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Old 05-25-2008, 08:09 AM   #1  
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Default "To Emirates" or "Not to Emirates" Part 2

I continue to read this site on occasion and it is apparent, given the very recent downturn in the U.S. aviation industry over the past 2 months, there has been a marked increase in the desire to obtain information with respect to Emirates.

For those that are new to exploring this expat game, here is a post I made in the past giving my personal opinion on Emirates (only for those who have not seen it in the past or not done a search on the subject):

Quote:
For of those who might be interested, here is a post I recently put on Pprune ref "Emirates" in response to an individual who is employed by a "legacy" carrier and is considering making the move to EK.

I hope it provides a somewhat balanced view........any additions and/or discreditation/contrary views from any/all is welcomed.

Best regards and Happy New Years to you all.

Dune



Friendly Pelican (and all others considering a career change to Emirates):



Quote:
Quote:
Hi guys,
I realise there is a lot of animus being vented at the moment, but I need a couple of honest answers please....
10K total, legacy carrier F/O, perhaps 2.5K PIC heavy turbine from a former life. Likely to pick up a narrowbody command this year.
Always held a torch to EK for 'citizen of the world' reasons.
Are EK still offering the accelerated-command program? If that's so, how would I stand?
What about DEC in a couple of years?
Yes, I realise the politics. At this stage it's about scoping an answer elsewhere..
Many thanks in advance for the considered replies......
Best wishes to all for the New Year
FP

Your question is one I've been asked many times by colleagues from "previous lives" who are contemplating a move to Emirates. Hence my response might be somewhat lengthy as I intend upon using this as a "template reply" to those who ask me in the future what I feel they should do.

While I'm sure there will be those who disagree (and I would encourage all expat pilots to provide input, not just Emirates types), here is my honest opinion/advice (Capt EK; been here going on 10 years; no management aspirations; consider myself rather "grounded" when compared to other posters on this website (my wife might disagree LOL!):

-Emirates is "generally" a good company from a pilots perspective (well capitalized, lots of new a/c orders, reasonably well organized in terms of rostering/staff travel/medical/education/housing/out-station support/etc).

-The lifestyle is "generally" of a good-to-high quality if you enjoy the beach/gym/sailing/etc (thanks in no part to Emirates; this is only a function of the Emirates Pilots Club which I tip my hat to!). My wife and I do enjoy this sort of lifestyle so for us this is a bonus and truly makes this place bearable. If you are not into this, in my opinion there is very little else beyond shopping

OK........that is the good stuff that I'm sure the recruiting team will have highlighted over and over in the promo-videos and the pumped-up recruitment road shows across the globe.

Now on to what you REALLY need to consider.

The problem with the whole thing is Dubai itself is a very difficult place to live in the long term. In 20 years it will be great with all the stuff they are building but currently it is nothing other than a huge construction site. This is not a short term problem; this is reality for the next 15-20 years. Even the government admits (albeit through "hints" in the local paper) that they are aware of the problem and are working towards a solution. The problem is the "solution" will not become reality for a very long time (they proudly mentioned 2015 as the time where they will have enough roads to handle all the cars). In the interim you are stuck inside a 24/7 construction site which for 4 months of the year resembles living inside a kiln (15 June-15 Oct inclusive ....trust me, those dates are unbelievably accurate based upon personal experience......and I like hot weather!).

Secondly; with due respect to other nationalities on this site, many of the "character issues" associated with those from the Middle East, India, Pakistan, etc will over time **** you off (insane driving without any talent/ability to actually control their vehicle.....leading to the deaths on the roads that have been talked about in detail; rude "butting in" in both traffic, banks, shopping centers; blatant staring at your wife/daughter by hordes of construction types, spitting out the window of the car, guys holding hands in public (and no, I am not homophobic LOL!) etc). In short, the term "uncivilized *******s" will become very clear to you when dealing with the majority of the population here.

Third, the other aspect to consider is the other "quality of life" issues. This would be the family/friends you leave and have little to no association with due to the disconnected nature of being an "international airline pilot". Do not discredit this aspect; while initially it all looks rosy there comes a time where you look back on all the friends getting together for house parties, lost family get togethers at the lake over the years, birthday parties, weddings, etc and really question whether the shiny airplanes and somewhat higher salary (rapidly dwindling at EK due to inflation and USD depreciation) is really worth it. The more you are here the more the answer becomes.....NO.

The point of this diatribe is I think this company/place is attractive (or not) depending on what part of the globe you are from, how old you are, how stable your current employment is with your current employer, and how long you plan to be here.

The single biggest question you need to ask yourself is:

"WHEN I/MY FAMILY HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS PLACE, WHAT IS NEXT?"

"WHERE WILL I GO?"

"WHAT WILL I DO?"

.......because no matter what there comes a time when all of us have had enough of this place. That is the reality of Emirates and Dubai.


Here is what I think about those pilots who are considering Emirates:


THOSE WHO I FEEL SHOULD COME

-those who have significant flight experience, are unemployed and don't have a reasonable chance of getting hired by a major airline in the foreseeable future.

-those who have significant flight experience, are currently employed and have jobs with questionable airlines (charter airlines in countries with a history of bankruptcy's, low cost carriers other than those that have a proven history of consistent performance, etc) and where you have a genuine concern your airline will not be around in the future.

-those who are with "junior" airlines with little flying experience (small jet; maybe turbo prop in the future) and do not feel they will ever be able to get hired by a "legacy" carrier in their home country.

-those from (I hate to use the term) 3rd world countries where the salary you would earn in your home country (no matter how long you stayed there) would not equate to that you would earn at Emirates.

-those that are with "legacy" carriers but, due to recession/restructuring/takeovers/etc. are within 8-10 years of retirement (ie. age 55 +) and feel they can do better in their remaining "productive" flying years coming to EK as opposed to staying at their current carrier.


THOSE WHO I FEEL SHOULD NOT COME


-in addition to that above, those with any sort of family issues that preclude a long term (ie.....plan on a lifetime) devotion to living outside your home country (because for the majority this will become the reality) commitment to living/working outside your home country.

IMHO

If you are in a "legacy" company with a potential long term career that you can enjoy in your home country.......do not leave. I envy those who are in large "legacy" companies that have the potential to be around for the next 20 years.......no guarantees but if things turn for the worst and you are not "bought out" at least you have the option of going overseas at that time. If I was able to get a narrow body command with a reasonable chance of my employer being around in 10 years........I would take it. PERIOD.

-if you decide to come to Emirates, do not count on staying here more than 10-12 years. When you go through this process, think about where you will go when you/your wife have had enough.......obviously "home" will not be an option due to union/seniority issues therefore you have committed you/your family to a life of living in foreign countries for the rest of your career. Are you prepared to do this?

Friendly Pelican:

In your position, I would stay home and take the command. A couple years and you'll be eligible for an Emirates DEC position (note: I do not agree in any aspect with this policy but it is what it is). If your legacy carrier works out you'll have the best of all worlds: a PIC position that pays reasonable wages in a community you'll enjoy living in.

Alternate: take the command but watch the economy. If the U.S. goes into recession in 2008 (this is very possible) and there are furloes; try to take a voluntary furlough and come to EK........but in all cases protect your seniority number. When times get better........take your 2-3 years at EK and then go back to civilization.
It is obvious since this post was published the landscape in the U.S. aviation industry has changed rapidly. This is apparent in the new-found interest amongst U.S. pilots in exploring options at Emirates.

Having said that, what I am seeing now can best be described as "panic shopping" amongst pilots in the American major carriers due to the very recent (past 8 weeks) decline in the American aviation industry and the prospects of further perceived cuts and bankruptcies. This is obvious given the number of posts from U.S. pilots on Pprune over the past month in the Middle East forum. I am not saying this is not justified; what I am saying is "panic" buying for many usually leads to "buyers remorse" at some time in the future. Think before you leap.

I have very little to add to the post I made previous. What is obvious is that many families are now falling into categories I would describe as those who might want to look to Emirates. That is understandable and I am more than happy to see others exploring their options at EK.

What you must understand however is anyone who is considering this move must be willing to let go of whatever previous expectations and terms of reference you have acquired over the years as the UAE is not the U.S. and Emirates is not American/Delta/Northwest.....etc, etc, etc. This cannot be better revealed than by looking at the recent posts on Pprune from a pilot from Michigan who is a recent f/o new hire at Emirates:

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=327570

I know nothing of this individual but to me this is the classic example of a pilot who came to Emirates who either:

a) didn't do his homework or,

b) based his assumptions upon the "Polly-Anna" views of a few individuals within EK who tend to post on these sites frequently and who don't (to my mind), fully present "both sides of the coin" (first platitude of many to follow in this post).

While there are those who disparage Pprune as a bunch of whiners, I would seriously encourage anyone who is considering a job at Emirates to thoroughly search the Pprune archives on whatever question/issue you might have. In my opinion, this site is the most comprehensive "raw" data you will find. It is up to you to "separate the wheat from the chaff" but I can tell you that "where there is smoke there is fire" (this is turning into a platitude post....LOL).

The bottom line is this job is not your financial savior; this job is an average airline job that will have advantages you currently do not have and disadvantages you damn well better be prepared to live with for the rest of your career before coming here.

I've recently flown with guys who did not do their homework and to my mind any complaint they have with respect to housing, salary, command, allowances, leave, staff travel, medical, etc. that do not meet their expectations is because the information was there and they were either too lazy, too blind, or too stupid to accept it.

I don't want to sound like a hard ass but this place is what it is. It can be a very good job in a rather difficult country but you have to know what the hell you are getting yourself into.

Just to give full disclose....

-almost 10 years in Emirates,
-Captain for the past 7 years,
-for the most part happy but am so because I/we know how to "manage" my/our life in Dubai,
-financially much better off than if I'd stayed home, but............


-am always looking for the door out......yet to find it but am continually looking.....so it can't be that great......can it?

Last edited by Dune; 05-25-2008 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:35 PM   #2  
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Been here 7 years Capt 4 and totally agree with Dune.

Dune- good post
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:16 AM   #3  
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An amazingly accurate picture of life in Dubai, and the job at EK.

Should be required reading for those thinking about moving there
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:00 AM   #4  
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Thanks Dune for an excellent post and sharing. Very informative, and I appreciate it.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:28 AM   #5  
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Secondly; with due respect to other nationalities on this site, many of the "character issues" associated with those from the Middle East, India, Pakistan, etc will over time **** you off (insane driving without any talent/ability to actually control their vehicle.....leading to the deaths on the roads that have been talked about in detail; rude "butting in" in both traffic, banks, shopping centers; blatant staring at your wife/daughter by hordes of construction types, spitting out the window of the car, guys holding hands in public (and no, I am not homophobic LOL!) etc). In short, the term "uncivilized *******s" will become very clear to you when dealing with the majority of the population here.


You did paint the exact bad picture of India.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:32 PM   #6  
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I would love to hear the description of Dubai and Emirates from someone in their late 20's early 30's, and who is single. Can anyone at EK assist?
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:32 PM   #7  
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My sense is, you're looking for someone to tell you that there are dozens of hot Scandinavian and Russian chicks at every bar looking to get picked up by an airline FO every night..am I right?
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:32 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dune View Post
What you must understand however is anyone who is considering this move must be willing to let go of whatever previous expectations and terms of reference you have acquired over the years as the UAE is not the U.S. and Emirates is not American/Delta/Northwest.....etc, etc, etc. This cannot be better revealed than by looking at the recent posts on Pprune from a pilot from Michigan who is a recent f/o new hire at Emirates:

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=327570

I know nothing of this individual but to me this is the classic example of a pilot who came to Emirates who either:

a) didn't do his homework or,

b) based his assumptions upon the "Polly-Anna" views of a few individuals within EK who tend to post on these sites frequently and who don't (to my mind), fully present "both sides of the coin" (first platitude of many to follow in this post).
Dune,

As has been said before, you make some great rational points. But the link to pprune and that idiot from Michigan is off base. It would take an hour of typing to correct the inaccuracies and, I would say, outright lies of his post. Frankly, I would want the psycho folks to reevaluate his testing if he came over here without reading his contract or doing any research.

No matter what anyone thinks of Dubai and life as an expat, the airline just gave us our deserved 14 weeks of profit share and 12+% payraise. Don't see that happening ANYWHERE in the US.

Just my two dirhams.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:20 AM   #9  
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Meet the mins. Went to the road show. JAA and FAA certificates. Experience living overseas. Did the online app.

The silence is deafening.

They must not be as desperate as it always seems. Haven't been contacted for an interview months after completing the application.
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:31 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saab2000 View Post
Meet the mins. Went to the road show. JAA and FAA certificates. Experience living overseas. Did the online app.

The silence is deafening.

They must not be as desperate as it always seems. Haven't been contacted for an interview months after completing the application.
Practically everyone is on the road. I am assuming when they return interview invitations will be forthcoming.
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