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  • 20 September 2011
  • 6 min read

Top questions asked by candidates about moving to a nursing or midwifery job in the UAE

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We talk to Alex Howarth from Green Care Management to find out answers to some of the commonly asked questions that nursing and midwifery candidates have about applying for jobs in the United Arab Emirates.

1. How do I know the organisation I am applying for is legitimate and genuine?

When applying for nursing or midwifery roles outside of the UK, if you aren’t sure about the company advertising the job or how the process will work, then go with a recruitment agency.

Recruitment agencies are there to help you, we get the roles called into us and we will do all the research for you. We try to make the process as easy and as simple as possible, and we already have terms of business in place, which protects you as a candidate.

Other than that if you want to know more before you apply, look for the company over the internet to find out if they are legitimate and genuine, and make contact with them directly.

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2. Will I be interviewed by the company themselves or by the UK recruiter?

The recruitment agency will interview you in the first instance, some do this face to face but we normally do this via phone.

As we are representing the client we know what they are looking for, so we will interview you first to make sure you match the criteria supplied to us by the client.

Depending on the outcome of this, we will usually put you forward for the nursing job and you will be interviewed by the client. Depending on the way the client works this could be a 1 to 3 stage interview, but always held in the UK.

3. Who makes arrangements for my visa?

We do not make your visa arrangements, this will be sorted out by the client once you have been successful.

Many Middle East based clients are specifically looking for UK nurses to move to the UAE, so they will already be aware that a visa will need to be arranged and will confirm details with you soon after the interview.

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4. How do I get my personal belongings shipped over to my new accommodation?

Again, this is all arranged by the client.

5. Are there many other UK nurses and midwives that take jobs in the Middle East?

It is not unusual for nurses to move from the UK to the UAE. It is a very popular place to move to and very beautiful. A lot of nurses move there to gain more experience, have a better quality of life, and to take advantage of the generous benefits on offer.

There may not be the nursing or midwifery jobs available in the UK, so for some it’s the chance to get the opportunity they are looking for in order to further their career.

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6. Will I be paid in £GBP or in the local currency?

As a resident of the United Arab Emirates you will be paid in the local currency Emirati Dirhams. You can find out the exchange rate by searching online, but at the time of writing the exchange rate is 1 GBP to 5.77 AED.

7. What kind of benefits do I get with a typical nursing job in the United Arab Emirates?

The main benefit is a better quality of life, followed by no tax on your earnings, free furnished accommodation (or an allowance if living with your spouse / partner), return UK flights paid, medical cover and annual leave based on the 2 year contract we are currently recruiting for.

You will have everything laid out for you and explained in detail if you are successful with the client interview, just as you would with a UK job.

8. Are the working hours similar to shifts in the UK?

Your hours will be discussed at interview stage with the employer just like they would here in the UK.

There are shift patterns as you would expect with any hospital environment, so you can expect to be rotated through different working patterns, unless your contract states otherwise.

9. Will my accommodation be in a block with other UK or English speaking nurses?

Accommodation arrangements will be made by the employer, but we would imagine that you will be moved into a location where there are other English speakers around. You can confirm this with the employer at interview. They are aware this a move into the somewhat unknown for many of the nurses they interview, so questions about the practical arrangements are expected.

10. Is the accommodation close to the hospital I’ll be working in?

Again discuss this at interview stage just to be sure, but most likely yes.

11. Is there any kind of social life available outside of work?

If you are unsure, have a look into this over the internet. You will find information on there about what you can do, and what the local area is like.

When moving into a new job you find that you make new friends like you have in the UK, you will meet people and socialise out of work. Some of you may be moving with partners so you won’t have to worry about being alone. There is a large ex-pat community in the UAE, so there will be a lot of like minded people looking to socialise.

12. Can I make contact with other UK nurses that have made the move to get their feedback before I decide?

You can search the internet to answer this one. Try going on social networking sites and joining groups. On the internet you will find forums where you will be able to query this with other people who have done the same as what you are looking to do.

There will be people who are in exactly the same boat as you and you may be able to make contact with them.

About the author

I believe people working in healthcare should be able to choose to enjoy work. That is, choose an employer who reflects their values and provides them with a sustainable career. This leads to better patient care, higher retention rates and happier working lives in this most important employment sector.

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