Working in the Middle East – 6 Things They Don’t Tell You
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Working in the Middle East comes with its challenges. However, you will need to remember that you’ve chosen to take the leap to the Middle East because you are a thrill seeker and because you want to experience life in a foreign country! I have personally spent over a year “feet on the ground” as a security consultant in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and enjoyed (almost) every second of it.
1. You will experience a TON of cultures.
Working in the Middle East will teach you that each culture works at its own pace. Most importantly, you will learn that everyone is in the Middle East for the same reason you are… To work hard and to play hard! Don’t be surprised if your team consists of Filipinos, Indians, Sudanese, Jordanians, Americans, and Canadians as seen in the friendly picture below.
2. The work week is Sunday – Thursday!
Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” needs a needs a Middle Eastern touch-up! Since so much business takes place in the major Middle Eastern cities (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha to name a few) you will be able to find something fun to do every night of the week… But Thursday is the night to go buck-wild.
3. You may have to take a “desert deuce”…
You’re going to try a lot of new food while you’re in the Middle East and going number 2 in the middle of the desert is something that may have to happen. You will feel exposed, scared, and a little confused. But once it’s done you will feel pretty damn good about yourself!
4. You’ll see things that will blow your mind!
Keep your eyes peeled as you travel to and from the office, every day is a new adventure in the Middle East! Don’t be surprised if you see an abandoned Mercedes Benz on the side of the road or a three year old standing out of the sunroof of a fast moving Land Cruiser.
5. Safety isn’t always the top priority.
Be careful. I have seen some pretty scary work conditions while working in the Middle East. It seems like there is an “every man for himself” mentality. For example, here I am climbing a hundred-foot tower with my makeshift harness…
6. You will come home with some amazing stories.
Seriously. Like this one time my friend, who will remain nameless, almost got put away in a Qatari prison.