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Comparing Jeddah, KSA to Abu Dhabi or Dubai?

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Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 602

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:10 am    Post subject: Comparing Jeddah, KSA to Abu Dhabi or Dubai? Reply with quote

IS there any comparison? Are the comparison so extensive that there is no use in comparing them?

1. Public trans?
2. Rec facilities?
3. Costs?
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Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You answered your own question.

There is pretty much zero public transport in KSA, other than a manky city to city bus service and a train from Riyadh to Dammam.

One of the few benefits of KSA is that cost of living is pretty low, mainly because there isn't much in terms of entertainment. Supermarkets are cheap but inflation is rising.

In KSA, you'll save way more than in the UAE, but the number of people absconding is huge. Plus, salaries seem to be on a downward slide!
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Rousseau Redhawk

Joined: 21 Aug 2012
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting to me because I once worked in Jeddah, and now am applying for the Abu Dhabi public schools.

To say Jeddah was pretty stiff is probably an understatement. I would be really interested in any personal anecdotes about life in the Emerites -- I admit, there were plenty of Pakistani taxi drivers in Jeddah, for instance, though it seems people in the UAE want their own car and act like it's a necessity.

Are there only taxis in Abu Dhabi City, and maybe Al Ain, or are even those big cities unreliable and/or very expensive?

And also the inevitable...anyone know what "pedogogical approaches" are favored in the public schools of Abu Dhabi? I've taught in Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Arabia, and America so I'm pretty flexible -- but I would sure like to know what works in this country before I interview!

Any help would be appreciated, thanks....
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Joined: 24 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:46 pm    Post subject: Traffic Reply with quote

There is no comparison between the two really. Emirates wins hands down.

I assume by Abu Dhabi Public schools you mean ADEC. ADEC do not operate in Dubai and usually place their teachers in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and if you are unfortunate the western region or Delma islands. They have just opened a project in Ras al Khaimah too.

ADEC does not house their teachers in small rural towns in the Abu Dhabi Emirate so some teachers have to travel sd much as an hour and a half each way to schools outside of Al Ain or Abu Dhabi. They cannot rely on public buses and the metred taxis would be very pricey so I can understand why people say you need a car. Of course if you are lucky enough to be placed in a school within the city limits your transportation options would greatly increase. But you have no idea where you will be placed beforehand and you have no choice in what school they assign you too.

Some people hire a driver to drive them to and from school and others carpool so I guess there are other options if you don't want to buy a car. If you want to travel around the Emirates then having a car is essential as it just saves you a lot of time. Driving from Al Ain to Dubai takes just over an hour whereas as bus can take hours and hours. You can get reasonably priced second hand cars and the gas is cheap.

Let's compare that to Jeddah. Firstly, if you are an experienced teacher I am pretty sure that there is no way you are going to get as much money in Jeddah as you will get through ADEC. Secondly, you lived in Jeddah don't you remember what it was like? All the smog and traffic. You sometimes have to wait hours and hours in the traffic. I can assure you that even with all the construction the traffic situation in Abu Dhabi doesn't even come close to that. Also don't you remember the terrible flooding that happens everytime it rains and the many people that die. Abu Dhabi has drainage which really makes a huge difference. There is no proper bus system in Jeddah unless you are willing to take the cramped vans with sweaty workers. As a woman that was never an option for me. I must admit the taxis were cheap when you were willing to bargain them down and I miss that a bit but still not worth the terrible waiting and waiting in the traffic.

As far as recreation goes

Jeddah: Mall of Arabia, Red Sea Mall and a few other malls, a few overpriced private beaches, Restaurants on Al Andalus Street, Cafe Aroma, Tahlia Street and the old souq sums it up..

Although I personally prefer Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has everything Jeddah has and more. Think things like cinemas, restaurants that are not separated into family sections, bowling alleys and shisha cafes that are not separated into family sections, coffee shops like Dunkin Donuts where girls can actually sit and are not forced to leave with a takeaway (this is still the case at the Dunkin Donuts near Al Andulus street). Normal clothes, a beer or glass of wine if you so choose. Rock concerts, plays and cultural events. Pork and churches where people are allowed to worship legally. There is so much to list it would take me forever...

Al Ain is much smaller than Jeddah and has like 3 malls. It doesn't have Danube but it has a number of Lulus, Carrefours, Choithrams, Abelas and Spinneys. No sea but lovely trees and parks around and the Al Ain Zoo plus Jebel Hafeet.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lizzie covered lifestyle differences very well.

As to the work, one's happiness (or not) with ADEC appears to depend on where you are placed. (based on what has been posted here) First there are the examples that Lizzie gave of which city/village you are assigned to... and then there is the issue of different schools. Some of the schools are supportive of the English speaking teachers and some are not. This is a big change in the education system and naturally not everyone is happy about it. You will need to be independent and pretty thick skinned. It sounds like you have enough experience to deal with it, but many of the hires have been quickly scared off by the students who can be... um... difficult. (inner city teaching is good background... at least the students won't be armed)

Teachaway has a Facebook page with many of the teachers sharing the problems...

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Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 355

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks V.S Very Happy

To be honest the only ADEC teachers I know that are happy are those teaching the younger kids like KG 1 and KG 2. Those teachers also have Arabic speaking partner teachers which makes a huge difference. The rest don't really seem to like their jobs but stay for the money. We are talking about around $5000 a month for teachers with experience plus an apartment, furniture allowance, health insurance (including dental), family sponsorship and flights plus an end of year full salary bonus...
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