Moving to any other country for employment purposes is a critical decision, which shouldn’t be made in any haste. Among other countries, the UAE looks like a lucrative option if you are a job seeker, as the availability of the jobs in UAE, working environment as well as living conditions are good. If you are planning to look for jobs in UAE, there are various things you need to know about this exotic cluster of seven well-woven emirates.
Things Every Job Seeker in the UAE Should Know
- VISA and Passport
Being an expat, you would require a Passport, UAE Visa/ UAE Tourist Visa/UAE Visit Visa, and a Work Visa valid for a minimum three months to enter and work in UAE. The Work Visa and the permit will be arranged by your employer if you have already secured a job in Dubai or any other emirate. Moreover, if you are an expat resident working full time, your spouse can easily gain a work permit for a part time job in UAE.
- The UAE Currency
The UAE currency is Dirham (Dhs), also known as Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). You can find money exchanges all over the country in various shopping centers and malls.
- Working hours
Working hours in the UAE are nine hours per day (8.30 AM – 5.30 PM/9 AM – 6 PM). People typically work 47 hours a week in the UAE.
Expats who look forward to work in UAE must know that they will be entitled for an annual leave of 30 calendar days. This generally accounts for 22 days of paid vacation. Usually, the professionals aren’t allowed to avail any paid sick leave during the probation period. All public holidays are paid, and they do not constitute an employee’s annual leave.
- Pay entitlements
One of the major pay entitlements is End of Service Gratuity (ESG), provided to an expat working in UAE for more than one year. ESG includes a salary of 21 days annually, of the first five years of service and a salary of 30 days for every additional year of service.
- UAE Tax System
A major reason why a number of expats are able to comfortably enjoy their salary is the absence of any kind of tax whatsoever. The UAE is tax free. However, you may find a lot of hotels and clubs adding a 10-15% service charge on the bill, therefore tipping isn’t necessary. If a service charge is not included, you can add 10% to the bill and pay accordingly.
- Cost of living
Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the most expensive cities of the Middle East and the Expo 2020 has led to an increased inflation rate. Real estate is expensive and thus this directly accounts to higher costs of living.
- Local Time and Code
The UAE time zone in is approximately GMT+ 04.00. The international country code is +971.
- Local Transportation in UAE
A number of modes of public and private transport are available in the UAE, making commutation quite convenient. Dubai and Sharjah have bus services like Dubai Bus and Mowasalat, which offer the commuters a comfortable and cheap conveyance alternative.
In addition, the Dubai Metro project has been an attractive option for the commuters, offering a quick and traffic-free alternative to driving.
- Health Care Facilities
Health care in UAE is quite efficacious with a number of public hospitals and other healthcare centers in place. To offer exclusive healthcare facilities to the people, the UAE has opened three healthcare cities, which also have multi-specialty clinics, and these include –
✓ Sheikh Khalifa Medical City
✓ Dubai Healthcare City
✓ Sharjah Healthcare City
Arabic is the official language of the UAE, right from your employment contract to the lease agreement you sign with your landlord, Arabic will be the most widely used language. However, because of a majority of workforce comprising of expat population, foreign languages like English, Hindi, Farsi, Urdu, and Malayalam are often spoken across the UAE. Most of the airlines, hotels, malls and restaurants prefer employing multilingual workers.
The UAE is a Muslim dominated country, hence Islam is the official religion. However, in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, employers are tolerant and respectful to all religions.
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- Multi-Cultural Society
It is a well-known fact that more than 80% of the professionals belong to the expat population from all over the world, so you can have a multi-cultural experience. You can gain from the plenty of opportunities and learn about various religions, countries, people, cuisines as well as ideologies.
The UAE is a melting pot of cultures. Being a multi-cultural country, the UAE has a blend of global cuisines, ranging from Emirati, South Asian, Continental as well as European cuisines. Emirati cuisine is considered to be a blend of various middle-eastern and Asian dishes. Dishes like Shawarma, Hummus, and Tabbouleh etc. are some of the famous Emirati cuisines. Traditional Emirati food includes meat, grain and dairy products.
In places like Sharjah, alcohol is strictly prohibited. Couples staying together should be married and should be conservative in their dressing style. Photography is also a hitch, as you’ll have to take permissions before photographing in areas like airports, docks, government buildings, industrial installations etc.
- Social Conventions
Social conventions in the UAE include observing and respecting Islamic laws wherever possible. Men are expected to dress formally and woman should dress modestly for most of the occasions. Dubai is quite modern in its outlook, hence modern attires are acceptable. Smoking is allowed in certain designated areas, except for Ramadan when eating, drinking or smoking in public is illegal.
In places like Sharjah, alcohol is strictly prohibited. Couples staying together should be married and should be conservative in their dressing style. Photography is also a hitch, as you’ll have to take permissions before photographing in areas like airports, docks, government buildings, and industrial installations etc.
- Opportunities for Women
The UAE aims to become a leader in the field of women empowerment as it believes that economic growth is possible only through the advancement of women. To achieve this, the UAE government is providing equality in education opportunities, which is a key in achieving women’s economic empowerment. One may find a big population of expat women working in UAE.
- Holiday Destinations
The UAE is a home to a number of engineering marvels like the Burj Khalifa, Palm Islands, The World Islands, Cayan Tower and Jumeirah Beach Hotel (Dubai) Jebel Hafeet (Abu Dhabi), Al-Bidyah Mosque (Fujairah), and Sharjah Art Museum (Sharjah). It is one of the most enriched countries full of exotic holiday destinations.
A shopper’s paradise, Dubai has many shopping malls, supermarkets as well as souks to give you’re an indifferent shopping experience. With great quality products, some real cheap gold and electronics, the UAE is the place to be.
If you are careless about throwing litter and spitting here and there, keep in mind that this might get you in a mess. As discussed, laws are very strict and you may have to pay huge fines if you get caught in any such act which is not in compliance with the UAE laws.
- Automobiles and Cheap petrol
If you are a car-freak, the UAE can be your dream destination. It is very easy to get a pre-owned SUV or luxury car at pretty decent prices. Also, petrol is quite cheap.
The UAE is considered to be one of the safest places on the globe and has stringent laws and strict norms placed in order. Low crime rate and rigorous law enforcement have been important driving factors for the expats to work in UAE. However, you can keep few things in the mind like –
✓ Ignore unwelcoming comments
✓ Avoid swimming alone at public beaches
✓ Don’t wear revealing clothes in public places
“Alike every other country, living and working in UAE has certain pros and cons. But, life here can be made quite blissful if one sticks to the norms and blends in comfortably. Hope this article helped you in learning about the country and deciding about seeking a job in UAE. “