US Nurse to Middle East

  1. 3
    Hi Everyone,

    This is my very first post, but I am here because I would like information regarding working in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, UAE or any other Middle Eastern country. I'm from NY, so the pay is good. However, I am hearing that in the Middle East the pay is beautiful. Are these exaggerations? From my research it appears that Saudi Arabia is the most strict. Should I apply directly at hospitals or at a travel agencies? I am also looking for the best salary. What can I expect for a year assignment in the ER and how much. My salary now is 80,000 will I make more over there?

    I appreciate any feedback.

    babdulrahim, melCCRN, and miztahcool like this.

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  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 0
    Frankly, you couldn't pay me enough to work in Saudi Arabia.
  4. 0
    Funny,but I think that I can take it for 6 mo to a year with self discipline. My plan is not to have much of a social life, and just go there and save my tax free money.
  5. 0
    Make sure it is definitely tax free, you will still have to declare it in your US tax return and may still have to pay tax
  6. 0
    I just spoke to someone at Helen Ziegler and I definitly will not be going over there with Ziegler. I'm still looking. Also, the tax free applies to the Americans are exempt from paying taxes if they are making under $85,000 and resided in the foreign country for 330 days of the year.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Oct 29, '09 : Reason: please do not post contact names
  7. 1
    Hi. I am currently a senior nsg student in a 4 year program. I happen to have had more than a smidge of experience with the Middle East, although not via nursing. I lived in Egypt for 4 years, went to school there and taught English to Egyptian kids in the villages while I was there. I lived alone and did not have room mates, which made me a kind of target for any errant male that passed by, as women do not live alone in the Middle East. They either live in the homes of their husbands or their fathers. Bottom line is, a male must be responsible for you as single females are considered to be like loose cannons and willing to sleep with anyone if the opportunity presents. This is especially true in their view of foreign women. The Koran says that women must keep their hair covered at all times (which I did not) or otherwise they are considered to be naked and more or less of a prostitute. Whether they are or not. A woman with uncovered hair will be followed by men in the street who will attempt to talk to her and even touch her because they figure it is O.K.

    In Saudi Arabia, from what I have heard from nurses and other women I know who have worked and lived there, the following applies:

    1. Unless you are a Muslim, you are an infidel (unbeliever). Since Saudi Arabia is where the Holy Site of Mecca is, as an infidel you will not be allowed much freedom on the streets. You will be basically confined to an enclosed area where all the Western and other foreign people live. This is where your hospital will be also. You will be able to wear Western clothes there and will not have to cover your head. You will have a commissary there where you will be able to obtain all your favorite U.S. products, like Cheerios, that are not available once you step outside the compound.

    2. If for some reason you do go outside the compound, you must wear "hejab". This means approved clothing for Muslim women. You must be covered head to toe in a dark "burka" and your face and hair must be covered as well. When I was there, women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. The rationale given for this was that if they got a flat tire that they might have to remove their veil to fix it and this could not be allowed as the society would come to pieces. So, unless things have changed, women cannot drive.

    3. The vast plus to all this is that, whatever money you make, there will be precious few places to spend it. So you will wind up saving a great deal of it.

    If you feel you can stand being somewhat of a prisoner, then go for it. Given what the economy is here in this country, and the fact that you will be able to save most of what you make when you get there, it might not be a bad experience for you. It also looks great on a resume.

    Good luck.

    SuesquatchRN likes this.
  8. 0
    Thanks for the feedback. Also, just curious, why do you think me listing the Middle East on my resume will look good, once I return to the U.S, after a year. I'm thinking I'm not going to get credit (experience pay) for that yr.away in another country. Anyway, I am trying to figure out if it's better to apply directly at a hospital or with an agency, and who has the better rates. Ziegler pay sucks. H. Ziegler mentioned 53,000yr, like why go to the middle east and have a culture shock, and that's what you're getting. I'm still shopping around.
  9. 1
    US citizens must report worldwide earnings, and you would most likely have to pay tax on it - you don't have to pay double tax but since it would be tax free there I think you'd have to take some hit here. If you avoid paying by earning <$85K, and you already earn $80K here, that doesn't make much sense.

    There are various agencies, including OGP (although as a rule I don't like them as they have severe penalties in their contracts for breaking them if you hate it there and want to come home).
    SuesquatchRN likes this.
  10. 0
    Thanks for the info. I understand what you're saying about the money. However, I will not go over, if I can't get a high salary, (70-80's). What I am looking at is the fact, that there wouldn't be any tax on that amt of money. It will certainly come out to more than I have ever made in NY, b/c I pay high taxes. I looked the info. up regarding exempts from taxes on the IRS, and it is upto 80 something thousand outside the U.S.
  11. 0
    Carol, don't forget that Saudi Arabia still whips people for breaking the law, religious included.

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