In Dubai, we’re lucky enough to have a tough problem to consider … you can find a company to provide almost any service imaginable for a fee, but how do you decide whether to hire someone or just do it yourself? What factors might you consider when determining if you should exchange your hard-earned money for a little bit of extra time or less stress?
Here are 3 basic guidelines I use to make the decision:
- Do I dislike doing the task?
- Can someone do the task better or faster than I can?
- Can someone do the task for the same or less price than your own equivalent ‘hourly rate’?
If the answer to two or more of these questions is ‘yes’, then you may want to consider outsourcing it to someone else. With all the relatively inexpensive services that leverage large scale and high expertise, there are many worthwhile options to consider. However, if cash is more important than time for you at this point in your financial journey, then continue doing the tasks yourself until you can make this trade-off in the future.
With those guidelines in mind, here are five tasks I would (and do) happily outsource in Dubai:
Whether it’s using one of the many grocery delivery services (Instashop.ae, Trolley.ae, BulkWhiz), subscribing to a weekly pre-planned meal service (HelloChef) or ordering delivery from one of the many local restaurants and apps, it seems there is minimal reason to go to a grocery store in Dubai unless you really enjoy grocery shopping or are looking for very specific items. Most of the delivery services are free or minimal cost, and the item prices are usually equivalent to what you would find in the store, so the time saved here is a big win for my week. The meal subscription services are particularly helpful in that they can save both time and money by providing a high quality prepped meal that is much less expensive than the average restaurant bill.
Depending on the size of your apartment or villa, cleaning can take up to several hours a week and is something that many people do not particularly enjoy doing in their free time. Dubai offers endless options for maid services, as well as very reasonable rates for full-time help with a live-in or live-out maid if you have a large space or family to look after. Often this can be combined as a maid and nanny role, making it even more of a value.
If you are not interested in a full cleaning service (laundry included), you can easily send out laundry for a good wash, press or dry clean with one of the many local services such as Washmen. With the tiny washer-dryer combos in most rental units that create the worst wrinkles and take hours to cycle, this will save you hours of washing and ironing time each week.
4) Public Relations Officers Services (PRO)
This is a service you will not likely need often unless you run a business, but it can be a huge help if you have paperwork to process with some of the local government offices. Not only can they help you physically take the paperwork to many of the offices on your behalf (so you avoid waiting in the long lines), but PROs are also usually up-to-date on the latest and greatest version of requirements needed. Since the documents or steps required can change frequently in Dubai without much notice, knowing the correct process will save you from making useless trips only to get sent away to go get more documents.
5) Yard/Pool Maintenance
Similar to cleaning above, it can take a significant amount of time to upkeep and maintain a yard, garden, and pool in Dubai. This can easily eat into your valuable weekend time and may be difficult to do well if you are not familiar with special care that may be needed in the Dubai environment. Outsource it!
These are just a few of the favorites from our family. What other services in Dubai have you decided are worth the money for time trade-off?
Kelly Nobles is an Executive Finance Leader, Coach, Mentor, working-mom, millennial, and Champion of Diversity & Inclusion with over 12 years of multinational experience in leading teams and driving organizational transformation and process excellence spanning 50+ countries and cultures. Kelly is continually learning & loves to share her experiences to help others on their personal professional journey.
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(Disclaimer: This article contains information for your reference and explains options you may have, but it is not intended to be specific advice or a personal recommendation. DubaiPersonalFinance.com exists to provide general guidance and education, but your situation may vary from the one discussed here, so please seek a licensed professional for tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice.)
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