The numbers of single women professionals in the Gulf region have been increasing in the recent past with employers recruiting female employees. But how is life in the Middle East as a single female professional? Read on to know more.
Surviving in a society that abides by rigid social and religious laws might not be an easy task; moreover in a society where men vastly outnumber women – working and living alone as a single working woman can be quite challenging.
While jobs in the Gulf countries never seem to fall short for expats, many employers often hire women employees. But, moving into a country where women are most often overshadowed by their male counterparts can be a little difficult. So, how does it feel like to live and work as a single working woman in the Gulf? What are the various things that you need to keep in mind while you are shifting base to Gulf for work purpose.
Safety is of utmost importance for women and this stands true all across the world. According to quite a few expat women, this region, especially Dubai is essentially safe but one needs to keep in mind some of the caveats. While certain typical instances of women being harassed have been reported, crime rate against women are quite low as compared. This does not mean that going out after dark; but while doing so it is advisable that you do that in groups.
Finding an Accommodation
Finding an accommodation might pose as a little difficulty in the initial stage but once you have found a place for yourself, living all alone in a rented apartment is perfectly safe. Many women however chose to opt for sharing living space with a flatmate. While living all by yourself allows your enough freedom, but certain parts of life in the Middle East are quite challenging. In such cases, sharing your living space with someone makes life a little simpler.
All single female professionals are expected to abide by the immigration laws applicable to millions. Most women working in the Gulf seem to be enthusiastic about the job opportunities clubbed with the benefits of a tax free salary. While many expat women opine that career opportunities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and also Qatar are exceptionally good, there is a flipside too. It is not all plain sailing for all. All potential expats are should take a reality check before considering a life abroad—especially the Middle East.
Modesty is the word that best describes the dress code in Middle East. Native women are used to the hijab but non-Muslim women might find it little to adjust with this environment. However, as goes the saying “When in Rome do as the Romans do” – it is better if you abide by certain rules at least out of respect if nothing else. Aim to cover up shoulders and wear dresses that reach till your ankles.
While the entire region abides by these rules, Dubai is the most relaxed about clothing. But it is advisable that you carry a scarf even if you are visiting the beach or a night club.
Social Life for Women Professionals
Well, in a country where laws are quite rigid, social life is somewhat restricted. But you can go out with friends. Be aware about restrictions about alcohol consumption. Doha and Abu Dhabi have a greater social life with numerous clubs and bars. But whatever you do, better be accompanied by friends as a single woman visiting a pub all alone is not quite a common scenario in the Gulf.
Some useful tips to follow are:
- Get in touch with women expats; this will give you a fair idea about the region
- Ensure that your employment is watertight
- Make sure you have good medical insurance
- Have emergency numbers ready
- Finally considering having a reliable flatmate so that you can share some of your common bills and enjoy better company
Being a single woman professional in the Gulf countries can actually be a good experience if you are able to hold on to the chords well enough.
Author Bio: Sampurna Majumder is a professional writer who enjoys creativity and challenges. Barely a year into new media, she has written several posts, articles and blogs for prominent websites like Naukrigulf.com where one can find all kinds of information pertaining to the world of employment in the Middle East. The above enlists some of the things that a female expat should know before moving to the region.