The city’s natural oasis and cultural reputation has seen its tourist industry thrive. Visitors from Oman and the UAE flock to Al Ain at the weekends (Friday and Saturday) to take advantage of the clean air, mineral waters, theme parks and shopping areas.
Its strategic location meant that it was once a popular trading route for residents of the Gulf peninsular, and it is still considered to be one of the UAE’s foremost commercial centers.
The main industry in the UAE is the petroleum/petrochemical, and it is bound to be the local leading sectors also for the next years.
Al Ain is arguably the educational hub of the UAE. The United Arab Emirates University is headquartered here, as are the country’s Higher Colleges of Technology, Etihad’s flight school and Tawan Teaching Hospital.
There are plenty of jobs for expats living in Al Ain, particularly among the English-speaking population. Skilled workers are always in demand, and the incentives are highly competitive for expatriate doctors, nurses, teachers and engineers. Service sector is acquiring more and more importance and the demand for workforce in this field is growing.
Non-skilled workers will find it easy to get work in the construction industry, although this sector is relatively under-regulated and can require long days working in the desert sun. Moreover, manufacturing and production sectors are in decline.
Try browsing popular UAE-based job sites such as Bayt, gulftalent, and GN careers. Dubizzle.com (the UAE equivalent of Gumtree or Craigslist) is also a good place to find job openings in Al Ain and beyond.
The UAE has won a reputation among expats as being one of the most tax-friendly places to work – and Al Ain is no exception. In short, expats don’t pay any tax in Al Ain, as long as they are registered in the UAE under the correct visa requirements. Most expats are paid in the local currency — dirhams — which has historically held its value well against the dollar, pound and euro. However, the cost of living can be high, and many expats find that their tax-free salary doesn’t allow them to save quite as much as they had hoped. It is worth enquiring about health and insurance benefits with your employer, as these can be expensive for expats. It is worth putting aside a personal emergency fund, equal to what you would otherwise pay in taxes, to help in times of need.