Expat professionals searching for UAE positions facing new challenges

Published:  29 Jan at 6 PM
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After some years of being the destination of choice or high-flying expat professionals, the jobs market in the UAE is due to become less foreigner-friendly and more complex.

The seven-principality United Arab Emirates has long been a hub for white-collar expat professionals looking for high salaries and a boost to their CVs. However, increasing government restrictions on expat employees required by private companies may finally burst the bubble.

Leading executive recruitment agencies in the region report that the job climate is now complex and unpredictable, posing many challenges for private companies and expats alike. The restriction of many jobs to local citizens, even although few qualified nationals are available to fill them, is causing problems, and the strict quota system related to total numbers of expat employees isn’t helping.

The global economy’s new realities have damaged the expat packages offered to executive-level professionals, with fringe benefits and perks drastically reduced and rents, education and living costs rising fast. The UAE’s economy is buoyant, with growth now coming for the non-oil sectors, trade, banking and aviation, all of which now require Arabic-speaking workers.

However, expats in Dubai will now be able to access government health services, due to the emirate’s now rule that all residents should be provided with health cover. Rashid Hospital is now accepting expatriates with heath insurance cards in its emergency room and, within six months, it’s expected that all DHA facilities will follow suit. The development should be good news for expats funding their own and their families’ private health insurance.
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