In recent years, the countries of the Persian Gulf were discussed mostly in respect to tourism. Due to the development of airlines exploring Dubai or Bahrain is not as inaccessible as it used to be. Meanwhile, little does anyone know that it is also possible to transfer one’s own professional career there. Does this vision seem too exotic? Firstly, it is well enough to know where to look, then what to expect.
Let’s start by saying that the countries of that region are a very important economic partner for Poland and what follows, business trade is very resilient. Conferences and other events promoting partnership between our countries, such as Invest with Emirates or the Arabian Economic Congress Poland Arabiya are becoming increasingly visible. Undoubtedly, Poland’s biggest partner are the United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. During business fairs held in the Arab Emirates the presence of Polish expositors is becoming more visible year by year. Economic trade is especially intense, for example in the field of cosmetics – in shopping malls of Dubai and the capital cities of Bahrain and Qatar one can find more and more Polish brands, such as Inglot, Delia Cosmetics, Oceanic or Jutrzenka. The same goes for sweets and apple export – during Sial Middle East food fair in Abu Zabi there are over 30 expositors every year.
If someone is thinking of flying to warm countries, one ought to start the search for a job in Poland, as a matter of fact. It is not a good idea to look for a job on the premises, mostly due to emigrational procedures. The possible employer needs to have a residential visa issued, therefore it does not matter whether the employer is still in Poland or already in Dubai. The best course of action is to start from browsing LinkedIn.pl offers and a local equivalent of our recruitment sites, the Bayt.com service, which gathers job offers from various countries of the Persian Gulf region. On the Polish market there are also employment agencies that offer help in finding a job in this region. One needs to be aware that the market in the countries of the Persian Gulf is indeed attractive and receptive. However, it differs from the Polish and even the European one and different laws are in force. Renown companies invite people for an interview to their headquarters covering the expenses of flight and hotel stay. It is worth knowing that one may receive a work permit in the countries of the Persian Gulf providing that one will positively pass medical checks, some of which test for tuberculosis, HIV, leprosy or hepatitis. After signing the agreement the employer once again covers the expenses of flight and even – depending on the company and the position held – the costs of transfer. On occasion the employer also provides one free ticket for travelling home per year.
In the countries of the Persian Gulf jobs are taken up by top class experts, executive cadre, doctors, architects, engineers. Besides a mild and sunny winter and an untaxed income, the employees are attracted due to earnings and a high standard of living. A medium class manager earns 20-40 thousand PLN a month on average. In addition, he receives accommodation, medical care and other benefits. Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? However, there is another side of the coin – very high cost of living.
First of all, not every employer provides accommodation and renting an average flat with a bedroom costs 50-100 thousand PLN a year. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are luxurious cities, they offer good conditions for professional developments and earnings, but also consume lots of money. Elegant restaurants, miles of shopping malls, glamorous hotels, sky bars and beaches are really tempting, but this luxury costs an arm and a leg. Renting a room is a cost of at least 3,000 PLN and for a more luxurious one in the vicinity of Dubai Marina in a split-level penthouse on the 71th floor we are going to pay more than 7,000 per month. A dinner outdoors with a glass of wine costs 250 PLN per person. For 2 cinema tickets in one of Dubai’s multiplexes we are going to pay 80 PLN. According to the Nuimbeo service, the prices of restaurants and food in Dubai are higher than those in Warsaw by 79%. To maintain the standard of living we have in Warsaw for 8,000 PLN, in Dubai we need 20,000 PLN.
Consumerism and materialism are the faces of cities which can absorb expats eager for a luxurious life. For those who distance themselves from the rat race and come for solely saving purposes neighboring Emirates are an option – Ajman and Sharjah, where the costs of living are lower and the temptations less numerous.
Do I stand a chance?
The most important criteria, besides of course professional competences is proficiency in English and the ability to work in a multinational and multicultural team. On these specific market a bigger role play aspects such as strong motivation, the ability to adapt and willingness to bear the emotional costs connected with emigration. Future expats and people interested in departing for the Persian Gulf for the purpose of earning money focus on a single aspect: the financial one. They ask their friends and search for information on forums whether having a salary of a given amount is enough to live in a given city. The cost of life is a serious and complex aspect. However, one must take into consideration the lifestyle and motivation. What do we like doing in our free time and why do we want to depart for the Persian Gulf? What do we gain and what costs can we bear?
For people who did not work with representatives of other cultures, the commencement of work, for example in Dubai may carry with itself a wave of frustrating situations. The simplest behaviours, such as a way of greeting or eye contact are things, about which we do not think on a daily basis, since they are automated activities. However, in a new environment they might turn our world upside down. For example, what is lies beneath the enigmatic ‘In Shallah’? Cultural intelligence appears on the international arena not because it has an interesting name, but because this ability determines whether in today’s world of business we are able to find ourselves in multinational and multicultural reality and efficiently conduct business within.
More than ever conquering the world is at our fingertips or rather at a single click. Reaching interesting propositions in order to exceed the boundaries of one’s own career is simpler and more real than it used to be. Meanwhile, as with every decision, it is worth considering every aspect for and against. Undertaking challenges is exciting and lies within the nature of many people eager for novelties and new corners of the world. Undoubtedly, transferring one’s own professional ambition to such an exotic corner as the Persian Gulf is among such challenges.