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Florence of Arabia

FLORENCE OF ARABIA: NURSING IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. By Ian and Karen Johnson.
 
Peter O'Toole leading a group of parched Arabs across an endless desert under an unforgiving sun. Stories of errant individuals being flogged for drinking alcohol. Two British nurses pardoned in shame after the puzzling murder of a colleague. Which of these is your image of Arabia?
 
All are misleading but let's begin by making a distinction. The United Arab Emirates, the country, which our organisation mainlyy recruits nurses and doctors for, is not the same country as Saudi Arabia. Alcohol is legal in the U.A.E.. Nurses definitely do not bump each other off in the Emirates. There is desert land, of course, but there are also luxurious developed cities where every building has air conditioning.
 
The U.A.E could probably now be regarded as a first world country. It has advanced hospitals with the best medical staff in the world (many British). Its infant mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world. It has good schools both private and government run which enters their pupils for British O levels and A levels.
 
The United Arab Emigrates is also one of the safest countries in the world. A woman can walk through Abu Dhabi (the capital) on her own at 2 a.m in the morning and feel safe. Try doing that in London or any other big British city! Property is also safe - cars can be left unlocked.The United Arab Emirates is a safe place to be. Not only that but the people working there perceive it to be safe and feel safe. (See the testimonials from nurses on the Success Stories page)
 
The great thing about the U.A.E. is that it offers terrific fun and a superb lifestyle. There is a British community out there, which offers comradeship and a wide variety of things to do. There is water skiing, scuba diving, boat racing or just plain sunbathing. Yes, women can wear bikinis (on selected beaches) and reasonable clothing on the street. There are many restaurants and it seems as if every country in the world offers its cuisine here. You can, of course, get yourself a MacDonalds if you wish. Take away food prices are very cheap. The price of alcohol is about the same as in Britain but if you are a woman you can drink for free on many of the 'ladies nights' organised here.
 
There are plenty of shopping malls, which are equal to and pre-date many of the British ones like the famous Trafford centre. There are a variety of shops; all the way from Versace and Chanel to Woolworth's and the Co-op. There is even a Marks and Spencer.
 
A recently qualified nurse can have an especially good life in the U.A.E.. In Britain she might be on a 'D' grade (the starting grade for staff nurse) after two years post training experience. In the U.A.E. she would earn a good tax-free salary. Her accommodation is paid for by the hospital, so all she has to buy is her food. The rest is all disposable income (some hospitals charge for utilities). Cars, petrol, gold and electrical goods are all very cheap. More experienced nurses naturally can earn a lot more.
 
Our latest recruit is Bethan Griffiths a Cardiff woman who has taken a position at the Al Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi. Bethan has spent the last few years as a manager of a hospital in Wales and is now having a great time in the UAE. She says "Work is really interesting... as you said, the shops here are great... learning about the different cultures and my arabic is coming on well". She is a true Florence of Arabia !
 
If you are interested in working in the U.A.E. as nurse, doctor or paramedic you can contact Ian or Karen at Bridgewater International Recruitment Direct on 01942 873158 (telephone) 01942 896946 (fax) birdrecruit@blueyonder.co.uk (e mail)
 


 
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