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Help! We are moving to Dubai!

“De kogel is door de kerk” as we say in Dutch. More or less loosely translated it means: the bullet Is through the church which comes down to: a decision has been made. We are starting the first chapter of our married life in the United Arab Emirates.

When we started looking for teaching jobs abroad we literally did not consider Dubai. I mean: it is hot and most of the expats living there are those kinds of “work hard play hard” types you would find in The City. Not really our crowd (we are more the – sit down and play a board game/computer game/tabletop game kind of crowd).

We had planned to end up in South-East Asia. I have been a few times – Indonesia and Thailand, and I have been wanting to move to that part of the world since I was 17. But let me tell you: it is not easy to get a job in that part of the world for a teacher with only 2 years of experience. It obviously depends on the classes you teach – and it is easier for primary teachers to get in, but after applying to literally everything that came up, after 4 interviews (which Josh probably only got because of his Cambridge Degree), we decided we might have to expand our horizons.

moving to dubai

My husband’s mother is a head teacher of – I think it is about 6 schools now and talked about how he needs to apply for vacancies in the Middle East since it is already a step up from being a teacher in the UK. “Getting a foot in the door.” She called it. Basically, international schools like teachers to already have a bit of international experience – especially when they bring a spouse. A lot of teachers or spouses decide to teach internationally is not for them. Often it is due to the fact that the wife or husband is unable to find a job and build a career abroad.

Showing that you have the heart and the courage to teach abroad by having experience in teaching internationally is a big thumbs-up. We noticed that all teachers who actually got the jobs Josh interviewed for started out in the Middle East (some started in Oman, most of them started in Abu Dhabi or Dubai).

help we are moving to dubai

So, we decided to apply for jobs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It was very important for me that I, as a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind, would not be cuffed and put in jail from the moment my feet touched the ground. – That obviously is a joke, but there still are countries in the area that aren’t as female-friendly as some of the Emirates in the UAE.

We started to apply in February when we were on our Ski holiday in Colorado (middle of 02/18) – and the contract got signed at the start of March. That is literally how quick it went!

Although I wasn’t too keen on moving to the UAE, the more I found out about the Emirates, the food, the culture and the traveling opportunities (flights to India are SO cheap!), I am incredibly looking forward to moving!

If anyone has been to Dubai or one of the Emirates and knows some nice things to do – please do let me know as I will be looking to fill my weekends and evenings with amazing outings and food!

Lieze Neven blog

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