Bridgewater International Recruitment Direct.
109 Bodmin Road, Astley, Tyldesley, Manchester, United Kingdom, M29 7PE
Tel : 0044 1942 873158 Fax: 0044 1942 896946
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Frequently Asked Questions

You have probably got lots of questions about working in the Middle East and so we have put together a selection of the most frequently asked questions we get from candidates.

You will see that we have covered most topics, however, if you have a question that hasn't been answered here then please get in touch either via email, telephone or via our general contact form on our contact page.

How long does the recruitment process take from start to finish?

Between three and nine months depending on which hospital, health authority and area of the Gulf.

Can I use standard 3 pin plugs?
220/240 volt MHz and UK standard 3 pin plugs are widely used.

Will I have to pay for visas or any attestations?
*(If you gain a position in Saudi Arabia you will have to pay visa, medical and authentication charges. If you gain a position at any of the UAE government hospital AND are travelling  on a married contract you will have to pay to validate certain certificates.) Applicants will also have to pay to upload their documents to the Data Flow system for HAAD in Abu Dhabi.

Do I need to speak Arabic ?

No, not at all. There are interpreters for your conversations with patients and most of the staff will speak English. However, we guess a little Arabic language study is interesting, might come in handy and adds something to your CV.

My pay in the UK is more or about the same as that being offered in the UAE. Why should I bother taking the post offered?

Well, as they say in America "do the math" because we think you will find you are actually getting a lot more money in the UAE.

In the United Kingdom, some say, there are more than 150 stealth taxes in addition to income tax and national insurance. There are far too many stealth taxes for us to name them all here but you know the sort of thing; car tax, late submission fees, late payment fees, congestion charges,  fuel tax, fire brigade charges, increased price of passport, speed cameras, etc.

Our accountant reliably informs us that the average employee pays 7 months of their salary to the UK Government in this form of tax. Stealth tax is a bit like driving a car with a leaking petrol tank and not checking  how many miles per gallon you are getting. You fill up your petrol tank every week and it appears full, the car drives normally and everything appears to be OK.

You don't notice you are losing over half a tank of petrol every week. This is why stealth tax is called stealth tax - it's meant to creep up on you so that you don't notice it's happening. This does not happen in the Emirates because what you earn there you own, when you choose to spend you wont be returning your money to the government.

Add to this the free accommodation, the free flights, generous holidays, healthcare and the bonus scheme and money wise you are streets ahead in the UAE. Now here is the cream on the coffee. You might want to take some of your extra cash and buy some 22 carat gold (about half UK price), a top brand but low price camera or low price electrical goods. Rest assured you wont be mugged for your money or your goods. You wont go to any shopping malls and feel intimidated.

This is the great thing about the UAE - the sense of safety and well being.

Now that is something money just can't buy

Will I be met at the airport when I arrive abroad?

Yes, be assured - the hospitals all have their Meet and Greet Service.

How much money will I need to take with me?

It depends on how much you intend to go out and spend before your first salary comes in. You could be careful and take a months salary or you might be able to cope by taking half your salary out there. Some hospitals offer and advance on your salary.

How will my salary be paid to me?

You will be paid in local currency and the money will be paid into a local bank account which the hospital will help you set up.

Will I have to do sit any exams whilst I am there?

Yes you will, they are set up by the government of country to establish that you are competent but do not worry most people pass. In Abu Dhabi, the exam is multiple choice, in Dubai you have a verbal interview with the Department of Health. And you can buy all kinds of dior replica bags for free shipping.

What will the uniform be like and do I have to buy it?

The uniforms are provided by the hospitals and the style and type depends on the hospital. You usually have to buy your own white shoes or trainers.

Do I need to use an agency - why can't I apply direct to the hospital?

We at Bridgewater do belief that you need to use an agency. You can apply direct to a hospital if you like but that's a bit like representing yourself in court without a solicitor. Commonsense tells you to use a representative if you can and  unlike most solicitors, our services are free.

We have been recruiting candidates for ten years and so we know just who the hospitals are looking for. We know what you should put on your CV and which hospitals you should go for according to your level of experience in order to get the best deal for you. We can also negotiate between yourself and the hospital when misunderstandings  happen. We chase up references like nobody else, can sometimes negotiate a higher salary for you and we make sure you get your ticket and get on that plane. You can't do all of this well if you act alone. What is more, once you have applied to a hospital by yourself and been unsuccessful we cannot then apply to that hospital on your behalf - that is the protocol.

So come to us in the first place and let us be your One Stop Agency for successful job placement in the Middle East. Look upon us as wedding planners, if you like. You can have the hassle of organising the flowers, the cars, the reception, the dresses, the cake and the honeymoon if you want but why suffer the confusion and anxiety. Let us do it for you. We make it easy, we love doing it for you and what's more, it's free.

Will using several recruitment agencies increase my chance of getting a job?

No, it will possibly reduce your chance of getting a job. It is like using a sledge hammer to break a nut. It would not be professional of us to go into the minutae of it - suffice it to say its all to do with presentation and protocol. Choose one agency, there are plenty of good ones out there and not necessarily the big ones.

We recently witnessed the behaviour of one of the big recruitment companies and saw them cause chaos because of their lack of expertise. We at Bridgewater, of course, hope you will chose us to fill all your recruitments needs and make your dreams a reality.

We are probably the best and most trusted recruitment agency in the UK ( the Bahrain Royal family selected us out of all the recruitment companies in the world to be an exclusive supplier of certain types of nurses) with proven results over the last ten years.

Will I get an excess baggage allowance on the plane?

Generally speaking you wont. However, if you have been recruited to the Corniche Hospital they will reimburse you if you go over by 20 kilos.

Will I be able to keep up my Prep.

Yes, most hospitals are keen for you to keep up your study days.

Will I need to keep up my RCN / RCM membership?

This is a personal choice. We are going to check the status of these organisations abroad, in the meantime you will need to check with them yourself.

Do I need personal liability insurance?

No you don't. The hospital has its own cover and this covers you.

Is alcohol banned?

it is not banned in most of the Emirates except Sharjah. However, if you are drunk in public, even if you are doing no real harm, you will be arrested. It is banned in Saudi Arabia.

How long will my probationary period be?

This varies according to the Hospital concerned but it is usually 3 months or 4 months

What will be my notice period.

Again this varies but usually 3 months.

How long are the contracts for?

This depends upon the hospital - some are for one year, some for two years. There are occasional locums of 3 to 6 months.

What happens if I become sick and need urgent medical treatment?

There are two alternatives. You could get a health card and use a local government hospital or if you are working for one of the private hospitals out there, as a member of staff, you will be treated at that hospital.

Can people come and stay with me in the nursing accommodation?

Yes they can.

What is the cost of living like?

It is cheaper than the UK. Gold is about half the UK price and cameras and electrical goods are cheap too - and, of course,  it's normal to bargain to get the price down even further. Restaurant eating is about the same as the UK but takeaways are a lot cheaper than the UK. Local supermarket goods are cheap but imported goods like bacon - you have to pay a bit more for.

As a woman do I have to cover up when I dress?

In the Emirates you don't have to cover up. However, westerners are expected to respect muslim society and flimsy or brazen type dressing would upset the locals and the tutting would be highly audible. In Saudi Arabia women are expected to cover up.

Can I bring my husband or wife and family?

It depends on which hospital has employed you and your contract status.

Will I be in shared accommodation - if so, what does this mean?

You will be in shared accommodation and this means sharing a flat with one or two other people. You will have your own double bedroom and sometimes your own bathroom. Most accommodation is quite luxurious compared to that we have seen for nurses in the UK.

Do I have to furnish my own flat?

If accommodation is provided by the hospital it will be furnished.

How long does it take to fly out ?

Approximately 7 hours.