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More savings Qatar, Oman or Saudi?
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: More savings Qatar, Oman or Saudi? Reply with quote

I'm a single woman who will soon have an MA in Applied Linguistics. Where do you think I can save the most? -Qatar, Oman or Saudi Arabia? I know there are tons of variables, but what does your experience tell you in general?
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 346

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saudi, unfortunately. The lack of temptation keeps the money in your pocket. I spend less than $400 pm but the way the situation is going - contractors taking over - the future isn't so certain.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously... the difference is not that much in the long run because it all depends on the job and benefits. Oman naturally pays the least as it is not as oil rich. Plus you haven't mentioned the UAE which for a woman has the most desirable positions with the highest pay in the Gulf. I do not recommend that any woman start her education or Middle East "career" in Saudi Arabia because of the restrictive and often difficult lifestyle.

In the meantime, before you will even be eligible for any of those jobs with the high pay, you will need 2-3 years of experience AFTER the MA. What you need is experience in teaching Academic English, preferably in reading/writing as those are the weak skills of Arabic speakers. You will NOT start at the top levels of salary, those go to those with the best CV. If you can get a position teaching in a local university IEP program (or the equivalent in your country), that would be the best option.

Make your decision based on the job... not merely on the money. You can and will save as much as you wish based on your lifestyle and priorities - whichever country you choose.

VS
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi VS,

Thanks for your input. It really helps. I understand that KSA is quite restrictive for women. I just want to make an informed decision about where to go. So I'm asking the question about savings because after searching for this information, I still haven't come up with much. The reality for me is that I won't have 2 years (post degree) of academic ESL teaching experience before I set out for the ME (the job market for TESL is getting worse not better in Canada). I will have a MA in Applied Ling. and experience teaching ESL before my MA which I gather won't be counted towards my salary. I understand that I won't being making a top salary, but honestly it's a dead end here in Canada. I'm considering the KSA because they seem to hire people with less post degree experience than other ME countries. I can get ME and university level experience in KSA and then go somewhere else easier for western women or maybe I'll go to Oman or Qatar first. I'm just looking for a ballpark figure of savings. I know there are lots of variables. Without post MA experience at the tertiary level, would I even be considered for a job in the UAE?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your pre-MA experience? I know teachers who have walked right into a top job in the UAE with no post MA experience. But it was because they had lots of related pre-MA experience... in Muslim countries with Arabic speakers.

For the Oman jobs the requirement is a BA + CELTA + a couple years of experience. There is buzz about Oman (and KSA) requiring related BAs. Of course other legitimate certs are accepted as long as they have about 120 hours and supervised teaching with real students.

It is all about selling what you have to offer to employers. Laughing

VS
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got about 4 years of adult ESL experience in Canada and abroad from the beginning of my teaching career. Then I have about 12 years of teaching in Internaional and American schools-elementary and secondary. Now I am teaching visa students in Canada with about 50% from Saudi Arabia). None of my experience has been in ME.
I have a BA in English and a BEd but my certification has run out. I have an in-class TESL cert. with 140 hours and supervised practicum.
I'm going to do an MA in Applied Ling. starting in Sept. 2013.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4294
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
It is all about selling what you have to offer to employers.

I agree. Frankly, all you can do is apply to see what your quals get you.

The peak recruiting period for direct-hire opportunities in the region usually starts early in the calendar year; that should give you an idea of what employers are looking for. Periodically check out TESOL Arabia's job fair link, chronicle.com and higheredjobs.com for postings.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super Modal wrote:
I've got about 4 years of adult ESL experience in Canada and abroad from the beginning of my teaching career. Then I have about 12 years of teaching in Internaional and American schools-elementary and secondary. Now I am teaching visa students in Canada with about 50% from Saudi Arabia). None of my experience has been in ME.
I have a BA in English and a BEd but my certification has run out. I have an in-class TESL cert. with 140 hours and supervised practicum.
I'm going to do an MA in Applied Ling. starting in Sept. 2013.

The lack of your teaching cert doesn't matter unless you want to teach in the better International Schools.

With a bit of creative writing and salesmanship on your part, your experience could be helpful. (what isn't helpful is a dozen years of teaching conversation classes in Asia Cool) So, you look at job ads, try to figure out which of your experience fits the job and that is what you concentrate on. (adult ESL, academic English at secondary level?, work with the Arabic speaking students)

Your best chance for the first job is probably Oman. You could get hired on your current CV, but might have to do a bit of negotiation to get credit for the MA because your experience is before... but I'm pretty confident that you would get offers from the recruiters. The money won't impress everyone you know, but a couple years there would give your CV a boost.

VS
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'll take Qatar off my list since it is expensive. I'm not going to apply for jobs in international schools just colleges and universities. So that leaves Oman or Saudi Arabia. Any rough info on savings in Oman? I don't want a surprise once I'm there.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16063
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No reason to worry about surprises before you get there already. Hard to tell you savings when we don't know an offer and benefits yet. You would have plenty of time to calculate savings between the time of an offer and having to accept, but I would think a minimum savings would be $1500 a month... after the first couple months of getting your flat set up.

Of course, as you know, it is all about lifestyle and priorities.

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saudi for savings but it is also the place where your sanity is at risk. Of course if you are already crackers it does not matter. I think that is how I managed my chunks of time there (2, then1, then 6,then 8 years)

Last edited by scot47 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sliim



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are easier, more pleasant ways to save a bit of money: hitman work and grave robbing come to mind, but it is a matter of taste, I suppose. :D
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super Modal wrote:
I guess I'll take Qatar off my list since it is expensive. I'm not going to apply for jobs in international schools just colleges and universities. So that leaves Oman or Saudi Arabia. Any rough info on savings in Oman? I don't want a surprise once I'm there.


You shouldn't rush to take Qatar off your list just yet. I'm currently living in Qatar, and I can assure you it's only really expensive when you start to indulge yourself with too many luxuries. Top of the list of these luxuries are drinks at the notoriously exorbitant hotel bars/restaurants. If you can avoid visiting these 5-star hotels, or at least limit your visits to no more than a few times a month, you can save quite steadily in Qatar.

Even from my fairly average Qatar salary, I manage to save US$1500 very comfortably. I don't even have to try. On top of that, I also usually manage to pay a few hundred dollars towards credit card bills each month.I could save a lot more if I tried a little harder. I only save such a small amount because I promised myself I would live comfortably here, treat myself regularly, and not worry about spending money on day-to-day expenses. If you wanted to be a bit more frugal you could probably save closer to between $2000-$2500 from an average Qatar salary.

One advantage over Oman is that you don't need a car to live a comfortable lifestyle here, at least not if you are living in Doha, where most expats live. I know plenty of teachers who have chosen not to buy a car, and they get by just fine.

Bear in mind that with Saudi, the problem isn't saving a lot of money, it's trying to hold on to it once those hallowed vacations come round, and you can escape the mental torment of living there. In Saudi I saved almost double what I save now, through not having much to spend your money on there, but during holiday times I would go a bit wild, and blow massive amounts of money, trying to counterbalance the drudgery and depression of life while in Saudi.

Qatar isn't perfect, by any means, but you can have something resembling a normal life here, and it is possible to live here long-term, fairly happily. I don't think that's possible in Saudi for most westerners. I think it's better to be somewhere with a more tolerable culture, where you can save more steadily, and take some of your shorter holidays in-country, rather than staying in a place like Saudi, where you are desperate to fly out on vacation at every given opportunity

Best of luck to you!
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douglas1969



Joined: 21 Sep 2012
Posts: 30
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bulgogiboy wrote:
One advantage over Oman is that you don't need a car to live a comfortable lifestyle here, at least not if you are living in Doha, where most expats live. I know plenty of teachers who have chosen not to buy a car, and they get by just fine.


Hi bulgogiboy, just curious, how do westerners get around then? Is public transport fairly well established? (I have a valid license but I also have epi. and I shouldn't drive so try to drive as little as possible.)

Quote:

Qatar isn't perfect, by any means, but you can have something resembling a normal life here, and it is possible to live here long-term, fairly happily. I don't think that's possible in Saudi for most westerners. I think it's better to be somewhere with a more tolerable culture, where you can save more steadily, and take some of your shorter holidays in-country, rather than staying in a place like Saudi, where you are desperate to fly out on vacation at every given opportunity


Also, just wondering, in what respects do you find that Qatari's are more tolerable than Saudi's? More tolerant to womens dress codes e.t.c. or do they seem to leave westerns alone more?
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

douglas1969 wrote:
bulgogiboy wrote:
One advantage over Oman is that you don't need a car to live a comfortable lifestyle here, at least not if you are living in Doha, where most expats live. I know plenty of teachers who have chosen not to buy a car, and they get by just fine.


Hi bulgogiboy, just curious, how do westerners get around then? Is public transport fairly well established? (I have a valid license but I also have epi. and I shouldn't drive so try to drive as little as possible.)

Quote:

Qatar isn't perfect, by any means, but you can have something resembling a normal life here, and it is possible to live here long-term, fairly happily. I don't think that's possible in Saudi for most westerners. I think it's better to be somewhere with a more tolerable culture, where you can save more steadily, and take some of your shorter holidays in-country, rather than staying in a place like Saudi, where you are desperate to fly out on vacation at every given opportunity


Also, just wondering, in what respects do you find that Qatari's are more tolerable than Saudi's? More tolerant to womens dress codes e.t.c. or do they seem to leave westerns alone more?


1. There is a massive 'unofficial' taxi driving industry in Qatar, run mostly by entrepreneurs from the Indian subcontinent. It's easy to get yourself one, if not several, reliable drivers who will ferry you wherever you need to go, at reasonable prices. Also, if you have an apartment in a central location, such as Al-Sadd, you can walk to shops, restaurants, etc. For getting to work, your employer will either provide transport, or you will be able to work something out with co-workers who have chosen to drive in Doha. All I would say is that most of the teachers I know who don't have cars are single. It might be more of a challenge to be without a car if you have a family in tow.

There is a government-approved taxi monopoly as well, but they are less than reliable, and the drivers aren't always that honest (at times).

2. Women have a heck of a lot more freedom here than in Saudi. They can do pretty much whatever men can do, within reason, although, from what I hear from female friends, there can still be a fair amount of unwanted attention and pestering in places like shopping malls. There appears to be a rather ignorant and shameful assumption, among some, that all Asian women here are available for nightly purchase.

There is no legal obligation to wear an abaya, for either foreign or Qatari women (although about 99% of Qatar women wear it to conform to cultural norms), and women, especially white western women, are pretty much left alone by the authorities. It's widely accepted that foreign women, and men, should dress modestly, and not show too much skin. The exceptions to this are hotel swimming pools and private beaches, where you can see women in bikinis.

Qatari women are about 50-50 veiled/unveiled.

Aside from women's issues, there also the fact you can drink legally, in designated hotels, or at home (with the appropriate permit). There are no religious police in Qatar, and you can go out for a drink/meal/walk with someone of the opposite gender without fear of arrest.

A great deal of this 'tolerance' stems from the fact that Qatar has a very progressive monarch. Unlike the Saudi King, the leader of Qatar is not hampered by having to pacify a powerful clerical establishment, and therefore any policies of liberalisation he implements are pretty much unchallenged. Something I'm quite glad about!
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