Things to consider before accepting a job in gulf countries

The emergence of the Gulf countries in the global employment arena is a fairly recent phenomenon. Impressive pay packages, tax-free environment, and the lavish lifestyle are some of the factors which have triggered a spurt of additions to the Gulf’s workforce in recent years. Employees from the Indian subcontinent have readily migrated to the Gulf countries and have inspired a few others to follow suit. Therefore if you are also looking forward to etching out a career in the Gulf you should keep a few things in mind before doing so:

Forming a clear idea about the salary and benefits package: Most of the companies in places like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia provide the following:

  1. Salary
  2. Food Allowance
  3. Accommodation
  4. Transport

Medical Allowances

Try to find out if all these are provided by your hirers or not. Don’t act complacent thinking that you would be able to eke out the extra bucks for fooding, accommodation etc in a tax free environment. Most of these countries, especially Dubai, can be very expensive where even a loaf of bread can cost you around USD 0.75 (equivalent).

Checking on your paperwork thoroughly: Check with the existing rules of the concerned country regarding work permits and visas. Different countries have different set of rules regarding work permits—at times a short term work permit suffices while at other times you will be required to acquire a long term work permit.

Often foreign drivers’ licenses are not deemed to be appropriate proof for daily business. So find out if you have to apply for another license after visiting the country or your passport will suffice.

Find out what kind of visa will be offered by your employer. If you are looking forward to apply for a Family Visa in future make sure you have an appropriate visa profession. In places like Saudi Arabia you will not be able to apply for a Family Visa if you have a low category visa.

Housing: Keep a few things in mind while looking for a house in the gulf countries. Try finding a house which is nearer to your workplace as taxi fares can often turn out exorbitant at the end of a week or so. Check out on the rents beforehand, if possible, as many expatriates have been forced to give up their jobs in places like Dubai owing to the rising rents in recent years. Also be a little serious about checking out the local living conditions.

Knowing about the cultural ethos:

Most of the gulf countries with the exception of Dubai are significantly conservative in their outlook. Don’t forget that you will be living in an Islamic region with a monarch at the helm. Make sure that your dresses, language, food habits etc are fairly compatible with the cultural ethos of the country you are living in. Be a little sagacious and do some net research on the culture of the concerned country. You might come across some useful trivia or facts which will help in better understanding of the religious and cultural inclinations of the country! Please remember certain actions like kissing in public, or making rude gestures are considered to be crimes in some of the Gulf nations.

Repatriation, length of contract, probation, recruitment fees are some of the other things which you should consider before taking up a job in a Gulf country.


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