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EK F/O - Cost of living in Dubai

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EK F/O - Cost of living in Dubai

Old 27th Feb 2016, 20:14
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Brazil
Age: 50
Posts: 23
EK F/O - Cost of living in Dubai

Hello folks.

I'm from South America, turboprop captain (former jet F/O), married (1 kid). Current salary only 3.500 USD (since my country money is tumbling compared to USD). Average days off is only 8 a month, average duty 11h a day and about 5 landings. No benefits from my company (only health care, for wich I pay 50% of everything). Thinking very seriously of moving do Dubai (stage 2 of PSP coming this month).

When it comes to the cost of life for a couple with 1 kid, what can you guys tell me? I like comfort (not luxury), so I'm not the type of guy to buy a BMW once arriving there, not even the one who has dinner every week in those fancy international hotels. I just enjoy being home with family...

For those who have a price number, can you help me? How much do you guys spend on:
_ Supermarket
_ Car maintenance / fuel
_ Anything else you consider important on your monthly budget

Thanks a lot! Fly safe.
josesilvajs is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2016, 22:45
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Someone else's acft
Posts: 116
Hi Jose...

Well, I believe the folks will suggest you to check numbeo.com. It's a website that compares the cost of living between cities around the world.

Give it a try. Looks like the prices are updated by users, so, everything is probably very accurate.

All the best.

B737SFP is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 01:20
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Brazil
Age: 50
Posts: 23
Yes, I read a lot and 100% of the guys told that the first year is a tough one. That's why I'm so curious about where does all the money go.

I also read that one guy from the USA could handle the initial furniture "battle" in IKEA and said there was money left. Wise man (if he's true).

Despite the initial furniture, supermarket and schooling (I want to keep my little boy at home for at least 1 more year - he's only 1 year old), car maintenance/gasoline, is there any other significant cost?

Just for curiosity and as an example, converting my local money to AED, I've been paying 400 AED on electricity, 150 AED for water, 250 AED for gas and my car (a 2014 medium sedan from Honda) spends around 700 AED of gasoline (1000 AED / year in maintenance). It's VERY tight for my current salary (sadly).
josesilvajs is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 05:48
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: overthere
Posts: 2,880
Money can evaporate in the DXB heat. Every time you go to the grocery shop another couple of hundred dirham disappear. When you want to get the family out of the house, it will cost you. Especially in summer, when it's too hot to be outdoors. Some wives and kids head back to home countries over the summer holiday break. Not cheap.

Every holiday you take is an overseas holiday. Take more than one (your leave will be given in multiple groups), and your up for tickets, travel insurance, accommodation (staying with family/friends wears thin as years pass). Not cheap. As a new joiner, your staff travel onload priority for discounted tickets is low. Flights are normally full. This means expensive firm tickets, or full fare tickets to ensure you and the family get to travel.
Once the children start school costs go up a lot. Most of the school fees may be covered, but you will still be left with the final Aed4000 to 7000 per child to pay (10% the company let's you pay so you feel you are contributing). Then there are uniforms, and a constant amount of other costs that all add up, excursion here, after school activities there, etc etc.

When you do get a chance to be home and take the Mrs out to dinner. You can dine at nice places that will give a good discount. But even then, the bottle of wine will set you back $US 50 to 100 for the cheapy.

I saved very little as an FO. I was lucky that we received profit share each year, and that paid off all credit cards. And I had no car loans etc. That was a while ago, and salaries have gone up since then, but so have the prices.
donpizmeov is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 06:54
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: dubai
Posts: 83
If you shop at Co-op or Aswaaq or Maya etc, you will save at least 50% on your food bill. And the new Co-ops have everything that Spinneys has, except of course Pork products. So groceries actually don't have to be that expensive to be honest. If you take company housing you will not pay anything for power, water etc, (although they have a ceiling- I don't know anyone reasonable who has reached the ceiling). Your internet /tv services and phones etc are quite expensive- I think our plan that covers internet and tv is about 900 dhs a month. Arguable if we actually need the tv.
It is the children that cost- school fees, transport,all the extra fees etc. Even preschools are stupidly expensive and they will have to enroll at a ridiculously young age like 3 or 4. Over the years the kids will see their friends with iphones, personal drivers, mega birthday parties, mansions etc - you will have to refuse to bow down to the pressure- or if you do it will cost you a fortune.
And as mentioned above, holidays will cost a fortune. Car rentals, restaurants etc. Unless you have a home to go to each time in a nice locale. But living here long enough you will want to see Africa or Asia or Europe etc etc. Petrol is cheap. Maintenance is a bit pricey but not prohibitive unless you get a high end vehicle. Car insurance 2500 dhs a year for a 2015 sedan.You can survive on FO salary but highly unlikely you will save anything.
You won't see your family much until they get this staffing issue sorted out- if ever- so you need an independent wife. Good luck on your decision.
pumpkin is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 07:55
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uae
Posts: 2,404
Pumpkin, good post. Anyone with any self control can save a little bit on FO wage. Elife @600 aed. Mobile @100 x 2
Don't go nuts and don't promise the wife the moon.
fatbus is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 08:17
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: dxb
Posts: 71
To put things into perspective:
When I joined the fo salary was 16700aed. 500gr of minced beef cost 9aed.
Now that same pack of minced beef is 25aed. How much is starting salary for an fo now?

Nuf said
VLS with ice is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 09:03
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South of North
Posts: 656
Self control is only part of the picture!

If you have 2 or 3 kids then the costs will obviously be different then having one toddler. Significantly different.

Even IKEA can be expensive unless you are buying low end. THIS is where you have to be careful. You are moving to Dubai and it will be your HOME. If you - more specifically your wife and family - can live with sparse or cheap furnishing then great. But most want to make a life here and the plan is not to stay just 3-5 years. So making it a home is important. Do you want grass and plants in the backyard? It will cost.

The simple fact is moving and setting up in a new country is expensive. It is also a balance between comfort (home) and saving.

Buying used is a GREAT option now since the oil industry is laying off thousands and their stuff is generally newer and in great condition. Dubizzle.ae

I still maintain that for even the most careful spender it will take a year or slightly longer to get to the point where you are consistently saving money on a monthly basis. This is why many are choosing EY and Qatar over EK - because the upgrade comes soon and along with that the pay.
Trader is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 10:22
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Netherlands
Age: 44
Posts: 53
Are there guys that have experience being married but instead of moving with the whole family to Dubai, leave the family back home and move by yourself to Dubai and fly for Emirates?
And when you have days off fly back to visit home and during school holidays let them fly out to Dubai to visit me.

I know I will not see them much but probably them living in Dubai I will not see them that more often either ;-)

Anybody experience with this?
MikeHoncho is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 10:45
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Dusty West
Age: 49
Posts: 603
I know of a number of pilots who tried to commute to EK leaving the family at home from where they were from. I also know a number (some personally) who moved here with the family only to find that the Mrs. couldn't stand the place and so took the kids and went home again.

Almost all of those marriages have ended in divorce. The point here is make damn sure, 225% sure that your marriage is bullet proof and water tight because this place WILL test your marriage in one form or another.

Alimony is expensive and so is a house to put her in.

The Outlaw
The Outlaw is online now  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 11:22
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Netherlands
Age: 44
Posts: 53
Thanks Outlaw.

My wife has her own business and would like to work for maybe a couple of years more which is not possible anymore when she would move with me to Dubai. I have been in Dubai numerous times with my current employer so I know what you are talking about ;-)

I didn't apply yet so I have to gather first some more information.

How long does it normally take from submitting the application online until getting invited for a interview?
MikeHoncho is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 11:24
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Below the tropopause
Posts: 380
Why not look on the other side of the runway at flydubai? I know this is an ek F/O thread but a bit of info never hurts. Might not be a shiny 777/380 but a shiny 737 isn't too shabby either. At least no jetlag, home every day, good money, quick upgrade and the rosters aren't that bad as most make it seem to be.

Upgrade is around 2 years, EK stafftravel (low prio so be warned) and generally quite good conditions too. Plus actual 42 days of leave too. Soon IATA Z-fares so more options to travel other that being 'forced' to use EK. (with all due respect)

I seem to be saving quite a bit more than my buddy at EK with exactly the same family/spending composition. Although I rarely see him in Dubai and I've got 84hrs (busy month!) in March with 15 days off. Never flown so much in my career as I did here but equally I've never been home so much as here. I actually do most of the school runs myself and see the kids/family a lot.

If you want bigger and flashy go EK. But flydubai isn't a bad option either. Just saying. Now waiting to be shot down...

Last edited by High Energy; 28th Feb 2016 at 11:51.
High Energy is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 11:28
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tundra
Posts: 201

Outlaw is correct. A move like this can be challenging for all the family. Be sure you are all definitely on the same page.

Keep in mind, shiny jets and maybe more money, are fleeting; family is, hopefully, forever. You will never be glad to look back and feel you traded experiencing your kids childhood for this career.

Just my humble opinion.
Rather Be Skiing is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 12:51
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Netherlands
Age: 44
Posts: 53
Thanks for the great info guys.
I will be checking out FlyDubai as well.

When you polish it evry jet is shiny when you want it to be
MikeHoncho is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 13:20
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 730
I can't see the point in leaving an EU loco to join Fly Dubai, but if you want to go long haul and have a peek around the world, then EK will give you that. Like the others said, everything in DXB is "testing", from the bureaucracy (like you'd have to do creating a new life anywhere), the driving and the costs. Look closely intot he schooling issues - the schools are not as good as they make out, and there are an awful lot of scams getting you to register and test the kids for schools (at 500aed per reg and per exam) for non-existent school places. Be wary of any financial "investments" in dxb too.
Aluminium shuffler is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 13:40
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Netherlands
Age: 44
Posts: 53
I am actually not flying in Europe at a LoCo but I am still in the Military flying C17's as PIC and Instructor.
I am looking to make the jump from Military to Civilian which seems not that easy not having a TR on a common Boeing or Airbus type.

I have been in Dubai fairly regularly in my current job so I know a little bit how life could look there. I am also looking at European options but there are not too many.
MikeHoncho is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 13:51
  #17 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Brazil
Age: 50
Posts: 23
Great discussion guys, thanks.

The fact of not being home does not surprise me. As I told before, I'm a turboprop guy. Average days off is 8 (this month I surprisingly got 9!!). Normal pattern is 6 days on / 1 off / 5 on / 2 off and so it goes... Minimum landings a day are 3, but it's not that rare to hit the ground 6 times a day. And the heat (it's an ATR for a Brazilian airline) reaches 40șC in some turnarounds.

Perhaps you don't know Brazil, but we've been facing a very serious economical and political crisis. Local money worths 4 BRL for each USD (and it's been loosing value everyday). Lot's of people unemployed and that means more poverty. Stopping your car on a red light at night means a serious risk of being robbed. How about walking at night with your kid in the streets of your neighborhood? You will be kidnapped. So gou realise how my reality is for now... I'm not saying Dubai os perfect, but my country is far away from a "good" grade.
josesilvajs is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 14:00
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Earth
Posts: 227
Regarding Flydubai, does they provide any setup/furnishing allowance?
Luibar is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 14:43
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Below the tropopause
Posts: 380
They pay for the tickets to DXB for you and your family, 4 weeks Hotac (yourself only during training) and a 3500 AED 'pilot relocation support' allowance.
High Energy is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2016, 15:52
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Earth
Posts: 227
Sorry for the changing course, but still regarding Flydubai, I just think FZ basic salary is quite on the low side, besides the fact that there is no adjustment on the salary nor seniority pay. When was the last pay review? 2 years ago? How will FZ cope with the expansion if, as some people say, resignations are increasing. Maybe they should think in a way to retain pilots. To be honest, I don't think the supposedly cool environment with no tie, cap and jacket is enough. I would be glad to apply if the package improved a little. School costs are increasing, cost of living is increasing, taxes (VAT) are due to be a reality very soon but the package seems to be the same.
Luibar is offline  

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