United Arab Emirates
Aspects of living and working in United Arab Emirates

Living and Working in United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Experience a new culture, a new way of life and a new point of view. Fulfil your sense of adventure and take one or two years out to experience life in a foreign land. There are great opportunities for career advancement and education.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was formally established on 2 December 1971. It is a constitutional federation of seven emirates; consisting of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. Each emirate is ruled by hereditary emirs, who together form the Federal Supreme Council and is the highest legislative and executive body in the country. One of the emirs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE occupies an area of 83,600 sq km along the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. To the west is Qatar, Oman is located to the north and east with Saudi Arabia to the south and west. The capital and the largest city is Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the two centres of commercial and cultural activities. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language. The United Arab Emirates is a diverse and multicultural society.

Frequently Asked Questions - United Arab Emirates

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

What type of license do I need to work as a Nurse/Midwife or Allied Healthcare Professional in United Arab Emirates?

You must first register with one of the following three major health care providers: Ministry of Health, Health Authority – Abu Dhabi, or Dubai Health Authority. The process is complex. CCM Recruitment will work with you throughout the process.

Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP)

DOH Abu Dhabi


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

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).

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.

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.

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.

Are there any English Language newspapers?

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

Useful Links - United Arab Emirates

Information about the City of Abu Dhabi

Information about the City of Dubai

American School of Dubai

Abu Dhabi Grammar School (Canada)

American International School in Abu Dhabi

English language Newspaper online

English language Newspaper online

News for Dubai