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Working in the Middle East

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

Working in the Middle East

Old 8th Sep 2011, 16:56
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 8
Working in the Middle East

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you all know, the ME region is recruiting a lot of pilots at the moment, and those of us in the UK are (potentially) being offered a lot of money to move out and learn to love sand. However, TANSTAAFL applies as always, and I'd like to hear what those of you who are living there think about your individual circumstances. Which countries are good to live in as an ex-pat? Which airlines are good to work for (and which should be avoided)? Are there any traps to watch out for?

I know some will say that the info is out there on the forum to be found - and I'm sure it is, but a recap now and then is a good thing.

Your thoughts (preferably with examples and details) would be appreciated.

TryHarder is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2011, 18:07
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,455
The info is out there on the forum to be found. Really!
ManaAdaSystem is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2011, 19:19
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Dubai - sand land.
Age: 52
Posts: 2,766
TryHarder - as MAS points out; Try Harder It'e been rehashed here over and over again. Look it up
White Knight is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2011, 14:40
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: crashpad
Posts: 10
Hello to all.
I have been looking with moderate interest into the conditions at the MEGA airlines of the ME area. Mostly as an informational search for updates.
In all honest truth, it has been challenging to assess the situation in the sand.
Although I do believe that posters have the best of intentions, it is more likely to vent here, rather than praise.
By no means do I think that posters here are unhappy.
After long thread reading I get the impression that the majority are not thrilled to be there.
There are issues with every aspect of the job and lifestyle.
Management, schedules, bidding, check-rides, long hours, housing, contractual breaches, bad driving, etc.
Please can someone give me the positive side?
My intention is to convince myself and family that this would be worthwhile.
A major common attraction of these jobs are the shinny new MEGA JETS. Understandably so.
If one is not so interested in that, what other advantages/benefits would you point out?
If it takes effort to be positive, then I have my answer.
Thank you for any input.
Jetsitter is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2011, 17:06
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sandpit
Posts: 361
That pretty much sums it up. It's a job and you fly shiny jets, thats it. Concerning your personal life it pretty much sucks a lot of times. There is no reason to come here except you are out of a job or want to fly a big shiny jet. For your family it probably sucks if you live allready in a decent country.
FlyingCroc is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2011, 19:05
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: DXB
Posts: 38
FC, stop talking BS! You know as well as me that there are positive things in the ME. When talking about DXB there is the best time to come, winter time! You and your family will have a lot of things to enjoy and the kids will love it.
Aqua parks, desert tours, skiing......you can enjoy the place here together with your family if you are not a maron like some frustrated blokes in this forum.
R6DXB is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2011, 19:49
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 345
Same goes for Bahrain. Fantastic place! Unique spot to live compared to the rest of the ME. Great for me and the family loves it. I wish I moved out here earlier. (and I'm not even flying shiny new big jets ;-) )

Don't worry about the previous political unrest saga. Doesn't affect you at all.
John21UK is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2011, 20:45
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Dubai - sand land.
Age: 52
Posts: 2,766
Originally Posted by jetsitter
After long thread reading I get the impression that the majority are not thrilled to be there.
Ah. The seven posters that spew vitriol every time they post here. Definitely not the majority old chap........ Most of my fellow aviators (well, the ones I know at EK and Royal Flight) are having a jolly good time Gold and silver buying notwithstanding
White Knight is offline  
Old 10th Sep 2011, 22:53
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wythenshawe
Posts: 126
It all depends upon what you are after and how tolerant you are. Working for the Arabs is testing, as is a lot of the flying. The tax-free money is appealing, especially if you can hack it to live out there for years. And if you like the hot sun, you are made up.
For those who enjoy pubs, green grass, and local Brit stuff, stay at home if you have got a good job.
Mr.Bloggs is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2011, 08:00
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Rome
Posts: 779
Working for the Arabs is testing, as is a lot of the flying.
Same is working for a lot of worldwide majors and loco's thousands of miles away from the ME...

For those who enjoy pubs, green grass, and local Brit stuff, stay at home if you have got a good job.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are full of pubs and places where you can hang out... you won't find a natural forest but there are lots of green more or less artificial places.

I-2021 is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2011, 16:00
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: france
Age: 44
Posts: 15

Could someone from EK tell me if it's feasible to commute (to France eg) or does this company arrange the schedule so that you would get completely drained doing it ?

727 spirit is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2011, 13:49
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UAE
Posts: 144
You must be kidding !!!!?????????

Just do your homework on the forum and you'll see that none of these ME carriers allow you to commute anywhere but to a labour camp........
alghazal is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2011, 20:48
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: crashpad
Posts: 10
Thanks for the variety of responses.
It seems there is some fun to be had in the ME.
I have a couple of acquaintances over there, which are moderately enthusiastic about encouraging me to join them.
Looking at the perks, it appears that this is not a short term commitment.
Minimum 5 years is what I see as realistic, just to take home some of the fund money. Upgrades may take longer.
Being there already, and having experienced homesickness, would anyone suggest that a 2-3 year move would be worth it?
I do have a wife and two children who are talented in the arts.

This may be subjective, and biased.
How would you rate the airlines overall?
Emirates, Etihad, Gulf, Fly Dubai, Qatar
Stay in the shade
Jetsitter is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2011, 05:27
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 172
Europe vs. the middle east? You have got to be kidding yourself!
There is no comparison and anyone that tries probably has lived in the middle east too long and has sun stroke.
It has been said many times before on this site. If you have a decent job or come from a decent country stay where you are. You will be disapointed in many facets of your life here.
Alconguin Crusader is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2011, 12:26
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: france
Age: 44
Posts: 15
thanks for having taken a few seconds to answer and sorry for having borrowed so much of your precious time
727 spirit is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2011, 18:41
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: camelshitcity
Posts: 0
a jolly good time...

The only jolly good time you 'll have will be when you'll get the **** out of Dubai..the sillliest, shallowest, shittiest place on Planet Earth.
sheikmyarse is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2011, 20:06
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UAE
Posts: 89
If you live in Europe your in the Premier League...if you choose to go to any other area...Middle East...Africa..Asia etc etc your simply downgrading your life and existence...Europe is the best place on Earth.
blablabla is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2011, 23:38
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eish & Izent
Posts: 71
My View

Okay... I'll throw in my 5-cents worth....

It all depends on what you want, what you are used to, and how you view your time on this planet.

I was born in an African country... only to be told 23 years later that I couldn't hold 2 passports. So I got rid of the inconvenient (read - expensive visas) one, and kept the other... from a neighbouring country... only to have "Alien" stamped in the passport I carried hence forth.


So now I had no home country. So I went to live in a neighbouring country.... hoping that sanity might prevail, and that I might be able to sustain my family there. Then that country followed the policies of the one I had just left... of taking land, farms, businesses and properties from certain "un-ethnic" people.

So now I am homeless / stateless / a refugee.....

When EK offered me a job, I was ecstatic! I took the offer, and was on course in the blink of an eye. Since I have been here with my family (with 3 young kids), .... I have not been threatened at gun-point, our car has not been stolen (even when left running for air-con purposes outside the shops in summer), we have not been hijacked, robbed, nor even lost a single towel using a rent-a maid service. My kids can ride their bikes on the streets, and I feel safe here.

That being said... old habits die hard..., we're never not aware of where our kids are, nor do we allow them to stray too far without us, we ensure they are at their friends houses by a call within a few minutes of them leaving... all the usual things a responsible parent would do? We are learning that although it may appear to be the land of Milk and Honey.... there are still things out there which need watching out for. Just be a responsible person / parent / human being?

If you come here... remember this.... the stories you hear (or read) will be from people who are here, remembering only the best from their past life, comparing it to the worst from this new life. Everyone forgets the ugliness of their last-life when they move on.... and they are all SO quick to criticise this new place.

Dubai has a lot to offer anyone with an open mind, and a forgetful heart.

Don't compare... treat everything as an adventure... as you should your life!

Good luck!
Bartholomew is offline  
Old 21st Sep 2011, 03:31
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Post-Pit and Lovin' It.
Posts: 860
To summarize: living in UAE is better than being white and living in Zimbabwe. Who knew.
nolimitholdem is offline  
Old 21st Sep 2011, 06:47
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: here
Posts: 259
If you join one of the companies out here you will probably enjoy yourself, however you will always regret leaving the UK.
(don't think you can commute, it doesn't work!)
mini cooper is offline  

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