Abu Dhabi - Post Report Question and Answers

What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Most work at the Embassy or volunteer. We have full and part-time positions at the Embassy. - Feb 2020

Some spouses work at the embassy. Most job openings that I have seen so far are full-time. Spouses can work outside of the embassy, too, if I’m not mistaken. There are lots of expat teachers. Special needs teachers and speech/occupational therapists are always in great demand. - Jun 2019

Many work at the Embassy or local schools. A lot have telework with a US employer. both part-time and full time are available. - Sep 2017

No. There is no U.S. work agreement, so most spouses find work either at schools or at the Embassy. - Jun 2015

Expats do pretty much everything, but the current focus on "Emiratization" increasingly means that the best jobs are reserved for UAE citizens. Expat spouses can have a difficult time finding employment unless they're teachers or willing to freelance (semi-illegally) in some way. - May 2013

Colleagues' spouses who wanted jobs all found something. - Jul 2012

Yes, many, although the push to "Emiratize" means that's changing. Within the Embassy, there is currently no agreement that lets spouses work on the market; there are some good jobs for families inside the mission, but they're hit-and-miss. - Aug 2011

Yes, the UAE is growing and they outsource everything to expats. UAE is desperate for educated professionals and teachers, but remember, check the language of your contracts carefully and remember you have no legal rights in the UAE. If your employer decides they want to pay you less or don't have the money to pay you any more, you have no recourse. Emirati/Arabic companies routinely don't pay out last month's pay or severance pay - they find excuses not to pay you. Again, if you get into a royally-subsidized entity that's paying you well, you can live the good life for years but all that can end abruptly and get ugly in many cases. Do not/not get involved in any political activity. - Jul 2011

Yes. There is a huge skills shortage here. It's a young country and the local capacity does not yet meet the demand. If you are aWesterner, you can do very well here. Salaries are based on nationality. Locals earn the most, followed by fellow Gulf Arabs, then Westerners, other Arabs, Africans and Asians (in that order). - Nov 2010

Work is the reason expats are here. Tax-free income,need I say more? - Jan 2010

For those specialized and connected, yes; for ordinary worker people, they can hire a 3rd-worlder to do whatever they need cheaper than most westerners. - Aug 2009

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More