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Emirates (EK) Interview - all you need to know about it (threads merged)

Middle East Many expats still flying in Knoteetingham. Regional issues can be discussed here.

Emirates (EK) Interview - all you need to know about it (threads merged)

Old 23rd Apr 2008, 22:44
  #1421 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 255
why does dubai have the highest rate of lung disease? smoking or the dust?
Laker is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 03:04
  #1422 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: uk
Posts: 96
I just turned down a dec job and can assure you i do know what im doing. Particularly in respect of not going to EK. Your life your choice.
Anyway back to my useless first world heavy command trg job. Where I am happy.

Fork Handle:
I am just curious, if you are so happy with your First world heavy training command position, why would you have gone through all the effort and motions to get to the point of being "offered" a DEC position with Emirates?
or by "offered" do you mean a friend of a friend said "why dont you apply for a DEC job at Emirates", and you said not interested as I am happy,
because that would hardly be getting "offered" a DEC position,
yet it would be far more realistic if you really are happy with your first world heavy training command position.
Care to clarify?
canadair is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 04:25
  #1423 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uae
Posts: 2,440
Some guys have no pride and just come for the free fews days. A big increase in that since EK pays for the tickets
fatbus is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 06:09
  #1424 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Here
Posts: 2
Few years ago i did a mistake. I left a secure first world job to come over here.
At the time I was coming to PPRuNe asking information. Ther was a post from this guy about how he fas feeling sorry for this new hire he saw in the Aviation college with his badly tailored new uniform his oversized and goofy shirt walking sadly on the corridors with a yellow bag full of books probably asking him self what the fukuk he was doing there.
Well I just had the same feeling...the same view and sensation..yesterday.
Emirates and Dubai are just appearance,nothing else, but at a certain point you start to see the truth and you wake up and you see the ugly bitch you slept with.
Stay away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SheikFukuk is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 07:13
  #1425 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Up the Far Canal
Posts: 10
Perhaps another way to look at this question, and it may be quite pertinent also to those who say they like it here, is to ask whether anyone prefers Dubai and Emirates NOW as opposed to even 2 or 3 years ago, let alone almost 10!
I cannot imagine anyone saying they DO think it is better now. Given that, as I suggest each and every day is as good as it's ever going to get, I suggest you look to the future and consider that!
It comes back to what we have been banging on about for the past X number of years...basings. Emirates would be tolerable for a while longer IF they would base us outside of this godforsaken hole which is Dubai.
Far Kinarss is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 07:17
  #1426 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 19
is anyone happy at ek

Hi. Moving to a new job and a new home (let alone a new country with for some, a very different culture) are two of the most stressful events in life (I think divorce and death (?) are the other two.

Rather than looking at 'happiness' you may wish to investigate the various factors that influence life here. Also, and this is a 'biggy', where do you come from. I have learned a lot over the last couple of years as to the importance of this question.

I have worked with people who, to me, have left good jobs with seniority. But then they tell me about how dangerous their countries are to live in. They find Dubai a safe and refreshing change and EK a decent company to work for.

It has its frustrations as do most if not all airlines. Some people cope well with them, others don't. For example, the ULR flights are 'killing' me because they mess up my sleep so much and I find the bunks to be totally inadequate. On the contrary I know of some who sleep very well in them and cope adequately with the sleep patterns. When I joined this was not an issue ( we had no 'long' trips) and back then we had very few eastern trips. I now find myself in a state of perpetual fatigue - this ranks high on the list of reasons why I am looking to leave.

My Arab masters have no concern about me and are explicit about this in many ways so I feel little disappointment when I am treated with disregard. If they come to my country they have rights, benefits and the right to citizenship etc. There are many people here who have been born in the UAE and know nothing else, and yet if they cannot renew their visa they have to return to the country of their passport (the next time you hear an arab complaining about the plight of the Palestinians, ask him/her why so many are stateless despite having been born in a 'brother' arab country). My perception is that the society here is two tiered, we're on the lower tier. Hypocrisy is a word that will come to mind too often in this part of the world.

EK housing is a pretty good deal on paper and can be in actuality. The company has a tremendous challenge trying to house people let alone keep them happy. However their problem is not yours as one's home is a critical component in the decision mix. By and large you don't get to choose where you live and who your neighbours are. The guy you didn't like flying with maybe your neighbour. YOu may wish to close out work when you get home but find yourself surrounded by it living in company accommodation. YOu need to use your imagination to look at the pro's and cons.

If you decide to move out of company accommodation it is very very expensive. A house will cost you around 200,000 rent annually. Add on the increasing energy and water costs, AND, the property taxes (aka Dubai municipality fee) and your out of pocket expenses become substantial. A colleague went to HSBC about 5 years ago looking for a mortgage. THe lady assumed (he was an FO at the time) that his housing allowance was at least 160K per annum when the actual amount was 80K. I think it is fair to say that the housing allowance at the company is grossely inadequate and compared to other expatriot allowances ranks very poorly.

How much is enough. Never enough for some. The dirham according to an official statement a week ago, lost 37% of its value against a basket of currencies in the last 5 years. Inflation has 'officially' been running at an average of a little less than 10%. They do not publish the items against which they measure the inflation rate. The papers often refer to the official rate and compare it to the higher assessed rate by a bank or other financial concern. The government has introduced subsidies for locals. A recent article in the Gulf News (weekend section two weeks ago?)spoke of racism against whites when it comes to charging higher prices compared to non-white customers.

This one is so subjective. Issues that effect it are your hobbies, friends, what keeps not just you, but your family sane. One colleague who has been here almost nine years can count an average of a different couple they know splitting each year - the wife cannot take it anylonger for whatever reason. I fly with some whose families are very happy here. These people (that I know of)are FO's and many, increasingly, come from countries where safety is a real issue. The longer they have been here the more I hear that their plan for staying at EK has changed. WHat I have heard to be the 3, 5, and 7 year plans. The 3 year is to fulfil the contract, the 5 is to get some PIC time (so that they can go to another contract?) and the 7 is to get the full moving expenses. I think a PP poster described it well when he said that for many, Dubai has a shelf life. It is an 'island'.

Increasingly not a big issue for many, money has replaced it and in Dubai, money is king. Dubai has become a 'frontier' town. Perhaps it has been for decades but in the 'cut and thrust' of business speculation the property market and other opportunities have attracted life's 'interesting' characters. The demographic is unbalanced as there are disproportionatley a greater number of young people here for a short time. YOur friends will take on a greater importance as the rudeness and selfishness level here is beyond anything I have ever experienced. We have clubbed together with other parents to provide books for our children. Public libraries are for the locals and the reading there is either arabic or a very limited supply of 'simple' english titles. Your internet is CENSORED yet your TV channels will routinely show some nudity.

Dangerous driving.
Don't underestimate how significant this is. For some it is a reason not to drive at all. Do not expect justice and you can expect a police force which is so not up to the job of policing. You get what you pay for - most are from other arab countries whose standard of driving pales in comparison to Dubai. YOu can expect Indian subcontinent drivers to tailgate you at speed - I don't think they have any malicious intent but that they come from a culture where if you give the next guy the slightest chance he'll get in front of you - you can see it when they jump the queue - waiting your turn is not in their culture. The arab drivers are intentionally dangerous - the favourite manoeuver is to tailgate you and when you don't get out of their way in time, they pass you out, then move in front of you and brake. It should be criminal but shows how arrogant they are about their position in society when they can do such things.

Interestingly for all the talk of 'greening' the UAE, the cars don't have catalitic converters. Dust and sand add to the polution mix. Though the construction here is an eigth wonder of the world -it is hard not to be impressed with how fast the infrastructure changes (I'm sure the construction labour has an opinion on that).

What do you do after EK. Direct entry captain position are available in China, India and other such places. How long will that last? I am amused by those who say that they will leave for a contract job after getting 1000 hours PIC in their EK aircraft. EK is contract and by contract standards is one of the best companies out there. Contract sounds good until you start looking at what's available out there. How long do you want to be away from your family. A friend of mine was making good money on a contract but now that he is going through a divorce with two children, how much of that money is left - perhaps he'd still have a marriage if he hadn't been away from home so much. I used to think that a Korean contract would be interesting until I did a few 9 day trips with EK and realized that I don't want to be away from my family for such a long period of time. Others have done the family thing and are happier away and for some of those Asia has a certain appeal.

I started off hoping to be close to objective but I think I failed. I am looking to get out, somedays desperately. However where to go is the biggest challenge. If you resign from one of the 'good' jobs you lose seniority and as we all know, even if you were a Chuck Yeager with every type rating in the world you still most likely will start at the bottom as the most juniour FO on the list if you get hired by a good company. Could many egoes take that after being a 'heavy' captain.

BTW, this has been written before but the front end of an EK aircraft is much the same as its smaller brethern, e.g. A330 and A320. The difference is that the A320 was more fun because you got to fly it.

That was long - hope it helps, I don't mean to stir any of the one liner respondents but hoped to give a helpful perspective to those who are making a huge decision ( I was about to lose my job when EK hired me - that's my excuse).
sonoma is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 09:31
  #1427 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Dark Ages
Posts: 68

Spot on!

Have been here for a couple of years and unfortunately I have to agree with every word of yours...
EK Snorkel is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 11:49
  #1428 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Backabeyond
Posts: 208
Sonoma, good to read!
Yossarian is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 12:44
  #1429 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: PM me to join the Etihad Facebook group!
Posts: 96
No real flying eh? Keeping it as entirely automated as possible...
ZaaZoo is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 14:41
  #1430 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: KUL
Posts: 432

Well - If you have a wicked sense of humor and people call you a professional cynic, DXB and EK are the places to be.
One day they have ll to scrape my festering body out of my seat. And boy do I mean it.
I am from a top of the food chain country, but I would have to be CEO of a major player at home to even approach the lifestyle I am enjoying in Sheikh Mo's little country and his uncle's little airline.
MrMachfivepointfive is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 18:31
  #1431 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Location,location,location
Posts: 20
How accurate can you be?


I don't believe how accurate someone can be in their posts. Well done and well written (it says you are American but I think you maybe English because of how well it was written...and because my wife is American and I know how she spells!)

I've been here for a while. I love my flying. My family has a good life here. I only make money because I invest with money I had from before EK and it works for me.
My wife has a good job too. We now have money coming in & not just out.
We saved not one penny for the first three years here (as an FO) , we just spent out but things then got much better (as a Capt).

However the rate of inflation is now massive. MASSIVE. As an FO I'd hate to be here. Savings would be a must unless you have good savings/investments ( because you'd need to use them). Of course it depends where you come from and whether you are desperate for a job or just looking for a change of climate.

I love my job but I don't make great money and I will never be rich here.

Sonama has posted one of the best written and true post I have ever seen.

bobsback is offline  
Old 24th Apr 2008, 19:22
  #1432 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: West Country
Posts: 1,184


I've been in this industry for 30 years - and for 30 years I've heard the same complaints from crew in big airlines and small airlines.

EK has its pros and cons - but it certainly isn't anything special and the complaints about EK will continue even if they take on the same T&C's as the old nationalized carriers of Europe or the protected carriers of the US.

So if your interested come and enjoy the sun and if you decide it's not for you then leave - it is only a job after all...
Jet II is online now  
Old 25th Apr 2008, 05:11
  #1433 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uae
Posts: 2,440
5.5 EK management just love people like you. You should apply to be the poster boy they pay extra for that , maybe as high as a 100 AED. Go for it mate


excellent post , by far the best I've read
fatbus is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2008, 06:28
  #1434 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Bit nosey aren't you
Posts: 455
I wrote this in 2003 in a thread about EK v.s. Virgin when Virgin was in danger of going t1ts up:

All good stuff but I think that a lot of the issues discussed have nothing to do with Emirates and could occur at any airline in any country. Emirates has the advantage, at the moment, of good job security. True

At Virgin you have a dilemma to see whether or not it will be one of the 12 carriers that is threatened by this downturn - as stated by S&P.

Its all about perspective really. The lifestyle for me is good! I am a brit, I like the weather, a summer for me here beats a winter in the Uk, and I like the biggish city warm wx quality of life. My kids go to a great school and my villa is ok. I don't take home as much as I would like but it is enough to live life and save some cash. My social life with my wife and friends is much better than it would have been living in the darkest backwaters in the UK where I could actually afford a house. Weather gets me down in the summer now, city does my head in, social life still ok.

Schools - In the UK I would have loved my kids to go to the best schools but they were all in boroughs that I couldn't afford the council tax let alone a mortgage! Here, the allowance doesn't cover all schools at the moment but it does cover most and it may be reviewed. Still ture.

But that isn't EKs fault, they didn't raise the fees. The schools did. And yes I accept that the choice on offer might force kids to go to schools that will cost their parents cash but that happens in the UK too! My mate is paying 4,000 per term to get his kids into a decent private school cos the local state ones suck. Another mate moved from a 5 bedroom house in one catchment area to a 3 bedder in another to get his kids in the right school. If you want your kids to board from here, at least EK would pick up some of the tab. Still true.

Regional tensions - I think if you talk to lots of Belgians, Americans, Swiss or Aussies.... life in the airlines has become pretty unpleasant over the last couple of years where they live anyway.

If the sh*t really hit the fan you could go home and be in no worse a situation than any of them. I certainly don't feel any less safe than I did 3 years ago but time will tell. I take the attitude that if a terrorist is going to go after Western assets, there are more of them in the West.

As for most of the population not liking you, its a bit like being in Jo'burg. (Sorry Cape) For real Western regional tensions, see what happens when the mortgage rate goes up!

Provident Fund - Go and check how well the Virgin money purchase scheme is currently performing before you start slagging off the EK provident fund. Guess what, at the moment, all investments suck and final salary schemes have vanished. Taking the long term view I hope to eventually retire with a little cash. Still hope that will be the case but the Prov Fund won't do it.

Pay - With the crap current exchange rate, a starting F/O takes home about 2600 or so a month but doesn't have to pay the poll tax, electricity, oil and gas bills or more importantly the mortgage. You can buy a house if you want and rent it out so all is not necessarily bad. It is worse, F/Os do not get paid enough. Right now an F/O would take home about 3200 each month or about a 25% rise in 4 1/2 years. Inflation over that time means it should be closer to 4500.

Representation is an issue and costs are being cut, but where are they not. The change of entry rules for the profit share sucked but only because the rules were back dated so that you didn't qualify unless you had been in the scheme for a whole year and you weren't told this on joining.

I believe Cathay and a lot of other airlines also had representation issues. United, Ansett and Sabena didn't; look where it got them!

I'm not a company man and I may well be proved wrong but I think a lot of the bitching that goes on has to do with issues that are a part of every day life in any country. Here because in an ex-pat airline the company is a bigger part of your life than at home; it is easy to blame them for all the ills of the world. Still true.

I like my job! It can be boring and anti-social at times (like all airlines) but then I have a life away from the airline that I enjoy in my downtime. It isn't Cathay A scale but then again it isn't Sabena either. The halcyon days of air travel for pilots have gone for the moment, they may return in the future but I wouldn't bet on it. Had enough now.

You can either spend your life bitching and become bitter and twisted or count your blessings and live! Like a lot of pilots here I am in for the long haul. If you are here to make a quick buck and go home in the short term then I can understand why it doesn't look so good. If you think your own country is the promised land where the weather is great and everyone loves you, why are you here? Still True.

Just remember investments can go up as well as down! Sadly they have gone down!

Would I come here now? If safety was a concern at home, yes. For the job and the pay.....no way jose, I think I would rather retrain and stay in Europe. The fact is that if you come, you get trapped and it is hard to see how to get out. You will not make enough cash from your job at EK to retire in style and inflation is not being addressed. I suspect we will get a decent profit share next week but nowhere near enough to get us even close to 2003 salary levels.

Ghostflyer is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2008, 06:30
  #1435 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 31

My wife has a good job too. We now have money coming in & not just out.
We saved not one penny for the first three years here (as an FO) , we just spent out but things then got much better (as a Capt).
Bobsback, are you really saying that, with both you and your wife working tax free, you weren't able to save ONE PENNY in three years?? I'm afraid I'm going to have to call you on that one for the simple fact that for three years you were saving / investing 17% of your basic salary into the EK provident fund.

As an FO I'd hate to be here. Savings would be a must unless you have good savings/investments ( because you'd need to use them).
So are we also to understand that not only would an FO spend everything he makes each month at EK and not save anything, but that he would also have to dip into the money he made prior to EK???

Maybe you could share some details as to where all your money was going so we can understand how this could ever happen.

Would you have been able to get yourself out of debt and save in your previous country / company any better?? After all - you did go to a place where your wife could work, and where you had tax free salaries, free housing and the ability to upgrade within the company...how could you not get ahead??!

Flyer34 is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2008, 12:47
  #1436 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 3rd Rock from the Sun
Posts: 302
Hi guys pretty interesting reading. Just got a qu regards FO pay but its not meant to be provacative or anything like that. Totally genuine.

I'm working for a UK charter co right now. My takehome after taxes is around 3000 (yr3). With that half of it goes to my mortgage and the rest to bills etc and council tax. Yet each month i normally can save a min of 500.

I am single though.

A lot of you say you cant save with an starting EK salary of around 3200. Without council tax and the rest are you really blowing the majority of that cash? Is the cost of living that high?

Or is that the case for a family man FO. With wife and kids?

Easy Ryder is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2008, 15:02
  #1437 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Bit nosey aren't you
Posts: 455
Dubai is now about the 30th most expensive city in the world. On a par to say Birmingham or Manchester. A single guy will save, a family guy will struggle.
Ghostflyer is offline  
Old 25th Apr 2008, 16:46
  #1438 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sandy beach
Posts: 430

You'll barely make 3200 pounds let alone save it...

Divide that in half

Standby for pay review shortly....
Saltaire is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2008, 08:28
  #1439 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,037
1. If accepted, how long from submitting application form to receiving an assessment date?
2. Is it possible, at your expense to extend your stay for a couple of extra days to have a look around?
Pin Head is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2008, 09:23
  #1440 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: On earth
Posts: 65

I m confused, i thought the world was running out of qualified pilots and that the salaries would go up, not down????
WTF is going on?
Apache702 is offline  

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