With geographic boundaries becoming less of a barrier to employment than ever, many medical professionals are starting to look abroad for work opportunities and the Middle East is an increasingly popular destination.
While previously this may have been considered an unconventional choice, it is now an extremely viable and attractive option with medical staff from all parts of the world flocking to the region. The United Arab Emirates is generally the most popular location, as in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, expats are able to enjoy a more liberal lifestyle compared to other Middle Eastern areas.
However, before making the move, medical professionals should give due consideration to all the positive and negative factors associated with relocating, as well as the requirements they will need to fulfil.
Where is the UAE and what can I expect?
The UAE is based on the eastern side of the Arabian peninsula with Saudi Arabia to the West and Oman to the South. It consists of seven ‘emirates’ (similar to states) of which Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the most well known. While Arab and Islamic traditions influence the lifestyle in these regions, considerable tolerance is shown towards the large expatriate community. The standard of living is quite literally five star, and both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are vibrant and rapidly developing cities with emerging arts and entertainment scenes.
What benefits are on offer?
There are a whole host of benefits to working as a medical professional in the UAE in personal, professional and financial terms. In career terms, these nations offer numerous opportunities for progression and development, as well as the opportunity to work in world-class, internationally-accredited establishments.
Applicants from Britain are also at an advantage, as the professional language used in most facilities is English, and working methods are often modelled after those used in Europe's top hospitals. Some of the leading facilities in the UAE have links with universities in the West, meaning those who take up placements may also be able to further their education through their work.
Medical professionals can expect to see significant earnings during their time abroad, as the base salary is provided tax-free, while additional perks such as free accommodation, travel allowances, generous annual leave, medical cover and bonus schemes on completion of contracts are also available. Many of these benefits are extended to family members, depending on the seniority of the role. Contracts are generally two years in duration, often with opportunities to extend.
Finally - and perhaps most importantly - though the Middle East represents a significant move, it also presents a fantastic opportunity to live and work in an unfamiliar and fascinating culture alongside colleagues from all over the world.
What are the requirements for working in the UAE?
Those who are interested in taking advantage of these opportunities will need to ensure they possess the proper qualifications and meet all of the necessary requirements.
Doctors need to provide evidence of an American specialty Board Certificate, a UK Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training, an inclusion in the GMC Specialist Register or equivalent qualifications. Additionally, a minimum of five years experience at consultant level for consultancy roles is required.
Nurses must be registered with the NMC with a minimum of two years experience.
Allied health professionals, meanwhile, must have a BSc degree in a speciality from an accredited college with a syllabus of no less than three years, plus at least two years experience in an acute care setting.
For more information about working in the UAE visit www.medacs.com/middle-east-vacancies
Alternatively contact our Middle East recruitment team direct on 0203 096 4633 or email MiddleEastJobs@medacs.com
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