Co-Founder, Niche Jobs
Nurses and midwives who trained in the UK are among those candidates highly sought after for jobs in the Middle East, and there are several recruiters looking for experienced staff to work in this part of the world. If you’re struggling to find your next career move within the UK, then moving to the Middle East could provide you with exactly the career progression you’re looking for.
It’s common for nurses and midwives to be offered a 12 - 24 month contract initially, but many choose to stay on after this initial period. You need between 2 - 5 years of post registration experience in the department you want to work in, depending on the seniority of the job. Whichever specialism of nursing or midwifery you have experience in, you can pretty much guarantee there will be a vacancy for you in one of the Middle East locations. Such is the demand for western-trained nurses that if you’ve got the experience, they’ve got the job. Hospital and clinical roles are most common, particularly in specialist areas such as paediatrics, neonatal, SCBU, triage / A&E, theatres and ICU.
A different working day
The weekend days in the Middle East are different from western countries, and can vary from country to country. Saudi Arabia and Oman still keep Thursday and Friday as their weekend days, while the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar have all adopted the Friday and Saturday weekend in order to be more in line with the West and therefore improving trade links. Yemen is also following this change from February 2012.
You will most likely be employed in a hospital, and will be scheduled in a shift pattern just as you would be in UK job. The majority of people you will treat while working in the Middle East will be of muslim faith, and therefore praying, fasting and modest dress is key to their daily routine, even in hospital. You will find that simple procedures such as taking a blood sample or dressing a wound may have to be scheduled at different times of day if a patient is praying. Ramadan can be a particularly difficult time for you, in a nurse or midwife job, to manage your patient’s care as even those in hospital, while not required to fast, may choose to do so.
Benefits of moving to work in the Middle East
Employers are aware that making the move to the Middle East for work is a big commitment, and they are prepared to offer a substantial package of benefits. As with any employer, the salary offered will depend on your experience and the seniority level of the job, but as always it’s tax free if you are a UK citizen. There is a common package of benefits that most nurses and midwives are offered and it includes:
- Free or highly subsidised accommodation near to your place of work
- Free transportation to and from work if it’s not within walking distance
- Free return flights to the UK annually or bi-annually
- Generous annual leave, usually around 30 days
- Free medical and dental insurance / healthcare plan
- Free uniform
Some jobs also offer:
- Free accommodation including bills, cable TV and internet access
- Free membership of the sports and leisure club in the accommodation complex
- 15% cost of living bonus with each monthly salary payment
- Joining / resettlement bonus when your contract starts
Life in the Middle East
When you’re not working there’s plenty of social life to be had. Quite often, the hospital you’re working at will be in a secure area in a complex along with your accommodation, something like a gated community. There will be plenty of other British nurses and midwives who have also made the move that you can socialise with, as well as taking advantage of the local restaurants, places to visit and shopping centres!
The dress code for women and men varies according the country and area of the Middle East that you’re living and working in. For example, in Dubai western women are not required to wear a head covering - the guidance is simply to dress modestly, whereas in Saudi Arabia there are specific dress rules if you’re leaving the accommodation complex.
Whatever your motivation for looking for a nursing job or a midwifery job in the Middle East, there are benefits that can suit everyone. Follow this link to view all Middle East Nurse Jobs