July 30, 2010

Healthcare Jobs in the United Arab Emirates

I’m taking a break from The VISA Series to talk about some alternatives to jobs that we typically see here on the JobMonkey Blog when we are talking about working and volunteering abroad.

Teaching, non-profit and volunteer work are all popular reasons to leave home and work in a foreign country, but what about traveling for high-paying healthcare jobs abroad?

A job posting landed in my inbox for an interesting opportunity in the United Arab Emirates – one of the richest (per capita GDP is ranked 14th) and most exciting countries in the world, with a large expatriate population – a call for doctor, healthcare and nursing jobs abroad. Through a UK-based placement organization, healthcare professionals with more than four years of experience are placed in hospitals and hotels that cater to English-speaking expats, business travelers and tourists.

Nursing and doctors jobs abroad (outside of the non-profit sector) are not exactly at the foremost of popularity, presumably because nurses and doctors (and other healthcare) workers are in such high demand here in the United States and Canada, and can therefore take in high rates of pay. Nursing jobs regularly have some of the highest per hour rates, not to mention weekend hours and overtime. The jobs listed in the UAE are just about on par with United States rates, but are offered tax-free for foreign citizens living in the UAE. Given the economic concerns in many Western countries, it seems reasonable that healthcare workers might be looking to find more lucrative (and stable) work in the Middle East.

Of course, the benefits of living and working in the United Arab Emirates are plentiful, and extend far beyond pay rates. With emirates (there are seven that make up the UAE) like Abu Dhabi and Dubai providing a dazzling urban landscape, the high-salaries and oil wealth in the Persian Gulf country make culture and nightlife a priority. While western influence is apparent – unlike many countries in the area, Western dress is accepted, along with more traditional clothing worn by Emiratis – the country is rich with Arab culture, in food, art, and music. It’s important to remember that the UAE lifestyle comes at a price – Abu Dhabi and Dubai are some of the most expensive places to live in the Middle East.

The job description (which is among many similar postings, and could be found by searching for healthcare jobs UAE – I won’t link to the exact post here, because I don’t know enough about it to provide an endorsement) was specifically targeting English-speakers – American, British, Canadian, Kiwi, South Africa, and Australian. The jobs entail fairly straight-forward medical responsibilities. Specialty nurse (like endoscopy nurses) are in particularly demand, and are paid accordingly.

If you are an experienced nurse, healthcare assistant or doctor, would you consider working abroad?

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