxes, no pollution, the infrastructure is great (except transport), crime is almost nil, no religious tensions, and no dirty politics.
But remember the bottom line, “DONT convert your salary into rupees… what you need to convert is your savings”
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