The Middle East remains a land of opportunity for workers the world over. While it is in great need of technical and business talent, it can be difficult for many to adapt themselves to the market. Local talent also has to face challenges like a lack of faculty and having to compete with overseas workers. However, there are many opportunities for both local and international job seekers to further their career in the territory and add to their qualifications and experience. Here are some of the things you should know before pursuing a career in the Middle East.
Consider Online Learning Options
If you’re currently residing in the Middle East, then one thing you could do to improve your career prospects is get an online degree from a reputable UK college. Places like the UAE are in great need of workers with MBAs at the moment, and if you felt limited in your options, know that there are many great institutions like Aston University that offer MBA UAE courses for students in the region.
You’ll have the chance to get a world class education and benefit from the respected credentials you’ll get. This could give you a significant edge over the competition and allow you to access the same level of education as any other student attending a top UK university.
Understand the Labour Market
It’s also important that you understand the local labour market, whether you’re from the area or from abroad. Because of demographic pressure and a shrinking local talent pipeline, a lot of the workers in the Gulf are foreign. Some of the biggest employing sectors of expats include health, media and PR, project management, and advertising just to name of few.
If you’re thinking of moving to the area, you should also know that you might need some special qualifications depending on your field. If you’re in banking for instance, you’ll not only need to have a knowledge of international banking rules, but be aware of different anti-corruption regulations, and you may need to be fluent in Arabic as well.
Wages and Benefits
One of the things that attract a lot of people to the region is the high wages, and these are not a myth. jobs in the Middle East, even for certain level entry positions, can be very high. Not to mention that these are free of income taxes.
As an example, salaries in fields like finance can vary from around £40,000 for positions like credit analyst to around £380,000 for risk managers. In technology, a chief digital officer with 10 years of experience or less can make as much as £200,000 per year. Even positions like a HR manager could earn you as much as £190,000 per year.
In addition, people coming in from other countries will often be offered things like accommodation or an allowance for housing, school fees, and medical coverage, and even additional perks like free trips to their home country every year. And, while housing is not always offered, the high wages are enough to offset the sometimes exorbitant housing prices in cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Another thing that will be surprising to many people is how much time off workers in places like the UAE get. As a matter of fact, workers are entitled to about 30 calendar days off every year. However, you also have to be aware that work weeks tend to be a little bit longer in the region at around 47 hours a week for full time employees.
What Countries Offer the Best Opportunities?
It’s also important to know where most of the opportunities are and to broaden your options accordingly. Saudi Arabia, for instance, is still a great place to find a position even though several nationalist policies have been enacted to benefit locals. Saudi Arabia has a lot of positions for people working in oil, education, banking and finance, trade, and technology.
The UAE, however, still remains one of the best regions for expats and is known for offering great work conditions. Abu Dhabi controls about 10% of all oil resources in the region, and this money trickles down to many other industries, making it one of the best cities for employment for locals and foreigners.
Dubai is more diversified in its economy and in need of equally diversified talent to fill its positions. Jobs that are in particularly high demand in the city include roles like software developer, social media manager, marketer, roles in healthcare, and sales representative. There is also great demand for service jobs as well.
Qatar is another country that often flies under the radar but should be on everyone’s list. The country is known as the most progressive in the region and is a leader in human rights. Work conditions in the country are some of the best not only in the Middle East but in the world. It also happens to be one of the richest countries on the planet. If you were interested in positions in Qatar, there is great demand for people in financial services, education, trade, and construction.
Bahrain is another territory that deserves mention. While oil makes up a large portion of the economy, there is a lot of demand in fields like infrastructure development, tourism, and trade.
The Middle East is ripe with opportunities and is just waiting for people with the right skills to capitalise on them. So, if you were thinking of making the move or are still was uncertain about your career prospects, you should do everything in your power to refine your skills and position yourself as a suitable candidate.