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UAE FAQ

  • Why would I go to work in the United Arab Emirates?
    • Tax-free income
    • Free, furnished, air-conditioned accommodations (or housing allowance)
    • Medical coverage
    • Generous vacation time
    • Easy access to exciting travel destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia
    • Free flights
    • Opportunity to immerse yourself in an ancient culture
    • Opportunity to work with people from around the world
  • Is English spoken in the hospitals?

    English is the working language in the hospitals. Translators, and ward clerks who act as translators, are always available to assist in communicating with patients who do not speak English. Healthcare staff quickly picks up basic Arabic phrases related to their jobs.

  • Who will my co-workers be?

    Your co-workers will be from around the world: Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanese, South Africa, the Philippines, Malaysia, and more.

  • Where will I live?

    You will live in hospital-provided accommodation or you can use a housing allowance to rent/lease locally.

  • What is the social life like?

    The social life is what you make it. Recreational activities include: shopping festivals; boat cruises; desert safaris; horse/camel racing; golf; sand-boarding; etc

  • Can women drive in the UAE?

    Yes. Women are allowed to drive in the UAE when in the UAE on a Residency permit. They first need to obtain a UAE driver's license. When in the UAE on a visit visa, they can drive on an international driving permit.

  • What is available in the UAE?

    Pretty much everything!

    Alcohol - although the UAE is a Muslim country, purchasing and drinking alcohol in a licensed club, bar, or restaurant is legal for non-Muslims who are over 21. To buy alcohol for home consumption one must have a personal liquor license, which can only be obtained once the person has residency status, which can take 4-8 weeks. The cost is approximately 105 Dh (approximately $30US). (Obviously, while drinking is permitted as described, being drunk and/or disorderly in public is not permitted!)

    Clothing - "regular" clothing, and high-end designer clothing and sportswear is easy to find.

    Bathing Suits - these are easier to find in the UAE than in Saudi Arabia, but you will want to bring at least one with you.

    Electronics - electronic stores abound, selling the latest in computers, audio, and video equipment. Videos and DVDs are also available, but these may have been censored.

    Jewellery - jewellery shopping in the gold souqs is very popular for expatriates (and locals) and rarely does an expat leave without a sizable gold collection.

    English-Language Books - English reading material can be found at book stores and grocery stores.

  • What is the food like?

    The UAE has a wide variety of restaurants, allowing expatriates to go on a culinary world tour, sampling Arabic, Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Mexican, Turkish, Indian, Pakistani, etc. cuisine. Supermarkets provide all sorts of food which you are accustomed to buying at home. Fruit and vegetable souqs (markets) provide excellent fresh produce, although fresh produce is also readily available at supermarkets.

  • What television channels can I get in the UAE?

    You can purchase a package of cable TV services that includes stations such as CNN, BBC, the Movie Channel, etc. Packages are not expensive.

  • How am I paid?

    You are paid monthly by direct deposit into a local bank. You are paid in UAE Dirhams (Dh), also referred to as Arab Emirates Dirhams (AED).

  • Do people keep their money in their UAE bank accounts?

    People transfer their money off-shore, since no interest is paid on accounts in the UAE. Any bank will transfer money for you, as this is common practice for expatriates. Most people only keep basic spending money in their UAE account.

  • What does "tax-free income" mean?

    No income tax is deducted in the UAE, and there is no sales tax.

  • Can I use my credit card in the UAE?

    Yes. Major credit cards (e.g. VISA, American Express) are used throughout the UAE, but not all shops accept them.

  • Can I use my ATM card in the UAE?

    Yes. ATM machines accept cards from all over the world via systems like Cirrus and Plus. You can also get an ATM card for your local account.

  • Are there any English newspapers?

    There are three: Gulf News, the Khaleej Times, and The Gulf Today

  • Is the internet available?

    A person can apply for internet access from home once they have obtained residency status and obtained a personal phone line. There are also internet cafes in the cities and computers at the hospital. All internet traffic in the UAE is processed through centralized servers that filter content that is contrary to Islamic values, so some sites will not be available, such as those with sexually explicit content, some entertainment sites, etc.

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