Co-Founder, Niche Jobs
You may decide that in your Nursing career you want a different challenge, a new environment or simply the opportunity to earn more money. Moving to the Middle East can offer all of these things, and as a Nurse your specialist skills are in particular demand.
There are often vacancies for nurses in the Middle East in all branches. However, a minimum of 1 year post registration experience is usually required. The need for Theatre Nurses and Intensive Care Nurses for Middle East nursing jobs are especially acute. Also, jobs in Recovery, Surgical Nurses and Oncology Nurses are just some of the other specialist staff that are often in high demand.
(There are a number of relevant links to Middle East nurse jobs from this article. For ease of reading, we've put them all at the end.)
Why work in the Middle East as a Nurse
The benefits of moving to one of the Middle East countries that have nursing vacancies usually include:
- Generous tax free salary
- Free or highly subsidised accommodation
- Free annual return ticket home
- Re-location bonus in first month’s salary
- Minimum of 6 weeks leave a year
- Free healthcare cover
It is usually the case that these offers are open to singles only, meaning that your family or spouse cannot accompany you. However, in some cases, for more senior positions there may be provision for your family to relocate as well.
Which Middle East countries have nursing jobs available?
Typically, you will always be able to find nursing vacancies in these Middle East countries:
- Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Jeddah)
- UAE, United Arab Emirates (Al Ain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi)
The biggest recruiters of nurses for Middle East jobs are the employment agencies Pulse International and HCL International.
You should also browse nursing jobs with Saudi Aramco. Aramco is the Saudi Arabia state-owned internationl oil company (the largest oil company in the world). Working as a nurse for Saudi Aramco offers the nurse leading edge facilities in a world-class working environment. As with all jobs for nurses in the Middle East on Nurses.co.uk, they are well worth reviewing.
How is it different to working in the UK?
Depending on which country you decide to move to, the working hours and the weekend may differ from those you are used to. Most Middle Eastern countries have a predominantly Muslim heritage, and Friday is the holiest day in their week so a Thursday / Friday weekend is common. However, a Friday / Saturday weekend was adopted in 2006 by the United Arab Emirates in order to align more closely with a western working week, but still maintain Friday as a holy day.
Prayer and religion is also a day to day part of a patient’s routine, and this must be taken into account when making care plans. In particular, during the holy festival of Ramadan patients are excused from fasting, however many still choose to. This must be accounted for when planning blood tests or administering medication.
Language is also another factor to consider. The language of all medical staff is English, however the majority of patients (nationals) only speak Arabic. While there are always translators on hand to aid the medical personnel, it’s advisable to take advantage of the Arabic classes that are normally available to new nurses arriving from the UK.
Of course, there are hospitals and care facilities across the UAE and Saudi Arabia that provide nursing care for ex-pats, employees of international companies, and visitors. It can be a very cosmopolitan experience and the variety of languages you’ll come across will be equally varied!
What happens to free time & weekends?
The same as in the UK! People often go shopping, meet up with friends, or eat out in any of the local restaurants. There is often plenty to do within the accommodation complex at the hospital, but there is always the local area and sights to explore. There are obviously different traditions regarding clothing if you intend to explore outside the complex, and women will be usually required to cover their arms and legs.
Living and working in the Middle East is a truly multi-cultural experience, and providing you are open to new experiences and respecting traditions, then it’s a really exciting experience.
How do I apply for Middle East nursing jobs?
First of all you need to decide which country in particular you’re interested in, or which speciality you want to work in. As with any job hunting process, you need to find a vacancy that fits your requirements.
Once you know you want to apply, check the minimum requirements in the job ad. If you meet these criteria and you still want to go ahead, send off your CV.
The recruiter handling that vacancy will contact you, usually within 48 hours to find out more about you, your situation and your expectations. They will need to know your eligibility for a visa, and whether or not English is your first language (or if you already have an IELTS score).
The nursing recruiter will also be able to guide you through the entire process right up until you travel out to your new position. In most cases you will have a telephone interview with the ward manager at the hospital you’ve applied to, and once you are approved all the practical arrangements can be made.
Follow this link for all current Middle East Nurse Jobs
Or for UAE only, follow this link for all current UAE Nursing Jobs