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Canadian life after moving from UAE/Middle East

ta2839

Newbie
Apr 9, 2019
2
0
Thought I will create a thread for all the Canadian PRs and citizens who have moved from Middle East, especially UAE. I have gotten the PR and considering moving there early next year.

After researching about the Canadian life, I am faced with normal generic responses. I wanted to hear from you folks - how do you find your life there? Do you regret it? Are you earning as much as you expected to earn there? Do you get to visit your family or go on holidays outside Canada?

Some of the responses were "if you are earning a good salary in UAE, you won't earn as much in Canada". The problem is, I don't know what they consider a good salary in UAE. In your opinion, is AED 7000 per month a good salary?
 

Bs65

VIP Member
Mar 22, 2016
12,046
2,102
If you were to earn similar salary in Canada at current exchange rate 7000 AED per month would equate to approx 30.6k CDN per year so life would pretty challenging in Canada on that salary.

Maybe you need to share what profession you are planning to follow when you become a PR but note it is very difficult to try comparing like for like given costs in one country versus another are all different so salaries reflect that. Does not necessarily mean if paid more in Canada that anyone has more disposable income something many immigrants do not seem to grasp.
 

mad_hatter

Hero Member
Jul 16, 2016
363
59
Unlike UAE, resident pays both Federal and Provincial income tax, plus sales tax on goods and services. To live in a major center comfortably, a family of two will need to make 80K plus. If you are an expat worker in UAE, you probably receive a housing allowance from your employer, that is not a thing in Canada unless you work in remote locations.
 

canuck_in_uk

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May 4, 2012
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Thought I will create a thread for all the Canadian PRs and citizens who have moved from Middle East, especially UAE. I have gotten the PR and considering moving there early next year.

After researching about the Canadian life, I am faced with normal generic responses. I wanted to hear from you folks - how do you find your life there? Do you regret it? Are you earning as much as you expected to earn there? Do you get to visit your family or go on holidays outside Canada?

Some of the responses were "if you are earning a good salary in UAE, you won't earn as much in Canada". The problem is, I don't know what they consider a good salary in UAE. In your opinion, is AED 7000 per month a good salary?
I don't understand these threads asking about whether other people like living here. You are faced with generic responses because it is entirely dependent on a person's individual situation. Everyone who moves here has their own perspective based on their own personal situation and the myriad of factors that make up life. Two people from the exact same place, background, family situation, profession etc. can have completely different views on life in Canada. I didn't like living in the UK but I have several friends from the same background/area as me who loved living there. It is all individual perspective.
 

ibtee

Hero Member
Aug 26, 2018
315
113
Abu Dhabi
Thought I will create a thread for all the Canadian PRs and citizens who have moved from Middle East, especially UAE. I have gotten the PR and considering moving there early next year.

After researching about the Canadian life, I am faced with normal generic responses. I wanted to hear from you folks - how do you find your life there? Do you regret it? Are you earning as much as you expected to earn there? Do you get to visit your family or go on holidays outside Canada?

Some of the responses were "if you are earning a good salary in UAE, you won't earn as much in Canada". The problem is, I don't know what they consider a good salary in UAE. In your opinion, is AED 7000 per month a good salary?
Did you research what are good flight options from UAE to Canada. I haven't been able to find good rates.
 

ibtee

Hero Member
Aug 26, 2018
315
113
Abu Dhabi
Unlike UAE, resident pays both Federal and Provincial income tax, plus sales tax on goods and services. To live in a major center comfortably, a family of two will need to make 80K plus. If you are an expat worker in UAE, you probably receive a housing allowance from your employer, that is not a thing in Canada unless you work in remote locations.
We're also paying VAT at 5% now across the board. Furthermore, paying municipality tax at 5% of annual housing rent. These do not include deductibles we pay on health insurance every time we visit a health facility.
 

mad_hatter

Hero Member
Jul 16, 2016
363
59
We're also paying VAT at 5% now across the board. Furthermore, paying municipality tax at 5% of annual housing rent. These do not include deductibles we pay on health insurance every time we visit a health facility.
Alberta has the lowest VAT in Canada. GST + PST in BC is 12%, Ontario 13%. In Canada, landlord pays the municipality tax, however, landlord just recovered the tax by charging higher rent.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
25,453
5,499
After living in the UAE people have to remember that a huge portion of your salary will go to tax. Cost of living is expensive in most areas of Canada. many only get 2 weeks off vacation a year. Flights can be very expensive so even one flight to your home country every year may not be affordable especially for families. There are definite benefits but also lots of struggle and sacrifice when it comes to living and moving to Canada. many people seem too focus so much on qualifying to immigrate without looking at what kind of lifestyle you can expect, whether your skills are actually needed or whether Canadians are struggling to find jobs in that sector, whether Canada would be the best country for you, etc.
 
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adilkhan31

Star Member
Nov 10, 2015
79
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Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
Thought I will create a thread for all the Canadian PRs and citizens who have moved from Middle East, especially UAE. I have gotten the PR and considering moving there early next year.

After researching about the Canadian life, I am faced with normal generic responses. I wanted to hear from you folks - how do you find your life there? Do you regret it? Are you earning as much as you expected to earn there? Do you get to visit your family or go on holidays outside Canada?

Some of the responses were "if you are earning a good salary in UAE, you won't earn as much in Canada". The problem is, I don't know what they consider a good salary in UAE. In your opinion, is AED 7000 per month a good salary?
I moved to Canada as a PR in 2018 after living in Middle East for 11 years. Since I got transferred to Canada as part of corporate relocation, I took a 60% pay cut even though my employer stayed the same. I say 60% because I am deducting taxes, EI and CPP from my Canadian salary and comparing that to my salary which I used to make in Qatar doing the same job. I am not going to sulk on this anymore :)

Do I regret this move? Absolutely not. I was well aware that financially it doesn't make sense to immigrate to NA or EU at the age of 35. I did that nevertheless for reasons other than money.
Having said that, if you are earning in excess of 100k in a city like GTA, I think its comfortable living. You wont save anything, but its comfortable living if you are renting. Things change when you want to buy a home.
When I was in ME, my family and I used to travel to Europe twice a year for vacations. Obviously we cant do that anymore. But we do travel within Canada and US frequently which takes care of the craving for a decent holiday.

Don't worry about moving to Canada. Its a wonderful place and with the right attitude, you will love it here.
 

ferysonu

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Jun 9, 2014
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I moved to Canada as a PR in 2018 after living in Middle East for 11 years. Since I got transferred to Canada as part of corporate relocation, I took a 60% pay cut even though my employer stayed the same. I say 60% because I am deducting taxes, EI and CPP from my Canadian salary and comparing that to my salary which I used to make in Qatar doing the same job. I am not going to sulk on this anymore :)

Do I regret this move? Absolutely not. I was well aware that financially it doesn't make sense to immigrate to NA or EU at the age of 35. I did that nevertheless for reasons other than money.
Having said that, if you are earning in excess of 100k in a city like GTA, I think its comfortable living. You wont save anything, but its comfortable living if you are renting. Things change when you want to buy a home.
When I was in ME, my family and I used to travel to Europe twice a year for vacations. Obviously we cant do that anymore. But we do travel within Canada and US frequently which takes care of the craving for a decent holiday.

Don't worry about moving to Canada. Its a wonderful place and with the right attitude, you will love it here.

Very well said Adil, we too moved from Dubai after 22 years and never was able to buy a place, but here after moving in 2014 i was able to get a place of my own (Of course Mortgage, but it is building equity too), in Karama i used to pay 98000 AED (3024 $ PM and was draining too) for 2 Bedroom Flat, here i am paying 1800 CAD for my Mortgage for 5 Bedroom House, Medical Free here (Paid in Dubai), Schools Free here (Paid in Dubai) except cost of living in Dubai (even that has grown and many left the county too it seems) All countries have pros and cons, one has to do the homework and not complain about their own choice. We pay taxes but get those facilities too from both Provincial and Federal Government. Vacations we go twice a year to Mexico/US/Canada wide, there is so much to see here in NA. Sorry if i have different perception, so will have everyones.
 

saddlepatch

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Oct 1, 2012
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You will get paid less in Canada, sadly, in retrospect.

As for flights, if you're moving close to the US border, it's going to cost you much less to fly out from the US than Canada. But always research flights. Skiplagged is a great site for cheap flights! Sometimes it ends up being cheaper in Canada. All depends where you're located, what time of year it is, etc.

Most Canadians only get 2 weeks vacation, but most decent companies have PTO that you can use, some even have PTO that turns over the following year and you can save it up and get a nice chunk of time, paid, off. (This however is rare for entry level or mid entry level jobs or franchised out companies and is becoming more scarce in terms of PTO that you can bank over the years)

I mean, hopefully anyone immigrating from the UAE/Middle East (or anywhere in the world for that matter ) would have done their research and realize that life here will be a dramatic change for you, not only financially but geographically, mentally, politically and culturally. I would suggest investing in a good amount of time researching what life is like here before making any commitment to relocate.

Overall, we're a very diverse country, accepting of all walks of life, religion, opinions etc. We have so many people who live and work here from all over the world. Your experience here will be what you make it, as you're the only one in control of how that will be.

Believe it or not, even though I'm not from the UAE/Middle east, as Canadian who moved to the US (now coming back), even that was a shock to me. I thought Canada and the US were a lot a like, turns out they're not.

While the US has overall cheaper taxes, it meant I got paid less, had to pay for my medical and struggled to find anything I could afford to rent without racking up debt or living paycheck to paycheck. The political climate here is also very toxic, even prior Trump. Also the laws are governed mostly by the state and not by the federal government, so for a woman in a LGBT marriage, I lack protections that I once had in Canada, such as housing, fostering/adoption, medical, insurance etc. Mentally, this has strained me. I didn't do enough research and we rushed into it, because we were sick of living apart. Now we're behind in life where most of our friends in both Canada and the US already have their first houses, two cars, and a nice savings racking up.

I would also research the area you're moving too, see if there are any groups for former citizens/immigrants of the UAE/Middle east. Join some on FB even. Reach out to the local area mosques if you're religious as they can be a great source of support.

I think overall, it's never easy to move, no matter how many times you've done it, or where too. You just need to take it one day at a time and keep going back to why you're moving in the first place. Lay out all you pros and cons and make sure, before you commit, this is what you and your family want :)
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
25,453
5,499
Very well said Adil, we too moved from Dubai after 22 years and never was able to buy a place, but here after moving in 2014 i was able to get a place of my own (Of course Mortgage, but it is building equity too), in Karama i used to pay 98000 AED (3024 $ PM and was draining too) for 2 Bedroom Flat, here i am paying 1800 CAD for my Mortgage for 5 Bedroom House, Medical Free here (Paid in Dubai), Schools Free here (Paid in Dubai) except cost of living in Dubai (even that has grown and many left the county too it seems) All countries have pros and cons, one has to do the homework and not complain about their own choice. We pay taxes but get those facilities too from both Provincial and Federal Government. Vacations we go twice a year to Mexico/US/Canada wide, there is so much to see here in NA. Sorry if i have different perception, so will have everyones.
Most are not lucky enough to be able to pay $1800 for a 5 bedroom. The cost of housing will be much more expensive in many cities.
 

mahi2020

Hero Member
Oct 7, 2016
284
51
I moved to Canada as a PR in 2018 after living in Middle East for 11 years. Since I got transferred to Canada as part of corporate relocation, I took a 60% pay cut even though my employer stayed the same. I say 60% because I am deducting taxes, EI and CPP from my Canadian salary and comparing that to my salary which I used to make in Qatar doing the same job. I am not going to sulk on this anymore :)

Do I regret this move? Absolutely not. I was well aware that financially it doesn't make sense to immigrate to NA or EU at the age of 35. I did that nevertheless for reasons other than money.
Having said that, if you are earning in excess of 100k in a city like GTA, I think its comfortable living. You wont save anything, but its comfortable living if you are renting. Things change when you want to buy a home.
When I was in ME, my family and I used to travel to Europe twice a year for vacations. Obviously we cant do that anymore. But we do travel within Canada and US frequently which takes care of the craving for a decent holiday.

Don't worry about moving to Canada. Its a wonderful place and with the right attitude, you will love it here.
100K in GTA translates to 5500/month.

rent for 2 bed apartment = 2000/month

Not able to work-out how with 3500/month, a family can afford a car/basic standard of living and vacations to US/Canada frequently (more than 2 I guess) ??