Welcome to envision partnership's knowledge center, where you will find a variety of relevant, informed, compelling and exclusive insights, opinions and articles authored by IIC Partners' members as well as external, internationally acclaimed knowledge leaders.
Working and living in the Middle East
Moving to the Middle East presents opportunities, experiences, and a few challenges – as does moving anywhere else in the world, where the culture maybe unfamiliar to your own.
Living in Dubai is a different experience from living in Saudi Arabia, or Oman, or the Levant for that matter. Understanding and respecting your host’s culture and traditions will not only expand your personal knowledge, but enhance your stay.
The United Arab Emirates is Tax free, enabling you to save a larger part of your salary, however, housing fees and road tolls are some of the expenses paid to the government to maintain public services.
Women in the workplace
Saudi Arabia’s restrictions on women in the workforce aside, it must be noted that Saudi women are active in the fields of Education, Medicine, Industry, and many are SME business owners. Wearing the Abaya (a loose outerwear garment) in public is compulsory, and women are still not allowed to drive. Such factors must be considered if you are a female pursuing a job opportunity in the country, or are considering bringing your family along the adventure.
All other countries in the Middle East Region have no such limitations, and a general rule is to dress conservatively for both men and women, in order to avoid any cultural clashes with your hosts.
Although Christmas is not officially celebrated in the GCC countries, many companies offer Christmas leave to their employees, alongside the many Islamic holidays throughout the year. Freedom of religious expression is respected, and all faiths celebrate their beliefs without hindrance.
Per Labor law, companies are required to provide full time employees with 30 days paid annual leave, and an annual flight ticket ( this number increases based on the number of dependents) at the least. The benefits and privileges afforded to senior employees differs, of course, based on the company and/or industry.
Compared to living in North America or Western Europe, rent prices are competitive, and grocery prices are slightly higher as many food stuffs are imported. However, utilities such as gas and electricity are significantly cheaper, as is the cost of petrol. Transportation costs can vary as your options are many – between private transportation, Taxis, Trains, Trams, Buses, Water Buses and more, going to and fro from work needn’t be stressful.
State of the art healthcare is offered for those interested in conventional and alternative medicine. Many of the world’s most reputable healthcare providers have set up permanent locations throughout the Gulf to offer first class treatment to locals as well as medical tourists.
Schools are closely inspected by the Ministries of Education to ensure that GCC school leavers are on par with global high school graduates. Educational curriculums ranging from Japanese, French, American, Britain, Indian, and Chinese are all available from nursery to secondary education levels.