Dubai and Saudi Recruitment  
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions frequently asked by employees interested in working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Saudi Arabia, are answered below. It is advisable to read through all the questions and answers. If a specific question you have is not covered, feel free to email it to us at admin@dubai-recruitment.com

1. WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF FINDING EMPLOYMENT?
2. WHAT SALARY COULD I EXPECT TO EARN?
3. WILL I BE PAID IN US$?
4. CAN I SEND MONEY HOME?
5. WHAT IS THE COST OF LIVING?
6. CAN EMPLOYMENT BE GUARANTEED?
7. ARE THERE ANY COSTS INVOLVED?
8. ARE THERE VACANCIES AVAILABLE?
9. WHERE WILL I LIVE?
10. HOW LONG CAN I WORK THERE?
11. IS THERE AN AGE RESTRICTION?
12. CAN I RESIGN FROM MY JOB?
13. HOW DO EMPLOYERS TREAT EMPLOYEES?
14. CAN I TAKE MY FAMILY WITH ME?
15. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MARRIED STATUS AND A BACHELOR/SINGLE STATUS CONTRACT?
16. ARE THERE SCHOOLS FOR MY CHILDREN?
17. CAN MY FAMILY VISIT ME?
18. WILL MY EMPLOYER PROVIDE TRANSPORT?
19. DO I NEED A WORK PERMIT?
20. DOES CRIME EXIST?
21. ARE THERE SHOPS, LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT?
22. WHAT SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME?
23. WHO WILL HANDLE MY VISA APPLICATION?
24. CAN I DRIVE AND BUY A CAR?
25. WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?

1. WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF FINDING EMPLOYMENT?

Your chance of being selected as the most suitable candidate for any vacancy solely depends on the contents of your CV. The closer your qualifications and experience match the employers' requirements, the better your chances. Keep in mind that the candidate with the highest qualifications does not necessarily meet the exact requirements for a specific vacancy.

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2. WHAT SALARY COULD I EXPECT TO EARN?

Due to the variation in salaries between the countries and even between employers, no exact indication of a salary can be provided. You age, experience, qualifications, scarcity of skills and even your country of origin, play a role in the salary offered. But salaries in these countries are of the highest in the world. When taken into account that your employer pays for your accommodation, air tickets, transport, and medical and the fact that no income tax is payable, you could expect a salary much, much higher that what you could earn in your country of origin or in any other country in the world.

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3. WILL I BE PAID IN US$?

Although salaries are normally negotiated in US$, you will in almost all instances be paid in the currency of the respective country. Unlike with many currencies, the currencies of almost all the Arabian countries (including Saudi Arabia and the UAE), are fixed to the dollar and never depreciate in value when compared to the US$. This means that when the Rand becomes "weaker", you earn more money.

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4. CAN I SEND MONEY HOME?

Money can be sent home by electronic transfer, either through a bank or a transfer agency. I t normally takes two working days to have the money transferred into your home account. Transfer costs depends on the facility used, banks are generally more costly than transfer agencies.

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5. WHAT IS THE COST OF LIVING?Compared to most countries the cost of living is not much higher in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. When earning a reasonable salary, you should be able to save the largest portion of you salary. Keep in mind that the employer pays for everything, all you normally have to provide for, is your food and clothing. It is when you visit these places as a tourist that it can be quite an expensive experience.

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6. CAN EMPLOYMENT BE GUARANTEED?

The future employer is the only one that determines which candidate of the ones submitted for a specific vacancy, will be interviewed and employed. Any Recruitment Agency acts as the middleman, bringing the employer and prospective candidates together. No agency can and should ever guarantee employment.

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7. ARE THERE ANY COSTS INVOLVED?

In most cases there are no costs involved as the employer pays for your air tickets and visa. On some occasions you might have to pay for your medical examination.

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8. ARE THERE VACANCIES AVAILABLE?

Vacancies in most fields of employment are frequently, if not always, available. Due to the extremely high advertising costs, it is not practical to advertise all vacancies. Even on our website only senior vacancies are advertised. Keep in mind that even if a specific vacancy in your field is not available at a given moment, one might become available within days or one of our associates will most probably have the vacancy you are looking for, available.

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9. WHERE WILL I LIVE?

Your employer provides fully furnished accommodation. This could be a villa, townhouse or a studio (flat), depending on your level of seniority. In most cases you should not share accommodation. However, some hospitals' nursing staff could be expected to share a two-bedroom flat. Many companies (employers) have their own "compounds" where their staff lives. A compound normally consist of the various types of accommodation mentioned, a grocery store, restaurant, dry cleaner, gymnasium, tennis courts and of course a swimming pool.

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10. HOW LONG CAN I WORK THERE?

Work contracts generally cover a two-year period, but exceptions do exist. Almost all health related contracts are one-year contracts. In the IT field, contracts can even be shorter than one year. You could work in these countries as long as you like, but contracts then has to be renewed when it expires. In almost all cases the employers prefer employees who are prepared to work at their company for longer periods. Although you could work in the UAE and Saudi Arabia for many years, you can never become a citizen of these countries.

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11. IS THERE AN AGE RESTRICTION?

The UAE recently changed their age requirements. When over fifty, it will be very difficult to be employed. If an employee is urgently required (e.g. a scarce medical specialist) the employer will have to motivate the appointment. When already working there, a person can stay on after turning fifty, normally up to the age of fifty- five. In Saudi Arabia no age restriction applies. Still, it is important to note that finding employment for people over fifty is quite difficult. In the end the employer will decide.

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12. CAN I RESIGN FROM MY JOB?

You can resign at any time. If you resign, your employer is not obliged to pay your air ticket home. It is very important to note that no employee can resign and start working with another company. At resignation your visa is terminated. You thus have to leave the country and you can only return for a new contract after the whole term of the contract you resigned from, expired. The exception to the rule is that if your employer is prepared to issue you with a "Letter of no Objection", you may start working for a new employer immediately. Such a letter will rarely be issued.

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13. HOW DO EMPLOYERS TREAT EMPLOYEES?

The Arabian world is most certainly very different from what we are used to. In general employees are treated well. The westerners are also treated differently to employees form countries like the Philippines and Pakistan, because the westerners are normally more senior and not appointed as labour. Most, if not all, stories of employees and especially western females being treated badly are untrue.

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14. CAN I TAKE MY FAMILY WITH ME?

Two types of work contracts exist, namely Married Status and Single/Bachelor Status. The status of a contract is directly related to the seniority of the position. In general less that ten percent of all contracts are Married Status contracts. This implies that the changes of taking family with when going to work in these countries depend on your position. Medical doctors, senior engineers and other executives will normally be awarded a Married Status contract.

In practice, employees would approach their employer after working for a few months, requesting permission for the family to join the employee. Permission might be granted, but on the condition that the employee carry all costs. The best time to negotiate a Married Status contract is when your contract is up for renewal.

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15. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MARRIED STATUS AND A BACHELOR/SINGLE STATUS CONTRACT?

A Married Status contract includes the whole family. The employer is paying for suitable family accommodation, air tickets, medical cover and normally school fees. A Bachelor/Single status contract includes the employee only.

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16. ARE THERE SCHOOLS FOR MY CHILDREN?

Due to the cosmopolitan nature of the workforce, schools for almost every nationality can be found in most of the cities. Two types of private English schools exist, firstly those following the British curriculum and secondly those following the American curriculum.

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17. CAN MY FAMILY VISIT ME?

Family can of course visit. It is quite a long process to arrange such a visit to Saudi Arabia (up to three months), but a visit to the UAE (Dubai) can be arranged within a few days. For employees in Saudi Arabia, it is advised to meet their families in Dubai. It is easier to arrange and also much cheaper.

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18. WILL MY EMPLOYER PROVIDE TRANSPORT?

The employer will always provide transport. It could be a vehicle allocated to you (depending on the seniority of your position) or company transport to and back from work by bus.

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19. DO I NEED A WORK PERMIT?

Your visa acts as your work permit. No work permit per se is required.

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20. DOES CRIME EXIST?

Crime is a rare phenomenon. The most important reasons are, firstly, anybody found committing a crime is deported immediately. Secondly, every foreigner in these countries is either an employee or a visitor, meaning that unemployment does not really exist. Everybody thus have a job, a salary and a place to live. Thirdly, severe punishment is imposed on local people for committing crime. These are some of few countries where a female is safe to walk in the streets alone, even in the evenings, without the fear of being bothered.

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21. ARE THERE SHOPS, LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT?

Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are rich and developed countries, the UAE the more modern of the two. Cities are large with large shopping centers. Most items available in your own country are also available wherever you live in these countries.

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22. WHAT SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME?

Due to the fact that the employer provides for everything, all you need to take is your clothes and personal stuff.

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23. WHO WILL HANDLE MY VISA APPLICATION?

If situated in South Africa, our offices will handle all your documentation. If outside South Africa, you will be advised.

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24. CAN I DRIVE AND BUY A CAR?

Any employee can buy and drive a car in the UAE. In Saudi Arabia females are not allowed to drive at all.

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25. WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?

Both countries are very hot, even in winter. Please go to the "About Saudi Arabia" or "About Dubai" links at the top of this page for detailed information on both countries.

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