Although a 10 to 13 hours’ flight to a Middle Eastern country might seem a faraway and demanding journey, the Middle East hosts a unique and intriguing culture where settling in this region, specifically in the Arabian Gulf Region can, by all means, be a life changing and captivating adventure.

The Middle East has been attracting foreign healthcare professionals for many years and we are expecting this to continue for many years to come. However, it is not “everybody’s cup of tea”, and moving to the Middle East with an open-minded approach is helpful to achieve the most out of such an adventure.

There are many reasons that makes you consider a move to the Middle East to live and work, however, how do you know whether you got a good and fair offer or not. How do you compare offer received to what you are making at home now? After all, salaries along with the benefits offered within the package are very much subject to variation depending on the hospital you are applying to; the position you are being offered; your qualifications, specialty, years of experience and skills: Salaries can range between US  $10,000$ to  $20,000 for physicians (in a few specialties, may reach $22,000), $4,000 to $10,000  for nurses, depending on whether a staff nurse, a middle management or a leadership position, and $4,000 to   $10,000 for allied healthcare professionals depending on position, title and etc. For more details, you may visit: SALARIES AND BENEFITS section.

Though annual salaries tend to be lower in the Gulf as compared to the United States or Canada,  especially for physicians; this is usually offset by the different monetary benefits that are commonly offered by healthcare institutions in the Gulf as part of the packages, and the various sources of reduced expenses such as the lower taxes or absence of  taxes and the relatively low living cost. The lower expenses and the other benefits included in the offered packages like the free housing, transportation coverage, medical care benefits, children educational assistance, annual leave transportation and end-of-service indemnity, makes it quite easy to have a good portion of your salary saved. Your savings might sum up to around double the amount that you can save in the United States or Canada! The positive aspects of working in the healthcare sector in the Gulf can extend beyond the financials to offer you non-monetary benefits. Working terms and conditions in the Gulf provide an added value in terms of working hours and vacation days in comparison to working in the United States or Canada. You will tend to work for less hours (physicians in particular) and benefit from more paid vacation days; eventually enjoying more quality and family time!

In addition to the above mentioned, the growth you acquire during work at various levels-professional, cultural and social- adds to the whole experience a wealth of personal growth and openness. The Arabian Gulf region countries some of which are considered of the richest countries in the world, have been witnessing a development boom at different levels including the healthcare sector; where high quality healthcare services are delivered through state of the art facilities and offering latest technological advances. Healthcare facilities in the Gulf region operate at high quality standards; many of which are accredited or seeking accreditation by prestigious bodies such as JCI, Magnet, Accreditation Canada and others. This is in addition to the different affiliations hospitals are seeking with international health bodies such as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, etc. By working at healthcare facilities in this region you will get to interact with staff and patients from all over the world which will enrich your knowledge and understanding of the world and widen your cultural knowledge and experience. Working in the healthcare sector will, by all means, provide you with a unique professional experience during which you will either be practicing according to international quality standards or you will be privileged to set the stone and take part in the journey towards high quality care.

Indulging into a unique and culturally rich social life seems to attract single or married people to live an exciting experience. Living in the Gulf exposes you to a new culture which has a range of new concepts and practices where exploring them can’t look any more interesting! You get to explore and know about the country and the region from interacting and building relationships with people you meet at different places like your workplace, sports venues, social gatherings or events; visiting the countries’ different historical and cultural sights and reading history books. You will have plenty of time to explore new places during weekends or post working hours. Travelling and exploring new countries and cultures might become your new passion, and why not when you are located in the middle of the world, and you may have up to 54 vacation days each year.

Given the attractive salary and benefit packages along with the unique and enriching work and cultural experience, “The Gulf Experience” is definitely worth investing in!

By Farah Demachkieh