Got any gossip? Tip off the Taxiwallah: alaintaxi@gmail.com

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Brain Drain of Al Ain

In fact, it is the same ego that when offering a prospective employee a salary and benefits package, there is the air of "TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT". (That is another story entirely that is going to come crashing down on the UAE...it's called the brain drain.)

Says Dubai Bigus in a post about consumer rights in the UAE. It's interesting that they've mentioned the 'brain drain' that's going on, because living in Al Ain and knowing many academics (UAEU/HCT) and doctors (Tawam) that work here, I know exactly what they're talking about.

I remember once upon a time there was a brain drain in the UK. Academics with the ink still drying on their PhD certificates would say goodbye to their Alma Mater and head for pastures foreign to earn much more that they could in the motherland. One such country to benefit was the UAE. The UAE got wise to this and decided that it wouldn't take much of an incentive to get the brains to come to the country; maybe free housing would do it, no need to raise the salary because it was tax free anyway. As we all know, the stream of western academics wanting to come to the UAE is endless, right? You can raise their living standards a tinsy bit more than what they would have back home and they'd all come running, right?

Wrong. People are getting fed up. They were fed on the promise of a 15% pay rise. It never came. Rumours spread that the cost of living was going to rise, that came.

The result is that it seems half of Al Ain is packing up and going home this summer. Which leaves what? A few die-hards that are committed to health care and education in this country and the rest who couldn't get out this year but are trying for the next.

You pay people a good salary and they will stay and work their b***s off. You keep chipping away at people's benefits and they will leave. Then who will heal the sick and teach the young?

Labels: , ,


Blogger Seabee said...

Seems to me there's a problem in the not-too-distant future with this. The days of the extensive expat package seem to have ridden off into the sunset. Now it's salary full stop. Or if you're lucky, salary plus an accommodation allowance - but without any annual increase written in to keep up with the permitted 15% hohoho annual rent rise.
From Forums I'm involved with it seems the whole world wants to move to Dubai for a better job/income/life. But when we answer their questions about cost of living,especially accommodation, schooling, medical, they work out their numbers - and they don't work out.
OK for people starting out maybe - flat sharing, building a career, no responsibilities and all that, but experienced top-level people have other more attractive options available to them.
The ones who are here leave, no-one at the same level wants to take their place...not a good scenario.

3/04/2006 09:24:00 pm  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

Will the last person to leave the UAE please turn off the AC...

I agree that the UAE is still favourable for people with no responsibilities at the start of their careers or people nearing retirement. However, that leaves a huge skills and knowledge gap which is not good news for this country. There's still many years to go until complete 'Emiratisation'.

I can't understand how fake islands in the ocean are continuing to be built while the education and systems are brinking on a crisis.And don't even get me started on the pay and conditions for teachers and doctors in he government schools and hospitals here.

3/05/2006 08:16:00 am  
Blogger UaE MaX said...

the pay, for emarati doctors at least, is much better than in uk.

a junior doctor receives AED12k/month, on the other hand an average of 2400 pound/month in uk

its even better for teachers.

i dont think expats will be packing out of the country anytime soon, not europians anyways. maybe north american as life in usa is much better financially.

3/06/2006 10:39:00 pm  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

UAE Max,

Using today's pound/dirham exchange rate the doctor's salary comparison works out the same. In fact, the UK junior doctor is 500 pounds better off if you're talking about salary after tax and no difference if you take that 500 away as tax deducted.

The only difference are any fringe benefits the doctor may receive here such as free housing and health insurance. Free housing is great but the house is never yours, so many expats are paying mortgages back home to stay on the property ladder so take that out of the 12000 AED a month salary and theres not a great deal left.

What I am saying is the benefits of living out here are getting less and less. It's becoming a choice of being skint in the UAE or being skint in Europe.

It's even better for teachers

Not the ones working at government schools for 3000 AED a month it isn't.

No wonder they're not managing to recruit the best if that's what they're paying. Bad teachers = bad education. Not all Emiratis can afford to send their kids to private schools.

3/07/2006 08:10:00 am  
Blogger UaE MaX said...

well, 12000 dirham in UAE makes alot, while 2400 pounds a month in london is like AED 5000 in uae ! more than 1/2 of it goes on the rent, unless u wana live in areas like hackney.

at the same time the average price for flats in london is around 200K now(although its difficult to find anything decent for less than 300K), while 200K pounds in dubai can get u a brand new flat! with a stunning view.
i understand foreigners still cant own properties in most of the emirates, but if they just wana stay on the ladder they can always buy a property in their homeland while working in the emirates

Al Ain Taxi said:
"Not the ones working at government schools for 3000 AED a month it isn't."

i can assure u that no emarati teacher working in government schools receives less than 6000 dirham. male or female, married or not( the salary goes up to 18000!). and, just last week, they were given 3000 shares each in the new telecommunication company!.
in the emirate of AD, they also receive sh. khalifa raise for teachers, which is around 2000 a month i think. there is also hamdan bin rashed award for teachers, prizes around aed30K.

3/07/2006 12:00:00 pm  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

Hi UAE Max,

I was thinking more of the expat teachers as opposed to the Emirati ones. I know that there are qualified egyptian teachers working in a special needs school here for 3000 a month. The filipino 'helpers' get 800.

The private schools pay better, the western private schools the most be even then the UK qualified teachers are getting 8000 max.

The deals for emirati teachers sound good, I guess to encourage them into the profession. It makes sense in the long term: encourage emiratis into the teaching profession and replace the expats by paying them less and less...

3/11/2006 12:36:00 pm  
Blogger GMJ said...

theres obvious discrimination and its based on the color of your eyes and skin. no offence, but i work in Al Ain at one of the sectors you mentioned. yes locals have some benifits, but i see westerners get the better package.

and i think the rumour was 10% for non-nationals and 15% for nationals. either one, we still didnt get that raise.

4/19/2006 03:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Pakistani physician currently working in the US. I have been offered a job at Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Comparing the salary, I will be making a few thousand dollars more per month if I move. Not sure if this is worth uprooting myself from a settled position and moving. The cost of living seems to be pretty high in the UAE. The hospital told me that there may be a 10-15% raise coming up in the near future. Does anybody know anything about a raise? BTW Al-Mafraq is a govt. hospital.

8/28/2007 08:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the salary here in mafraq is satisfactory for a beginner. the housing allowance is too low if you are single so you are forced to stay in the accomodation the hospital is providing right just infront of it. HOUSING HERE REALLY SUCKS! imagine you are not allowed to have your own satellite installed. i'm an expat dying to hear all the news from my country but the housing in charge, an egyptian, repeatedly refused for the installation of TFC whereas he has his own connection of TFC in his accomodation. Wish we can just go directly to the administration to tell them about this!

11/24/2007 02:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

home based work-

-Cash Making Opportunities - The Beginning The working life is already tough enough, but the worries of being out of work was even tougher. The unsecured working environment have prompted me to search the internet for an alternative source of extra income so that I could learn how to Make Money Work for me and be Financially Independent. I listed down a number of Free Internet Business Opportunity Ideas while researching ways how people earn money online while working-from-home.......


1/19/2010 02:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i m a physician and i was offereda job in tawam hospital in al ain. i m considering to move from us.
Any advise about what to exoect????
the salary is very good compared to us.I have a family which they will be also moving with me.

10/30/2011 10:51:00 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home