While I always try and remain respectful of my fellow aviator's opinions, particularly other expats, there sure are a lot of strongly held views on ME employment by folks who apparently have never a. lived in the Middle East or b. worked for a ME airline.
"Once an expat, always an expat".
Good grief. Not even remotely true. Many of my colleagues both EK and otherwise have returned to Canada and are flying there now. Yes, it can be difficult to go back to Canadian wages and taxes. One former CX pilot was grilled hard by Encore on why she wanted to work there. (But got the job). Another bounced around a few other expat carriers after EK before landing at NavCanada. Others took niche jobs where pay didn't have to be the primary consideration, because of their earnings and investments while abroad. Some left the industry to do other things they enjoyed, again because they had the luxury of doing so. Some just plain retired early (my plan!) because they had saved and invested diligently.
The reasons many don't return to Canada isn't because they can't - they discover they don't want to! THAT is the real "risk" of becoming an expat, it will change your worldview, maybe for the better, maybe not, but it will
become harder to put up with the typical mindset of your home country once you have been away from it for long enough. People meet people, move to different places. Buy properties and businesses in other countries. Friend of mine is retiring this year with his Vietnamese wife to Vietnam, she owns a business there. Another bought a resort in Sri Lanka and is running that. I'm not trying to paint things as easy, or overly glamorous. Just that there are a lot of options if you are willing to broaden your horizons. It is getting harder all the time, that has to be acknowledged. EK is a disaster these days, to be honest, and the worst part is they don't even seem to realize it. But declining conditions are a world-wide phenomena, not just in expat jobs.
Yes, you have to be smart about it, and have a plan. You won't make or save as much as you think, but you CAN absolutely make far more than in Canada - IF you can deal with the totally different lifestyle and the huge sacrifices it takes. Of course, if you live beyond your means in Canada, you will do the same outside the borders, and nothing can help you. There is no cure for stupid.
I’m still waiting for my white male privilege membership card. Must have gotten lost in the mail.