25 Be bank-savvy
Gulf banking and personal finance takes some getting used to. Bank facilities depend on residence and employment, and lapsing of these visas can lead to accounts being frozen – even if they are cash-full. Bounced cheques can lead to immediate arrest. Timing and advice are all-important. “There is no reason for anybody to get in trouble with their bank if they take care of the details,” says Maryam Al Hadawi of Emirates Bank.
26 … and have back-up
To be on the safe side, keep a UK or European account topped up with cash and ATM-access facilities just in case you need some cash urgently.
27 Rest on a Friday
Sunday is a working day across the Gulf, with stock markets and other business premises open. But the official weekend varies. In Saudi Arabia, Thursday and Friday are weekend days while other places vary. Check local convention before organising your working week but remember: Friday – Muslim holy day – is a non-working day everywhere.
Don’t panic: it might all seem disconcertingly strange at first but most people find working in the Gulf to be a mind-expanding and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
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