Should I accept the offer or not-What is your opinion/advise?

Hello Expats!
I am a Swedish citizen living in Malmö, Sweden. I am 37 years old and married and have 3 children (ages 10, 7 and newborn). I am considering a newly received job offer and I would like to have your opinion
/advise on it.

The offer is as follows:

1. Annual Basic Salary                      246000 AED
2. Annual Housing Allowance.         130000 AED
3. Annual Transport Allowance.         34800 AED
4. Annual Mobile Allowance.                9000 AED
5. Annual Schooling Allowance.          25000 AED per child age 4 or above
6. Annual Mobility Allowance.             Return flight ticket to home country (spouse and children included)
7. Medical insurance (spouse and children included)
8. Home office with some travel

My questions:
A. Should I accept the offer?
B. Can I and my family live in a descent place in a 5 room flat/villa in Abu Dhabi with 130000 AED annually? Or where do you prefer?
C. I need a big 4WD car. Can I afford it with 34800 AED allowance annually?
D. How much should I add to the schooling allowance for each child for a descent/reputed  international school, if any in Abu Dhabi?
E. What medical insurance do employers usually provide? And what does it typically include?
F. What phone plan do you prefer for 9000 AED mobile allowance? Etisalat or DU?

I apologize for the many questions, but I need help because I am planning to leave Sweden and bring my family with me, so I need to make sure we are covered and do not change our lifestyle a lot by moving to Abu Dhabi.

Many Thanks in advance for your recommendations/advise, really appreciated!

Best wishes!

A - That is entirely your call based on what your current financial situation and priorities are
B - 5 bedroom villa / flat in 130K in a decent location?  forget about it.  To give you an idea, Dubai which is cheaper than AD has 5 bed villas in ranges from 150 (bad localities and construction) to 600K.  The median range for a good quality 5 bed room villa is around 250K
C - Your allowance will allow you to rent/lease a 2.4 litre easily but not much more than that.  If you buy with a bank loan, you will be able to get a 4WD
D - Again going by Dubai (again cheaper than AD for like to like schools), school fees range on annual basis from 35K to 100K - of course variation among grades.  Practically think of between 40-60K per child school fees so you will be out of pocket anywhere between 15-35K per child
E-  Varies by employer and the quality of insurance provided.  Generally, good companies give you full medical cover i.e. OPD/IPD, Dental, Optical and Maternity
F- Browse the packages for both and choose what you like.  It is a matter of your preferences.  They are very similar as there isn't free market competition in the mobile phone industry :)

Dear XTang,
Many Thanks for your reply and advise!

What about a 4 bedroom (1 room as office) apartment in a decent central location in Abu Dhabi - Is that doable for 100K annually?

What is the approximate cost of a full car insurance (I will need to pay this from the car allowance of 34800 AED annually)?

What is a decent approximate cost of living in Abu Dhabi for a family of 2 adults and 3 children (ages 10 years, 7 years and 3 months) with weekend entertainment activities??

Many thanks in advance for your support!

Best wishes,

Well. Good day.
Back to what you asked :
House rent : currently it’s going down. But it still vary from 100 to 180 depends on location of the building and age of it. What I mean you can find 120 in Abu Dhabi island. But in the new  islands like reem I stand where westerners will live you can go up to 170
For car insurance it’s 3% of car value if it full insurance but you can lease a saloon car (Altima - Honda ) at range of 2500 to 3000 per month include insurance.
For cost of living. The major part is school fees. As it can go up dramatically depending on school it self. I have. Family of 4 kids. And I can give you more details if you give more about your needs.
The city is nice place to live in.

Hello fadiagri and good day to you also!
Many Thanks for your reply!

Regarding school needs I would like to have my kids, 10 years and 7 years old girls, placed in a school with Western standards. I am not looking for luxurious schools but decent clean schools with some outdoor activities (I know it can be very hot in spring/summer time) and very importantly with competent teachers (western teachers if available).
Any price for this?

Many thanks in advance!

Dears. As for this price vary from 35 k to 65 k per kid per year


Hope you are well.

From my experience, I think you should pass.
If you add up everything, you will get around 43k per year! honestly, it is tough.

Housing in AD, you can get a 3br villa in Raha gardens for around 140k ( means you add 10k from your pocket. If you looking for 4BR, that would be even more.

Schools, I don't think you will put your kids in schools less than 50k/child a year, which means you will pay 50k from your pocket ( 4200k/month).

Monthly expenses are around 12k for food, moderate outings, Elec, AC, etc...
Add up activities for kids, around 8k per child depending on what they play.

Sooner or later, you will probably need a maid, which will add around 2k expenses.
You will need to send you younger kid to daycare, which you will pay from your pocket ( around 45k/year).

If you do the math buddy, it is not worth it.  I mean you can survive and live an OK life, but you will not save. And I don't think you are moving to live an ok life.

However, if your wife plans to work, then things might be different.

Good luck!

Hi there,

I think the offer is good as prices / rents are negotiable and the package they are offering to you is going to provide enough for you to easily live in Abu Dhabi with your family.

I am very happy for you. It is an amazing opportunity to try how that fits into your life. Especially because the package is that good.

If you'll need any guidance when you move to the UAE, we can stay in touch.


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