Working as an Oracle consultant in the United Arab Emirates

Bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman, the United Arab Emirates is a regional hub of finance, investment and technology, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi being the largest and wealthiest cities. Globally ranked as 13th GDP per capita, the country is an attractive location for ex-pats to work based on the salaries, 0% income tax and the overall quality of life in the UAE.

Oracle day rates and salaries

As with any highly developed nation, there are many opportunities for highly skilled Oracle consultants. You will likely be working in the oil and gas industry, manufacturing, retail, banking or airline industries.

The positions we are regularly asked to fill are typically fixed-term contracts or permanent roles. The contract roles can vary from a few months to a year or more, depending on project requirements. In our experience, Oracle Consultants are happy to extend their work in the UAE.

Take-home salaries for permanent European workers tend to be higher than in the UK, mainly due to income tax exemption. Salaries and day rates can vary depending on your nationality. Most contracts in the UAE include expenses, which can vary from client to client.

Working culture

There are lots of similarities between working in the UAE and western countries, but there are also some local customs that are worth considering:

  • Businesses are based on personal relationships. It is important to be patient and not try to rush agreements.
  • When attending a meeting, the attire is suited for both men and women, although some businessmen wear traditional robes instead.
  • Some conservative women may not be comfortable shaking hands with men. Therefore, it is best to allow them to offer their hand first.
  • Arabic speakers and residents have an advantage when filling a job role, as companies prefer individuals who understand the working culture.
  • Business cards with details in both Arabic and English are recommended, as it will open more doors.


There is no income tax for Oracle consultants in the UAE.  However, it is recommended to research whether you are required to pay taxes in your country of origin, as some countries require you to report taxes on your worldwide income.

Working hours/days

The working days are Sunday to Thursday, being Friday the main day of rest. Working hours are usually between 8 am and 6 pm, depending on the company. During Ramadan – a 30-day religious holiday – the working pattern reduces to 6 hours daily.

Visas and work permits

Visas are usually arranged by employers or recruitment agencies via visa partners. Visas are relevant to a particular job. Therefore, if you are changing jobs, you will be required to apply for a new visa.

Languages and population

Emiratis represent only 10% of the country’s population, and the rest are foreigners from various Asian countries and Europe.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are very cosmopolitan cities where English is widely spoken. Persian, Hindi and Urdu are also very popular languages due to the high diversity in the population.

We recommend learning a few words in Arabic, the local language.

Local currency

The local currency is the United Arab Emirate Dhiram, commonly abbreviated as AED, Dhs or DH.

Cost of living and accommodation

Abu Dhabi is the most expensive city in the UAE, followed by Dubai. The cost of living is roughly 20% lower than in London. You will find rent comparably cheaper than in a city such as London.


Travelling in big cities is easy with great underground and tram infrastructures and many taxi services. Roads are also in very good condition and hiring drivers at a low rate is common. Driving is permitted for foreigners with a local driving licence.

Local culture

The Emirati culture is considered Arabic culture, with traditions that go back many generations, when locals would encounter travellers in the desert welcoming them with generosity. Current hospitality traditions range from serving Arabic coffee or introducing local food, lifestyle or family members to high standards of modern service, such as providing you with a driver or a private tour guide.

Whilst Dubai is a fun and fast-paced city, Abu Dhabi has a slower pace and a more family-friendly environment. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are modern cities with a wide range of leisure activities, mostly indoors and in air-conditioned buildings due to the high temperatures. The Emirati lifestyle involves lots of shopping and socialising, with a wide range of shopping malls, restaurants and even indoor snowboarding. Still, they also take pride in their fantastic beaches and national parks. Find out more about outdoor activities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The law in the UAE is strict. Therefore we recommend reading up before travelling.

Food and drink

Due to the harsh desert conditions, traditional food has included meat, grains and dairy for centuries and is still part of their traditional dishes.  As the Emirates are near the ocean, seafood and fish are also popular, and it is common to see fish markets in the town centre. You can easily find food from many different nationalities worldwide in the more modern areas.

Alcohol can only be consumed in restaurants, golf clubs, nightclubs and bars – usually linked to hotels. To buy alcohol in local shops, you must have a license.

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