If you are a woman with great ambitions and willing to relocate to Dubai for work, then this may be the right decision to make.
A survey by Bayt.com with YouGov reveals that UAE ranks first in the Middle East for ease of finding a job for women.
More than three in four women in the UAE believe that job offers are based entirely on experience and qualifications, regardless of gender.
The study by Bayt and YouGov finds that women in the UAE seem to be more content with gender balance in the workplace when compared with women in other MENA countries. “Regionally, three quarters (75%) of respondents say that there is a mix of men and women working in the same workplace. In the UAE, this figure is almost 10 percent higher than the regional average at 84%,” it said.
Also, 70% of respondents in the UAE report that they work almost an equal number of hours as their male colleagues
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, was quoted in the media as saying that there exist 23,000 Emirati businesswomen running projects worth over AED50 billion ($13.6 billion), and occupy 15% of the positions in the boards of chambers of commerce and industry nationwide.
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“The recent regulation by the UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority requiring that at least 20% of the board of any listed company is composed of women gives a major boost to women’s development in the UAE,” said the statement.
It added that this shift in trusting women with decision making is also witnessed in multinationals like Procter & Gamble, Cisco and SAP, to name a few.
What else is encouraging women in the UAE job market?
Fair labor laws
Female employees working in a permanent position in the UAE public sector are granted maternity leave of 60 days with full salary.
“4 months after that she is entitled to 2 hours’ reduced working hours to nurse her child either at the beginning or at the end of the working hours and such breaks are fully paid for,” according to the official portal of the UAE government.
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Also, women may not be employed in hazardous or strenuous or physically challenging jobs, according to the UAE government’s website.
Moreover, they are entitled to the same wage that a man would earn for the same job.
A study by BBC reveals that within the expat workforce the potential for career advancement is subject to a few regulations.
“Women who work in the service industry, as housemaids, waitresses and lower-level office staff, have limited opportunities. They are generally obligated to rigid and inflexible contracts, often arranged by third-party agencies. It is slightly easier for professional expat women who work in corporate positions and come primarily from Europe, India and other parts of the Middle East,” it said.
But even with professional women, it’s not all that smooth going.
For instance, women who accompany their husbands are given housewife visas, which forbids them from working without a “no objection letter” from their spouse, according to the study.
“Also, even women who get jobs while on a spouse visa can face many restrictions including access to banking and buying property,” it said.
“Moreover, unlike their national counterparts, expat women are not usually employed in the public sector,” it added.