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A reader commented on the Expat Report Culture Shock in Dubai, UAE
Culture-Shock-in-Dubai
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
As always, go in with an open mind and be considerate of the culture. As a woman, be conservative in your dress - no short shorts and during Ramadan, cover up and don't eat except at home. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
Thank you for your insights as I am looking forward to moving to Abu Dhabi in August2012!
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of Jumeirah Primary School in Dubai, UAE
Review-of-Jumeirah Primary School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Teachers must teach one after school activity per term and there are several activities offered through organizations requiring payment. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
I agree JPS is money making school Iam desperate to pull both my boys from FS2 the academic level of the school is very low, no books, no curriculum, very childish homework. There is no way I can know what my sons have learnt at school , no worksheets are sent home. Every week there is some fair or book day, UAE day, etc encouraging parents to spend money all in the name of charity. School time is also wasted on these meaningless events.
A reader replied recently with:
I agree about the point of Sunny Varkey trying to get as much money out of parents as possible but he is a business man after all. I don't know of any private fee paying school that offers anything more or less. However, in saying that a school has nothing to do with the company who owns it but the standard of teaching and most of all whether the children are happy in the school. Money will always be the deciding factor unfortunately but put the child first please.
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Jobs in Dubai, UAE
Jobs-in-Dubai
What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?
I have lived in many different countries and even now that I am based here in the US, I found living in Dubai the best and easiest for me. The only challenge I can think of and to consider if one is to move there is to have a more in-depth understanding of the culture and the religion. It is important to make a research firstly and to gather as much information as possible before making a decision. It is also important to keep in mind that although Dubai can seem to offer a lavish lifestyle, one shouldn't fall trap to this habit as a lot of the expats in Dubai end up buried in debts because of this. (Continue)
toybox replied most recently with:
Oops just saw some links below! If you have any other websites you can think of, could you forward those on please?
toybox replied recently with:
Do you have any job websites that you can reccommend to me please? I am looking at returning to the Gulf when I have finished my studies. Thank you
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of American Academy for Girls in Dubai, UAE
Review-of-American Academy for Girls
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Bad, lack, the teachers do their best but most of them does not have experience and if they do have, they leave the school after 1 or 2 years.

I saw the worst Elementary School play directed by P.E teacher. Is she qualified for directing a play? It was ridiculous! My daughter had to attend lot of rehearsals after school and she missed several school days because of that silly "production" They offer Cooking, Islamic, Arabic, as extra school activities. Are they interested? Some public schools are much better and they offer much more.

The school does not support arts because performing "sinful" for this culture. Therefore, just 2 teachers do their best to keep the girls happily learning what the School Principal lets them teach. (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
I agree 100 per cent. The teachers, especially in KG, are not qualified and do not even deserve to be called teachers. Absolutely no feedback was given on the progress of my child through out the year.
A reader replied recently with:
Clearly the above comments are written by an unhappy parent. As a former teacher at the American Academy for Girls, I feel inclined to disagree with some statements that are simply not true. The administration (Principal and 2 Vice Principals) have extensive experience. The principal has been in education for over 30 years and has served as principal for girls' schools in the Middle East for more than 10 years. The Secondary vice Principal retired from administrating schools in Canada before going to the UAE. She has over 20 years of experience. The Elementary Vice principals (there were 2 during my tenure at the school) were both highly qualified and had (collectively) more than 20 years of experience. The school follows an American curriculum and is accredited by NEASC and by CIS and the majority of the teachers have degrees (and post graduate degrees) from North American universities.) I agree and I think the Admin would agree that the Modern Language Department needs improvement. To that end, they have enlisted a highly qualified (2 Masters degrees in teaching and more than 15 years of teaching experience) North American teacher to train the modern language teachers (Arabic, Spanish & French) in updating their pedagogy. The school takes bullying of students VERY seriously and addresses it immediately when brought to the attention of teachers and/or admin. Having said that, it is true that the admin occasionally bullies teachers, which is unfortunate. As for the Fine Arts Department, the current Drama, Music and Art teachers (British, American & Polish) have worked very hard to develop a beautiful curriculum. This is proven by local and national awards won by some of our students. Finally, I have watched our girls graduate and be accepted to schools such as UC Berkeley, NYU, UPenn, Brandeis as well as local universities (American U of Dubai, Zayed University, etc.). These acceptances speak to the development of the curriculum as well as the experience and quality of the teaching at the school. Does the school have problems? Does the local culture and religion impact the curriculum? Yes, of course. However, I think the faculty work hard to create and nurture an academically challenging curriculum despite the limitations that culture and religion place on education of girls in the country. As the previous comment says, go and see for yourself. Talk to parents and more importantly, talk to the students.
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Blighty commented on the Expat Report Review of Star International School Mirdif in Dubai, UAE
Review-of-Star International School Mirdif
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
facilities in the school are poor. No outdoor playing field/grass area. Children play in the large sports hall at break times. There is one teacher led activity per child per week. Other activities are provided from outside companies which you pay for. A promised swimming pool which is (apparently) under construction is still far from complete. The Principal loves music so singing,(hours of prep for the all singing end of year show takes place)is whats on offer but no drama etc (Continue)
Blighty replied most recently with:
This report is both biased and outdated. Grade levels are Foundation Stage to grade 6. The school facilities are good and include a multi purpose sportshall and a shaded full size competitive swimming pool. There are many extra curricular activities provided, some of which are inclusive in the fees and some of which are paid extra. Whilst the previous principal supported a love of music it is unfair to say that drama was not provided. Music and drama were and still are provided for well. Families arriving into the school are warmly welcomed and provided for. Those returning to their home countries are provided with full reports and support. The PTFA (Parent teachers friends association) is an active organisation working for the good of the community and provides social events and fundraising throughout the year. In my experience the principals, both past and present, treat parents with the utmost respect and seek to provide a community which upholds the highest standards of education.
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lucelia commented on the Expat Report Culture Shock in Dubai, UAE
Culture-Shock-in-Dubai
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
In all our postings, I've noticed that "cultural burnout" starts at around the 3 year mark. At that point you stop being a curious observer and start to get upset or cynical with some things - corruption, lack of social justice, bureaucracy, etc. Eventually the bad starts to outweigh the good. Once you reach that point you really ought to leave. (Continue)
lucelia replied most recently with:
Hi! im looking foward to find a good nannie position in Dubay! sounds great to me.Diferent cultures ,very nice.
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of Sheffield Private School in Dubai, UAE
Review-of-Sheffield Private School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Facilities are lacking and extra-curricular activities are bland and poorly run. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
Could anyone give a more recent review of sheffield private school? I am also thinking of moving my daughter there... we are from Italy and I am really finding it a hard time to find a decent and reasonably priced school near to the Mirdiff area!! I would really appreciate some good and honest advice! Vanessa
A reader replied recently with:
I am thinking to transfer my kids to sheffield school is it a good school?
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of Horizon School in Dubai, UAE
Review-of-Horizon School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Facilities are fine. They have a good play area, a big field etc. The swimming pool is out in the open – which makes it freezing cold in the winter (even though its heated), and your child is pretty much sun-prone in the summer. The football field is very nice. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
I discovered this forum whilst trying to find out more information on the school as I am considering applying for a teaching post here for September 2014. Coming from Scotland I am absolutely appalled to read the racist remarks by someone on this forum: "well what would one expect with teachers and the owner coming from scotland. not a lot of class I would state. " I cannot speak for the staff in this school, however I happen to be extremely well educated, have a great deal of experience and value the children and parents I work with above all else. As a result of this I have excellent relationships with the families in my current and previous school. It is ignorance like this which I work tirelessly to eliminate in teaching children tolerance, respect and and global citizenship, through leading by example.
A reader replied recently with:
I also enrolled my two kids year 1 and year 4 for September 2013. I was told they had space in these year groups so I paid aed 500 each for the application fee. Both were invited for assessments and never offered a place despite passing their assessment. They were full of excuses when I asked why? Each time my called for an update, it was a different story and then to be told 'sorry' both year groups are now full. A very unfair selection process.....they only choose who they like! When I complained they decided to cancel my applications but offered a refund on the fee. A complete time waste and I'm glad I learnt this before it was too late. A terrible experience!
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of The Sheffield Private School in Dubai, UAE
Review-of-The Sheffield Private School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Reasonable facilities. Outdoor/indoor sports areas plus swimming pool. It has quite a range of activities on offer now both paid and free. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
i have a request tell me the honestly about the sheffield pvt school wana enroll my child her sibilings studying in dubai scholars
A reader replied recently with:
yes,its true that the school is improving rapidly.The principle is a great man who wants to make his school the best.I as a parent hope that the school will do the very best for their pupils in the future.
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Culture Shock in Dubai, UAE
Culture-Shock-in-Dubai
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Take a deep breath and remain calm, do not get angry if you find yourself in a situation.

And it takes time to get anything done in the UAE (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
This person appears to be a first-time expat, or at least a first-time expat in the Middle East. While she brings up some points about the laws in the UAE, they are clear to those who seek to know what they are. You need to bear in mind that while here you need to err on the side of caution where the police and laws are concerned -- we are but privileged guests here, and women are lower than that. This is a simple fact of life, I am not being derogatory. Once you relax and "go with the flow" of things, life becomes easier. You'll here "NO PROBLEM" coming to mind frequently!
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Expat Report Jobs in Dubai, UAE by mmh555 was published
Jobs-in-Dubai
What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?
Go directly to the companies managing the hospital. It isnt always the hospital doing its own recruitment, they often outsource the management of a hospital to a private company. I got my job through InterHealth canada who manages the Rashid Trauma Center (Continue)

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