View Full Version : EK housing allowance question
30th Jul 2006, 23:23
To Friends working for Emirates,
Could some1 please tell me how much allowance (accomodation) does emirates offer if you decide to find your own accomodation in dubai. It will be helpful to know for both F/O & Capt positions. And is it generally enough for a nice two bed apartment in a central location?
Your help is much appreciated. :ok:
31st Jul 2006, 05:31
In short don't take the allowance as rental prices spiral to ridiculous heightswith the company refusing to acknowledge , compensate or even make realistic allowances for this.
Just to show you the company mind set here, the talking point in the newspapers media and many peoples homes is the rampant inflation along with the cost of living and that includes rent and housing yet the company only increased this years allowance by 10%.
Allowance for a Captain is 127,080 per year.The First Officers allowance for some ridiculous reason is less I don't know what the actual figure is, think it may be 10,000 AED less
Yes the allowance is enough for a 2 bedroom apartment however it falls way way short if you want a Villa. For example the new guys are being offered the Silicon Oasis Villas built by Arab-tech the same company that built Arabian Ranches.
Check the links below for a 3 bedroom Type 7 or Type 9 and you will part with 170,000 AED a year. Plan also to pay the Dubai Municipality Housing Tax which is tacked on to your Electricity and Water Bill from DEWA that's another 5% then there is the additional cost of water and electricity plan for an average of 1500 AED a month if you are conservative so thats an additional 8,500 AED for the tax man in this tax free town plus 18,000 for the plants and lights which adds up to 196,500 AED and thats not including the deposit that you will give the happy little chappy from the real estate who can not even be bothered to show you around but wants the money any way.
For an idea on what you will be paying check the local Gulf newspaper classified section click here (http://www.gulf-news.com/classifieds/index.html)
Try also Better homes web site here (http://www.bhomes.com/)
1st Aug 2006, 22:17
You really did scare me there :eek: .
Cant believe the water & elec costs in the region of £2500 per annum. Maybe i should opt for a studio and convert the bath into a bedroom.:ugh:
1st Aug 2006, 23:05
the company refusing to acknowledge , compensate or even make realistic allowances for this.In all fairness, they just put the allowance up a fair bit a couple of months ago.
2nd Aug 2006, 10:45
Fairness to whom???:ugh:
2nd Aug 2006, 21:16
Hey Muttley Crew unless you have been living under a rock there's nothing fair about the allowance increase which bears no resemblence what so ever to the real cost of living here and the increases in Rent.
Yes the company started paying the extra amount from the end of July pay check, but big deal! If you would like to rent the same Villa that is now given to new joiners you are going to have to part with just under 200 big ones which takes into account water,electricity, Municapility tax and Rent.
You need to get out more if you really think the company are being fair in the meager increase in the Utilities Allowance which does not even get close to keeping pace with Inflation since it was introduced.
uplock and others, sorry to disappoint you, but if you think for 5 seconds, you would know that the accomodation allowance IS fair. Don't get me wrong, I want to see it going up as well. I would like to buy, but I can't afford it yet (although in a few years, that will be different)
But let me explain my way of seeing things: the company offers all of us accomodation. So actually there is absolutely no need for an accomodation allowance. When someone wants to go out of company accom, EK provides them with an allowance, which is about the same amount as the average cost to provide the accomodation by the company. The reason why it is below 'market value' is because EK doesn't deal at the normal market, they rent or lease whole compounds and whole towers on SZR at once, getting the cost down.
The reason the accomodation allowance went up over the last few years is a (temporary) shortage of suitable accomodation for EK, which drove the average cost for accomodation up.
It's all basicaly about offer and demand...
If EK would offer enough to live out without touching your salary, most people would opt out, leaving EK with empty houses they have to pay for. If the allowance is not enough, people will all stay in accomodation, which is harder to find driving up the cost of the average accomodation for EK. So they have to find a nice balance...
Just to finish, if you think that the allowance is not enough NOW, you are probably right. Not a lot of people leaving accomodation because they can't afford it etc etc.. BUT, also don't forget that most of us agree that the housing market in Dubai is overheated, and a correction in housing prices will soon follow (probably around the time the zillion apartments they are building now are finished...). And it's easier for EK to give you a bit less then required NOW, which will be ok later, then to give you the correct amount now and REDUCING the allowance later.
As I said before, it's just a long term balancing act, and not unfair. Maybe a bit to economical and focussed on numbers instead of people, but then again, they're here to make money, not to give it away.. and that's the same everywhere..
3rd Aug 2006, 07:40
Bring on basings thats where youll get good value............
3rd Aug 2006, 08:10
how would you determine who gets the basings and what would happen to FO's that take a basing when it comes time to upgrade assuming there would be no room for him to upgrade in that base considering another capt from dxb would want to take it
3rd Aug 2006, 08:19
Don't think even for a second that EK will not lower the allowances in the future if the market forces change. Although your analysis of the method EK uses to determine the monies paid to those seeking non-company accomodation sounds "logical" I don't think that department is that calculated. The increments of late have mearly been a percentage of existing amounts. The recent aquisition of Silicon Oasys would surely lead to a reduction in allowances if that was the case. Outwardly the cash appears "generous" but mearly tempts some into purchasing into the (inflated) housing market, also making it harder for the employee to leave Dubai (and therefor EK), and further fuels the property market.
3rd Aug 2006, 08:22
Lets see, 560 Villas already built in the desert. Another 1000 planned to be built next to them. High rise to be built next to all of these to house Cabin crew and single and married but non-rugrated FOs. Wonder whats going to happen to the allowance once EK city is finished in a few years?
Even those living in EK provided accomodation have had to move in the past few years as rents go up. Anyone thinking those with the allowance will be looked after better than that are dreaming.
3rd Aug 2006, 10:15
Bases are easy ,
Ground Staff is already employed in all main ports. F/Os would get basings on seniority and when upgrade comes you would have to return to Dubai (with company accom) and wait again ,or stay as an f/o if you are happy in base.
Unfortunately bases initially would have to be type specific eg A380 and 747 due to some certainty in the route structure.
Could also be a drawcard to get new experienced pilots.
No matter how big the company accom gets or how great it is most of the pilots with families will go home when there kids grow up Dubai will never be home ,and as expats you never see yourself growing old here.
So they can let the experience go or try to do something positive about it.
3rd Aug 2006, 14:29
Sorry MR8 you have missed the point ,what you say may be applicable for yourself but definitely not from my perspective.
What happens if the accommodation that Emirates give you is nothing like what was shown to you at the recruitment stage? i.e. run down old shabby, noisy etc...
If you have been here for more than 5 seconds then a short history lesson is in order.Originally when I signed on the dotted line the Utilities allowance was less than 40,000 .
Later the allowance was increased I believe around 2001 and also the contractual clause was amended again to reflect the present day wording, just another example of deck chairs being shuffled on the good ship Emirates and your contract not really worth the paper its written on.
My Villa bore no resemblance what so ever to the brand new luxury Villa I was shown at the recruitment stage so I fell under the "if you were unhappy with company accommodation you must take the allowance and move contractual clause in our HR manual"Allowance had then increased to around 80,000 for First officers and 90,000 AED for Captains and you could still get a villa for this in Jumeria 5 years ago.
So 5 years later the allowance has increased 37,000 AED (from 90,000) roughly 40 % in 5 years yet the papers are reporting rent increases of this amount in one year and more despite the 15 %cap set by the government in rent increases.
The allowance may appear fair to yourself because you are looking it from recent years, and you are still in company accomadation not paying rent, electricity,water or the DEWA Tax.
Do some digging and research and there is no way in the world this is a fair allowance when the rent required to live in the Ranches is now 170,000 plus plus and in real terms as I said before you will part with 200,000 setting yourself up.
To say other wise is just ludicrus and sounds like what sprouts from the management every year when they give justification to the small increase in Utilities Allowance.
donpizmeov is pretty close to the mark. Accomadation has and will continue to be the wild card when you join Emirates.
Sorry man, but I don't completely agree with you.
You are right that accomodation is a bit of a wildcard when coming to EK. While some guys get a nice shiny new villa, others with more seniority are stuck in an old compound like Flamingo to name one... But that was not the point of my post.
I just wanted to point out that the allowance we have is fair. The company has absolutely no obligation in giving you more money so you can stay in a nice (private) villa in Jumeira. They will give you the money (more or less) that it would cost them to house you.
The point you made about 5 years ago: 5 years ago, Jumeira was about the only decent residential area for expats, population in Dubai has increased exponentially since. If you rented your villa in Jumeira back then, you probably can't afford the same villa today, but is that the company's fault? There are enough villas you can rent for that money, although most of them are now located in newer areas more inland, Mirdiff to name one. Whether or not you want to live there is up to you. Flying at BA won't allow you to live in a nice penthouse in Kensington, it's just a fact that we as pilots are not paid like 10 or 20 years ago, but that's industry wide...
I really do think the allowance we get as a group is fair (although maybe not sufficient to buy/rent accomodation you want). Individual cases may have worked out completely wrong, but that was not my point.
You are completely right about the 'distribution' of the villas or apartments. Some people are very lucky, others are not. The good news is that the new guy in accomodation (H.A-B) is very flexible and accomodating if you have a problem.
In my opinion, the biggest problem with accomodation is guys who live in a nice villa or apartment who have to move on a very short notice because the lease ran out, and are confronted with huge costs to make their new EK house their home again. Luckely I didn't hear to many of those lately, maybe that's one of the reasons the person in charge of accomodation has changed...
Anyhow, as an answer to the original question: I would advise for now to stay in EK accomodation and see how property in Dubai might change. If you rent and prices go up, expect a serious increase in rent the next year, if prices would go down... you can bet your landlord keeps you to the 'old' expensive contract unless you want to move... ANd buying right now is completely insane!!
3rd Aug 2006, 18:01
Dont knock Flamingo; big villas and own private section; tennis court and swimming pool; probably as close as you will get to what we would like to live in in our own countries. Buying property now? Perhaps you have a point but time will tell; certainly the allowance will only allow one to buy if one has a 50% deposit as it will only service about a 1.2 mill mortgage.
Basings; who knows? Call me a pessimist but I'll share my view anyway... basings start at some point and the NEW company called Emirates Australia employs locally on different rates than we based in Dubai are on and surprise surprise its less than we get; also no housing, schooling, medical or dental; oh and by the way... drive yourself to work Digger. Bonus is that it will be on a 380 and they will pay for your type rating with a 6 year bond. Retiring Cathay and other expats will go for it just to move home and finish on a 'high note'. Anyone wanna wee wager?:cool:
3rd Aug 2006, 20:22
Sorry Uplock, I have to agree with MR8 on this, the allowance is pretty fair.
It is a personal choice to take the allowance or stay within company provided accomodation. Some people took the allowance when it was first increased in order to pocket the extra money when rents were far lower, this has now turned out to be a less than wise choice. Others who opted to buy at the early real estate prices are doing very nicely with EK effectively paying their mortgages for them.
Oh, and yes, I have been here more than 5 seconds (11 yrs) and still can't agree with your view! :)
Not important, but why is the allowance paid monthly in some cases and six monthly in others?
11th Aug 2006, 18:33
You can now apply to have the allowance paid in 6 month advance if you do not like the monthly payments. This change was put in place this year.
When first you obtain the Utilities Allowance payment 6 month advances are the norm for the first year as Rent Payments here in Dubai require you to make advanced post dated cheques which is a sizeable junk of money.
Payments can vary however the norm is usually 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 cheques post dated and given to the land lord or real estate agent.
Not so easy to cancel a cheque in this part of the world.
Procedure to cancel a cheque is painfull as you can not go to the bank and request the cheque to be canceled instead you make application to the courts and deposit yet another cheque with the courts for the same amount that you wish to cancel till the matter is sorted out or a ruling made.
Land Lords Nirvana