Moving to the Middle East

As the steady flow of people leaving Britain to seek a new life abroad continues, certain regions in the Middle East have become amongst the most popular destinations for those looking to find a new life in warmer climates. The U.A.E, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have become particularly popular destinations for British nationals and the large expat population in these areas allow for Brits to settle in painlessly, and become part of a community on arriving.

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As the steady flow of people leaving Britain to seek a new life abroad continues, certain regions in the Middle East have become amongst the most popular destinations for those looking to find a new life in warmer climates. The U.A.E, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have become particularly popular destinations for British nationals and the large expat population in these areas allow for Brits to settle in painlessly, and become part of a community on arriving.

This article will explore the three countries above; giving a brief insight into the climate, culture and work prospects for British nationals looking to move abroad.

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the largest country by landmass in the Middle East; which is rich in history, culture and tradition. The country has strong ties with the West, and has a large number of American and European non-citizens residing there. The largest city in Saudi Arabia is Riyadh, with a population of 6.5 million people. Due to the Western influence on the city, there is a great interest in sports such as football and golf in the region. The city is also home to the impressive 68,000 capacity King Fahd Stadium.

Work prospects in Saudi Arabia are limited to industries where there is a lack of skilled local workers, although there have been attempts in recent times to diversify the Saudi economy. Currently, there may be opportunities for UK nationals within sectors such as education, IT, healthcare, engineering and construction.

It’s important to bear in mind the sheer heat in Saudi Arabia – temperatures can reach highs of 54°C, with an average summer temperature of 45°C. Taking the time to get acclimatised to this extreme weather is important, but take into account the majority of non-citizens can work tax-free in the country and Saudi Arabia starts to look like an increasingly attractive place to start a new life abroad.

U.A.E
The U.A.E is an interestingly formed country, as it is split into seven emirates – each ruled over by a Sheik. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are by far the most densely populated emirates in the country, with a combined total of 68% of the population dwelling in these two areas. Incredibly, 73% of the entire population is made up of non-citizens, which makes the country amongst the most diverse in the world.

There are approximately 100,000 British nationals that live in the country, mostly skilled professionals who have found paid work in the territory. The U.A.E also is home to a growing number of European and American migrants. There are also opportunities for British manual workers in the country, due to the great demand for real estate as a result of the rapid economic growth and rising population.

Temperatures in the U.A.E average 41°C during July and August, with winter lows of 23°C, andthe country experiences usually experiences just 3cm of rain per year. The city skylines are stunning and urban areas enjoy particularly low crime rates, making the country one of the most desirable places to live in the Middle East.

Turkey
Although Turkey has been an associate member of the E.U since 1963 and could become a fully fledged member of the E.U as early as 2013, it is a part of the Middle East and bears similarities with other countries in the region. Turkey is a secular state, with no definitive state religion, but 96% of the country consider themselves to be Muslim.

The Turkish government tends to be of the view that any menial work in Turkey, such as waiting tables and bar or restaurant work, should be solely for Turkish citizens. There are areas where migrant workers are needed – particularly within the education sector where there is a significant short fall of workers. Also, there are some large multinational organisations that employ foreign nationals based on the type of skilled worker they require.

The weather in Turkey tends to vary from coast to coast, with the west enjoying a Mediterranean climate, becoming hotter as you move eastwards. Turkey has become an increasingly appealing option for British nationals looking to work abroad, predominately due to the hospitable nature of its residents and great climate.

Undoubtedly, there are enormous opportunities in the Middle East for workers in almost any sector. Whilst it will always take time to adapt to a new culture, the long-term rewards of relocating to this unique region will far outweigh any initial doubts you may have. There’s never been a better time to discover a new way of life in the Middle East.

Submitted by Kirsty Collingwood, Marketing Manager at Crown Relocations. Crown Relocations is an international movers company and global mobility specialist that manages every step of the journey from visas to property management, finding schools to packing up.

More tips on moving to the Middle East can be found at http://www.moveoverseas.co.uk.

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