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Old 05-21-2008, 10:07 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: Sep 2007
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Default Questions about EK and living in Dubai

I am writing this under my husband's screen name and have some questions about Emirates and some specific concerns about living in Dubai.

My husband currently has been working at a legacy carrier for the past 9 years and it is becoming increasingly apparent to us that it is a sinking ship. He has already been furloughed once and with the way things are going, it is only a question of when it will happen again. Other options in the US have become increasingly scarce. He is in the pool at UPS but it is very unclear when they will start hiring again and in any case, being in the pool is not exactly a job promise. So we have been actively trying to figure out what other options he has and have not ruled out moving overseas. It seems that Emirates and Cathay are the most viable.

I have read posts on EK until my eyes are crossed and I'm sure some of my questions have been previously addressed. However, EK is having a road show in Chicago on Friday and he is considering attending so I wanted to pose some of my questions before hand. I realize opinions can be extremely varied but I really want to try to get a full picture of what working for this airline and living in Dubai means.

1. We have currently have a committment to a foster child which means that we could not move until some time in the middle of next year. Having said that, is it even worth attending the road show at this time? I don't expect he will be applying right now but would wait until the end of the year at the earliest (assuming he doesn't get furloughed first

2. We are a blended family, our one year old is from Vietnam and our almost three year old is from China. Are blended families common in Dubai? How are they received?

3. We have a dog, do the villas permit pets?

4. From what I have read, if you take company accomodations, utilities are paid for, is it an allowance, or is it covered entirely?

5. When women go out, do they have to have their hair covered? What other specific issues do they face?

6. I'm respectful of other cultures but I am a former police officer and while I would like to think I am not obnoxious, I am also not a wall flower. How much trouble am I likely to get myself in?

7. We have previously lived in San Francisco, how might the cost of groceries compare? An average price of milk, cheese, etc.? Can you purchase items that you would typically eat in the States?

8. What is the current price of gas?

9. Are there any provisions for bringing over any personal belongings aside from clothing?

10. What is the average cost of cable, phone, cell phone?

11. How do most people stay in touch with their family? Skype?

12. If the price of oil continues its' stratospheric climb, how do you think it will impact EK?

13. My husband has spent time on the A320/A319 but is currently on the 757/767, if he were hired, which fleet would he be more likely to be assigned?

14. Our kids love playing outside but I grew up in Arizona and realize that during the hot season (which sounds like makes up most of the year in Dubai), outside play is not so feasible, what activities are available for young children?

15. I have ridden horses competitively my entire life, while I'm no longer interested in competing, I would like to continue to ride, are there any stables there or are the only four legged creatures dogs and cats?

16. How the three year bond dealt with? Do you have to front the money or is it a contract you sign?

17. I know the company website mentions discounted travel after a period of time, how long is that time, and what do the discounts look like?

18. Are people still only getting 30 of the 42 days off?

19. I have read deadheading gets 1/2 pay, are they still treating pay for bunkies the same way?

20. Are there any monthly, annual limits to how much pilots can be flown and, if so, how much? What if you get sick, is there any sick time? Do you get in trouble?

21. I have read there is a housing shortage, how long is the current wait for villas? Can you request one with four bedrooms vs. three or is just whatever they feel like? Can someone describe the villas in greater detail? Are they more like condos, townhouse or stand alone homes?

22. Our son had some medical issues when we first brought him home, he is doing well now but I'm concerned about the quality of health care available. Can anyone comment on how it compares to PPOs in the U.S.

23. Emirates website says "generously subsidized health care" for family members. What does that really mean?

Sorry for the laundry list but we are trying to do our best to think this through and be realistic.

Walking around our home, the thought that we might have to leave upsets me but not more than not being able to support our kids. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by SKMarz; 05-21-2008 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:27 AM   #2  
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That's a long list. I can't answer them all in detail, but I'll do what I can. Maybe Gillegan or Gillegan's wife would like to chime in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SKMarz View Post
I am writing this under my husband's screen name and have some questions about Emirates and some specific concerns about living in Dubai.

My husband currently has been working at a legacy carrier for the past 9 years and it is becoming increasingly apparent to us that it is a sinking ship. He has already been furloughed once and with the way things are going, it is only a question of when it will happen again. Other options in the US have become increasingly scarce. He is in the pool at UPS but it is very unclear when they will start hiring again and in any case, being in the pool is not exactly a job promise. So we have been actively trying to figure out what other options he has and have not ruled out moving overseas. It seems that Emirates and Cathay are the most viable.

I have read posts on EK until my eyes are crossed and I'm sure some of my questions have been previously addressed. However, EK is having a road show in Chicago on Friday and he is considering attending so I wanted to pose some of my questions before hand. I realize opinions can be extremely varied but I really want to try to get a full picture of what working for this airline and living in Dubai means.

1. We have currently have a committment to a foster child which means that we could not move until some time in the middle of next year. Having said that, is it even worth attending the road show at this time? I don't expect he will be applying right now but would wait until the end of the year at the earliest (assuming he doesn't get furloughed first It's worth going. It's a show not an interview. More of a sales pitch than anything and a reasonable place to get some questions answered face to face. Emirates is not like U.S. carriers. You can give them a starting date 6 months out and it isn't a big deal. The typical European notice period is three months so they are used to 3 months or more.

2. We are a blended family, our one year old is from Vietnam and our almost three year old is from China. Are blended families common in Dubai? How are they received? Lots of multi-racial families in Dubai. All sizes and colors.

3. We have a dog, do the villas permit pets? Yes

4. From what I have read, if you take company accomodations, utilities are paid for, is it an allowance, or is it covered entirely? As of now, yes. If the some of the residents of Silicon Oasis keep wasting water and electricity that might change. You never see a bill.

5. When women go out, do they have to have their hair covered? What other specific issues do they face? Answer to first part is no. I'll let someone else answer the second part.

6. I'm respectful of other cultures but I am a former police officer and while I would like to think I am not obnoxious, I am also not a wall flower. How much trouble am I likely to get myself in?As a former police officer it's unlikely you'll suffer from road rage; flip somebody off, or drive while under the influence. Those are right near the top of what gets people in trouble here.

7. We have previously lived in San Francisco, how might the cost of groceries compare? An average price of milk, cheese, etc.? Can you purchase items that you would typically eat in the States?

8. What is the current price of gas? $1.64/gallon

9. Are there any provisions for bringing over any personal belongings aside from clothing? There is a weight allowance of 100Kg per adult, 30Kg. per child. It's not specific as to what you pack. Most people ship containers or pallets of must have stuff when they join. That is at your cost.

10. What is the average cost of cable, phone, cell phone? My satellite TV is about $75/month. Internet is $68/month. Cell Phone depends on use, but about $50/month, local phone calls are free.

11. How do most people stay in touch with their family? Skype? Skype, MSN Messenger, and other services. You'll need a Personal VPN to get around the proxy server that blocks those services, but that's max $50/year

12. If the price of oil continues its' stratospheric climb, how do you think it will impact EK?Less so than airlines in the States, but it could reach a point where it's painful to Emirates and they slow growth plans.

13. My husband has spent time on the A320/A319 but is currently on the 757/767, if he were hired, which fleet would he be more likely to be assigned?Usually goes by the type he is current on, but not always.

14. Our kids love playing outside but I grew up in Arizona and realize that during the hot season (which sounds like makes up most of the year in Dubai), outside play is not so feasible, what activities are available for young children? Lots of indoor play areas. It is very kid friendly here. There is always Ski Dubai in the heat of the summer . That said, it's not unpleasant in the evening even now. Most kids are out in the neighborhood in the late afternoon/early evening.

15. I have ridden horses competitively my entire life, while I'm no longer interested in competing, I would like to continue to ride, are there any stables there or are the only four legged creatures dogs and cats? Plenty, although that's not an area I'm familiar with. Wife has some friends who are taking riding lessons in Mirdif. Haven't you seen Hidalgo? The Arabs love their horses, just look up endurance racing and the Dubai World Cup.

16. How the three year bond dealt with? Do you have to front the money or is it a contract you sign? Contract that goes declines $1000/month after final line check.

17. I know the company website mentions discounted travel after a period of time, how long is that time, and what do the discounts look like? 6 months. I've posted typical charges on here before, but it's not cheap to travel with the fuel surcharges getting higher and higher.

18. Are people still only getting 30 of the 42 days off? I get all my vacation. The only year I didn't was when I upgraded and then I took 60+ days the following year.

19. I have read deadheading gets 1/2 pay, are they still treating pay for bunkies the same way? Wrong. Deadhead is full pay as is Augment crew. The thing that is half is the amount towards flight and duty time limitation on Ultra long haul flights. means that a person could fly well over 100 hours in a month when including the time in the bunk. Complaints about that are due to fatigue, yet a lot of guys love the overtime it generates.

20. Are there any monthly, annual limits to how much pilots can be flown and, if so, how much? What if you get sick, is there any sick time? Do you get in trouble? Yes. 100 hours in 28 days and 900 hours in a rolling 12 month period. Again the bunk time doesn't count towards those limits. The company is very generous in regards to legitimate medium and long term illness.

21. I have read there is a housing shortage, how long is the current wait for villas? Rumor has it, 6 to 9 months Can you request one with four bedrooms vs. three or is just whatever they feel like?It's what's available. Can someone describe the villas in greater detail? Are they more like condos, townhouse or stand alone homes?Both. Some are stand alone and some are more like townhomes. There is a wide variety.

22. Our son had some medical issues when we first brought him home, he is doing well now but I'm concerned about the quality of health care available. Can anyone comment on how it compares to PPOs in the U.S. Hit and miss. There are good doctors and bad ones.

23. Emirates website says "generously subsidized health care" for family members. What does that really mean? That means you'll pay a monthly premium of around $75. One thing to know is that they will not cover pre-existing conditions.

Sorry for the laundry list but we are trying to do our best to think this through and be realistic.

Walking around our home, the thought that we might have to leave upsets me but not more than not being able to support our kids. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Hope some other people chime in because this could turn out to be a decent thread.


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Old 05-22-2008, 06:50 AM   #3  
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I'm glad you posted these questions. I find myself flying for a great carrier that's in a bit of trouble. As your husband, I'm an A320 FO. Similarly to your husband, I'm in the hiring pool at FedEx. I went to the EK presentation here in Denver a couple of days ago. Your husband and you should try to make it to the Chicago presentation. You can ask questions directly. I am NOT at EK now, so I only will answer one of your questions that I heard the answer to on Tuesday.

Good luck with the decision. My wife will be reading your post. She is not fully on-board with the idea of Dubai, but then again, neither am I. We have never been there. We will wait to make the final decision after being there. The big difference between FedEx and UPS is that if I leave the US resident status, I would no longer be eligible for a job at FDX. Makes it that much tougher to decide.

Keep posting good questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SKMarz View Post
I am writing this under my husband's screen name and have some questions about Emirates and some specific concerns about living in Dubai.

My husband currently has been working at a legacy carrier for the past 9 years and it is becoming increasingly apparent to us that it is a sinking ship. He has already been furloughed once and with the way things are going, it is only a question of when it will happen again. Other options in the US have become increasingly scarce. He is in the pool at UPS but it is very unclear when they will start hiring again and in any case, being in the pool is not exactly a job promise. So we have been actively trying to figure out what other options he has and have not ruled out moving overseas. It seems that Emirates and Cathay are the most viable.
I would agree. EK and CX are both great, stable, profitable, long-term carriers.

I have read posts on EK until my eyes are crossed and I'm sure some of my questions have been previously addressed. However, EK is having a road show in Chicago on Friday and he is considering attending so I wanted to pose some of my questions before hand. I realize opinions can be extremely varied but I really want to try to get a full picture of what working for this airline and living in Dubai means.

1. We have currently have a committment to a foster child which means that we could not move until some time in the middle of next year. Having said that, is it even worth attending the road show at this time? I don't expect he will be applying right now but would wait until the end of the year at the earliest (assuming he doesn't get furloughed first
With your husband's experience, he'll be able to secure an interview date. He can probably interview as late as September-October (some of the pilots in Denver got interviews that far out), and then on the application and at the time of the interview, he can ask for a maximum of 6-months notice for a class date. So, in theory, say he interviews in late Sept, gets the call 6 weeks later, which is early November, and gets a class date for 6 months later- May of '09. Should work out well. Would give him time to know what's going on with UPS too.

2. We are a blended family, our one year old is from Vietnam and our almost three year old is from China. Are blended families common in Dubai? How are they received?

3. We have a dog, do the villas permit pets?

4. From what I have read, if you take company accomodations, utilities are paid for, is it an allowance, or is it covered entirely?

5. When women go out, do they have to have their hair covered? What other specific issues do they face?

6. I'm respectful of other cultures but I am a former police officer and while I would like to think I am not obnoxious, I am also not a wall flower. How much trouble am I likely to get myself in?

7. We have previously lived in San Francisco, how might the cost of groceries compare? An average price of milk, cheese, etc.? Can you purchase items that you would typically eat in the States?

8. What is the current price of gas?

9. Are there any provisions for bringing over any personal belongings aside from clothing?

10. What is the average cost of cable, phone, cell phone?

11. How do most people stay in touch with their family? Skype?

12. If the price of oil continues its' stratospheric climb, how do you think it will impact EK?

13. My husband has spent time on the A320/A319 but is currently on the 757/767, if he were hired, which fleet would he be more likely to be assigned?

14. Our kids love playing outside but I grew up in Arizona and realize that during the hot season (which sounds like makes up most of the year in Dubai), outside play is not so feasible, what activities are available for young children?

15. I have ridden horses competitively my entire life, while I'm no longer interested in competing, I would like to continue to ride, are there any stables there or are the only four legged creatures dogs and cats?

16. How the three year bond dealt with? Do you have to front the money or is it a contract you sign?

17. I know the company website mentions discounted travel after a period of time, how long is that time, and what do the discounts look like?

18. Are people still only getting 30 of the 42 days off?

19. I have read deadheading gets 1/2 pay, are they still treating pay for bunkies the same way?

20. Are there any monthly, annual limits to how much pilots can be flown and, if so, how much? What if you get sick, is there any sick time? Do you get in trouble?

21. I have read there is a housing shortage, how long is the current wait for villas? Can you request one with four bedrooms vs. three or is just whatever they feel like? Can someone describe the villas in greater detail? Are they more like condos, townhouse or stand alone homes?

22. Our son had some medical issues when we first brought him home, he is doing well now but I'm concerned about the quality of health care available. Can anyone comment on how it compares to PPOs in the U.S.

23. Emirates website says "generously subsidized health care" for family members. What does that really mean?

Sorry for the laundry list but we are trying to do our best to think this through and be realistic.

Walking around our home, the thought that we might have to leave upsets me but not more than not being able to support our kids. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by CloudSailor; 05-22-2008 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:10 AM   #4  
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TP, thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I know some of the information is in the past threads but after hours of looking through the archives, there were some things I couldn't find. Thank you for clarifying on the pay regarding deadheads and bunkies. I could see where it not counting for duty rigs and hard time could be a recipe for fatigue.

Are there some people (like the U.S.) who are always bunkies or is it more random?

It sounds like my husband should make the effort to go to the road show. I just wasn't sure if his attending when he isn't ready to apply just yet would be construed as flaky.

If anyone else would be willing to offer any other input, I would be very grateful. It is a difficult decision to uproot our family and drag them around the world but I also see the writing on the wall for U.S. airlines, at least the one my husband works for, and making an informed decision is going to be key. At the end of the day, I realize that should he apply and get interviewed, it is really up to us to do our homework, but it helps to get some basic information to assist us in deciding whether to pursue this option.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:16 AM   #5  
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Cloud Sailor,

I probably monitor APC more than my husband, so I've been reading about your dilemma. If I understand correctly, the issue is the U.S. mail contracts and it requires the 5 year US residency. It is a huge decision to be sure. Actually it has given us pause because as you know, mail contracts do shift and we could find ourselves in the same boat at UPS. It is just that US carriers are so bleak right now. I appreciate that Fedex and UPS run on the leaner side and one hopes it would mitigate any furloughs but sometimes I just wish our timing had been better. My husband was just unfortunate to have his pool entry time closely with age 65.

I can understand your wife's reluctance. I have moments of thinking we are nuts for even considering it but it could also be a great adventure and I guess you never know how something is going to be until you try it. But it is also a really big leap of faith to move this far away into a culture so different.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:21 AM   #6  
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My husband says training bonds are usually a contract you sign but I have also read of situations where you actually have to put money in an account. Does anyone know which it is at Emirates?
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:56 AM   #7  
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You do not need to put your money on an account to cover the bond.
I was recently hired and start next month. My wife didnīt want to even look at EK until she did what you are doing: Research about EK and Dubai. We BOTH liked Dubai very much. Like any city itīs got good and bad, but very kid friendly and LOTS of things to do. You donīt have to wear a vail. You wear what you would in Chicago. The best advice I can humbly give you is to go to the road show together with your husband and see if you like the package they have to offer. Then when called for an interview in DXB go and spend a few more days than just for the interview. Go to local schools, visit different areas and see it for yourself.
Again nothing is perfect and EK and DXB are no exceptions but I believe they have one of the better packages out there. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:38 AM   #8  
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Thanks for the information on the bond. We have decided to attend the road show and come prepared with a list of questions. Unfortunately, the kids will be with us so I think he will have to go in by himself. If he applies and gets an interview, I will go too and we will add as many days as we can, preferably on the back end when we can see how far he gets through the process.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:49 AM   #9  
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OK, I have a few more questions. Is the leave taken over two periods or all at once? I understand they only pay for one trip. Is it paid leave? How far in advance do you usually find out? Do you have to be there a full year before you are entitled to any leave?

I feel foolish for asking this one, while my husband and I are by no means big drinkers, we have been known to have wine with dinner. I understand that you actually need to obtain a liquor license to purchase alcohol. Is this difficult to obtain?

I have read many different accounts and I understand that it may be fleet specific, but how many days off are people averaging a month?

Do most people have two cars, or just one? I understand insurance can be expensive, can someone give me a general idea of what it runs? Do most people lease or buy? Does anyone bring theirs over or is it too cost prohibitive?

Does anyone who has life insurance policies in the US happen to know whether they are still valid abroad?

I understand the education allowance was recently raised, has that helped off-set the out of pocket costs, especially in the primary years? My husband's parents came straight off the boat from England, so I am by no means opposed to sending our kids to the British schools, any thoughts on the quality and cost of those schools?

How far are most people being housed from the airport?

I'm sure I'll think of more questions, I'm writing things down for my husband to ask, but it is one thing to ask the company and another to ask those who are actually employees or residents of the area.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:52 PM   #10  
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Hi!

If you haven't been there, go to pprune.org, which is like airlinepilot.com, but worldwide. Do realize that many ppruners are generally more negative in their viewpoints than airlinepiloters, but there is good info there.

For Cathay you can be based in Hong Kong, but be aware that air pollution there is TERRIBLE. I really wanted to go, but my CEO and one of my kids have asthma issues, so HK is not viable for us to live in.

My buddy was at Emirates. He said the accomodations were awesome, but now there are shortages and temporary housing, so that is another factor.

My CEO says she would love to live in Dubai.

Good luck!

cliff
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