To outsiders the Middle East might appear a region in turmoil, but to inhabitants with a deeply rooted history in the area it remains a land of immense hope and possibility. Finding work abroad in the Middle East can be the beginning of a tremendous journey if you are willing to put in the effort to learn, adapt, and grow from your surroundings. There are many fruitful jobs abroad in the Middle East available to international workers; it is up to you to make the decision to go out and find one!
The Middle East, or western Asia, is located at the apex of the European, Asian, and African continents. The so-called Fertile Crescent which runs through the heart of the Middle East is considered to be the cradle of civilization, where humanity’s roots can be traced back to their earliest technological innovations such as writing, irrigation, and the wheel. Thousands of years later the Middle East is a highly dynamic region where the world’s spotlight increasingly turns its focus.
There are close to 20 recognized nations in the region, depending on the geographical boundaries which you draw. Some of the most popular countries where international workers look for jobs abroad in the Middle East include Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Parts of the Middle East are currently very volatile due to uprisings amid chronic issues of political and economic instability. Before accepting a job abroad in the Middle East, make certain with your employer and/or jobs abroad program that you will be living in a region which is safe for foreigners to travel to. Despite the international media’s focus on violence in the region, there are still many stable locations where you can enjoy rewarding work abroad in the Middle East.
Jobs in the Middle East
Because the Middle East is very diverse in terms of infrastructural development and economic wealth, you will find an equally wide array of job prospects therein. In the wealthier countries you can work your way up to high level positions in fields such as business, marketing, and finance for very reputable companies. These jobs abroad in the Middle East will typically be selective and require a high level of qualification.
More common are short-term jobs abroad in the Middle East, such as in education or tourism & hospitality. These placements typically last just one or two years and can give you a great taste of what life is like working abroad in the Middle East. You do not necessarily have to have professional experience to work abroad in the Middle East in these areas, though a college degree is often expected.
Lastly, because the Middle East is currently such a hotbed of news and activity, there are many positions available for internationals in journalism, media, and communications. Whether working for local or global organizations, there is important work being done in these fields every day in the Middle East. There are countless ways to work abroad in the Middle East; start by perusing all of our jobs abroad programs on this page!
Salary & Affordability
The salaries and costs of living abroad in the Middle East will vary significantly depending on what country you find yourself in and what job you are working. Overall, foreign employees are generally compensated well in the region, and living expenses are cheaper than in Europe and North America. Your employer may additionally compensate you by covering some of the costs of travel and housing as well.
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodations while you work abroad in the Middle East will generally emphasize safety above all other considerations. In some countries you will be totally safe living in an individual apartment, while in others it is not uncommon for international workers to live in sanctioned compounds where they can feel secure at all times. Talk to your employer about the most common form of housing for international employees in your region.
Visas can be a tricky situation to navigate when you work abroad in the Middle East. You will generally need to have the endorsement of an employer and/or jobs abroad program to apply for residence; the exact details will vary significantly depending on how long you plan on staying and in what country. For more information regarding your specific situation, you can check out GoAbroad's Foreign Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Be Bold. Accepting a job abroad in the Middle East is not for the unadventurous. Amidst cultural shock, language barriers, and regional volatility and you will be challenged in ways that can ultimately define you as a citizen of the world.
Stand Out. Whether you plan on finding work abroad in the Middle East as a short-term solution or a long-term career move, the experience will leap out on paper to future employers.
Break Barriers. The Middle East is a region that has unfairly been antagonized because of the actions of violent radicals and corrupt politicians acting on both sides of the table. You will find everyday people here to be very friendly, hospitable, and ready to connect on a humanizing level.