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Working in the Persian Gulf

If you had a very, very lucrative opportunity pushed on you, but it required you to relocate your family to the Persian Gulf (say Qatar, though UAE would be very similar), would you seriously consider it? Imagine something like 3 years.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 14th, 2006
I have friends and family in the region now (not all military) and not unless the money was enough to allow me not to work for multiple years afterwards... and the security/environmental conditions were right...
Permalink KC 
January 14th, 2006
I don't think there is an issue with security in UAE, so that wouldn't be a problem.

I probably would, but then I'm single. (I'm also Jewish, which might be a slight issue.)
Permalink Flasher T 
January 14th, 2006
Dennis, I would love to work in UAE, especially Dubai. While i'm sure terrorists may attack there at some point, they are just as likely to attack the US too. Dubai and Qatar are both very western, I mean Michael Jackson and Beckham both own a bunch of property there, Dubai is like the Vegas of the Middle East.
Permalink Phil 
January 14th, 2006
Except with very expensive and hard-to-get booze, I hear. Which can be a downer.
Permalink Flasher T 
January 14th, 2006
I would consider how the assignment would affect my career vs. not going. I would not go just to accumulate a bunch of money. There would have to be something about it that would make it likely that I got a good position afterward. So, not likely.
Permalink argon 
January 14th, 2006
My brother was there twice - two years both times. 97-98 (I think?) and 03-04. The first was in the oil industry and the second in IT. He made an ass load of money both times. I'll ask him the specifics but I beleive both times he was on a salary of approx. $175K/yr. Plus all housing/food/car/education expenses (wife, 2 kids). And I think they got two (or three?) business class round trips home each year.

He loved it. His wife hated it the second time around (no friends). Security was never an issue, although he always seemed uncomfortable when they where out and about by themselves. The first time they had an apartment in a secured compound. The second time they had a house (what I'd call a cluster home) in an area dominated with American and British citizens. There was apparently some type of rent-a-cop security for the area. He said it always reminded him of Palm Springs.

Overall, he says he'd do it again in a heart beat. He basically banked the entire $350K+ each time and is now sitting pretty well. The second time he even lucked into a sweet rental deal on his home in the US, so he made a killing with that as well.
Permalink  
January 14th, 2006
When I was stationed in Germany in the mid 80's for two years, when I got back home to the USA I had a bad case of culture shock. Who is Don Johnson, and why is everyone wearing pink t-shirts under their jackets?

I ended up feeling that I'd missed a lot of important events while I was gone. Now that I'm in IT, where the pace of change is triple that of the "normal" world, I'm pretty sure I'd return with out of date skills.

So, no, I wouldn't go for 3 years.

1 year ... maybe.
Permalink example 
January 14th, 2006
Dennis:

Look at this as an adventure of a lifetime. I think it would be a very cool opportunity.
Permalink Yoey 
January 14th, 2006
Go for it. I've lived in that part of the world before. If you are a druggie or alkie, you'll go nuts. They won't hire you or let you into Saudi if you're Jewish, and if you have any Israeli stamps in your passport, get the passport replaced (most Arab countries won't let you in with those stamps). Dubai is the most cosmopolitan of the Gulf States. Like Beruit was before Lebanon turned to shit.

Many ex-pats in Saudi brewed their own moonshine. In KSA, it is called Sidiki ("friend" in Arabic). If the authorities had any interest in stopping shiners, they'd only have to look at who buys 20 Kilo sacks of sugar and who uses 2x the normal amount of water. If your still catches fire and burns the house down, it gets blamed on an "unattended cooking pot."
Permalink Peter 
January 14th, 2006
You mentioned "family". Think about your kids ... maybe they'd love it, but maybe they want to just have a normal life in <wherever you normally live>.

If you were single and looking for adventure, it sounds like a blast though...
Permalink Michael Kale 
January 14th, 2006
OK, here is the deal. Your employer MUST be based in the west. Under no circumstances should you accept a job working for a company which is *based* in a islamic middle-eastern country. If you work for a US or European company, you still have rights. If you work for somebody else, you are very likely to have a very very bad experience.
Permalink Scott 
January 14th, 2006
Why can't the kids go and have a blast too? I suppose there are international schools and all that in Dubai. I don't think the kids need to stay normal in <wherever normalville>. Not a deal breaker.

What's the work ? and how lucrative is very, very lucrative? Those would be my next questions. I'm all over this sounds great.
Permalink K 
January 14th, 2006
I was offered $500/hr tax free plus expenses, bodyguard and flak vest in Iraq. They mentioned working 12-15 hours a day in some bunker somewhere.

The money made me stop and think... but money is no good if you're dead.
Permalink Duff 
January 14th, 2006
I'd grab a hold of Stephen Jones and ask him about the pros and cons.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 15th, 2006
I probably will in the not-too-distant future. We write medical software intended for use in the ME.

BTW, if anybody lives there now and would like a drink (or something) in exchange for me asking some questions, then drop me a line. I'll be there (Dubai) from this Friday.
Permalink Colm 
January 16th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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