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I was wondering if someone could give me a bit of advice. I have applied for a job in Dubai as a commercial kitchen designer/project manager and have been asked to attend an interview. The employer is a multi national with offices in Dubai.
I have 10 years experience, educated in Ireland and have an extensive porfolio working on some major projects.
Can anyone tell me what salary package I should expect and what is a comfortable salary to relocate to UAE.
Dubai is really, really expensive. Do some research.
Go to www.dubizzle.com and look at the rent rates in different areas in Dubai to get an idea of what real estate is like here. Dubai Marina, DIFC, and Downtown (with the exception of the Business Bay/Burj Khalifa area) are the nicest areas in my opinion with the most walkability and access to public transportation (I would shoot for JBR/Dubai Marina, the Tram is set to be operational by November this year). Rent has gotten pretty expensive in the past year with some properties increasing in value by more than 50% in just 8 months.
I don't know the details of your position or what the market is like, but my estimate for your experience and title would be between 25,000 - 30,500 AED a month ($82,000/year-$100,000/year) un-taxed of course. I would also check if they would provide housing for you as a part of the contract. If you have any children that plan to relocate with you, make sure they also include education in the contract; schools here are ridiculously expensive. Keep in mind though that the legendary expat packages of the 2006-2008 heydays are less common now because of the '08 crash and that most companies here no longer consider relocation to Dubai a "hardship."
Food is pretty cheap here IMO. Gas is cheap as hell (standard full tank on a sedan is about $18-20). Taxis are also very cheap: a 35 minute ride from the Marina to DXB Airport is about $17-19. If you smoke, a pack of cigarettes is between $1-3 depending on the brand.
Alcohol at bars is expensive; a standard beer is about $10 with mixed drinks ranging between $12-15. The only way to drink cheap here is to buy it at a liquor store and drink at home, but I assume you'd want to go out sometimes. Nightlife and entertainment are pretty expensive here in general. Clothing is also pretty pricey (at least compared to the States).