All changes for women in the UAE

It will likely be the most amazing time of your life, moving to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to live, work and maybe bring up your family. New sights, sounds, culture and so much more are all waiting for you to discover, experience and to enjoy.

But there will be worries, too, including finding the right school for the children, the language barrier, sorting out the household finances and figuring out the simple tasks like shopping for the daily necessities. Yes, so much taken for granted back home will suddenly present themselves as real challenges, but that’s part and parcel of the excitement of moving to a foreign land.

All changes for women in the UAE

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Hopefully, you’ll have sorted out the banking arrangements well in advance of your intended departure date. If not then you need to be talking to your bank about setting up an international or offshore account so there’s somewhere to pay the salary into every month. HSBC, Barclays and a number of other multinationals have strong and enduring ties to the UAE and are experts in the field.

And while you’re at the bank, why not check if there’s a better deal to be had on your credit card? After all, it costs nothing to ask. At the very least, it’s a couple of problems you won’t have to be dealing with when you start your new life.

The UAE is home to tens of thousands of expats from the States and elsewhere, many of whom work in the oil and gas sector. Hundreds of American firms are also based in the UAE, attracted in part by the country’s central location which allows them easy access to the wider region and its markets.

No longer solely confined to the domestic role, women in the UAE have made huge inroads into the workplace in recent years and are to be found in all areas of the economy and life in general. Indeed, the UAE constitution guarantees equal rights for both men and women in terms of legal status, claim to titles, access to education and the right to practice the same professions as men.

They are also guaranteed the same access to employment, health and family welfare facilities, says the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations. The rights of women to inherit property are also guaranteed and ensured. Literacy rates for women are now over 90%  and there are more UAE national women in higher education than men. UAE women graduates are also to be found working in a whole range of areas including in government, engineering, science, health care, media, computer technology, law, commerce and the oil industry.

According to the UAE Permanent Mission, employers are prohibited from firing or threatening to fire a female employee on the basis of pregnancy, delivery or parenting. Maternity leave in the public sector is two to six months. While on maternity leave, a woman is entitled during the first two months to full pay, the third and fourth months to half salary and the last two months to no pay. A woman is entitled to take one paid hour break from work per day for 18 months to nurse her baby.

Click here for more information on women in the UAE.

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