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Saudi Arabia

About

With long term contracts, a high standard of living, and very attractive compensation packages,

Saudi Arabia could be your next stop for coaching.

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Year round warm temperatures, world leading infrastructure, high wages with low tax, a cosmopolitan city full of life and culture, all your home comforts, plenty of entertainment, safe, clean, organised, everything in English, an excellent location from which to travel the world. Why not turn Dubai into your new home? It's possible to use football to do so! Coaching football in the sun for a living sounds too good to be true, but it is achievable. Dubai doesn't have to be a tourist destination. It can be where you live and work.

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The facts...

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Where is Saudi Arabia?

Dubai is one of seven emirates within the United Arab Emirates. It is practically a city state, located within the Arabian Peninsular, on the Northwest coast of the UAE. The UAE borders Saudi Arabia and Oman. It is just down the coast from Qatar and Bahrain, across the water from Iran, and a short flight from Kuwait.

Basic Facts

  • It takes around seven hours to get there by plane.

  • The time difference to London is three hours in the summer, and four hours in the winter.

  • It is legal to consume alcohol in certain bars and restaurants.

  • The currency is Emirati Dirham (AED).

  • 1AED is usually around £0.20p.

  • The main religion is Islam, with Dubai being one of the least strict locations in the area.

  • Arabic is the main language, with English being widely spoken. All signs are in both languages, and it will be hard to find someone who doesn't speak English.

More Facts

  • Dubai has a population of around 3.3 million people, with only an estimated quarter of a million being Emirati, demonstrating how very cosmopolitan the Emirate is.

  • Dubai is less than 200 years old.

  • The plugs used there are British, so no need for converters.

  • The weekends are Friday and Saturday.

  • Watching European football is very good with the time zones, if you were to work evenings, meaning you'll be getting home in time to watch Champions League games.

  • All your home comforts are there, from Heinz baked beans, to your favourite English chocolate.

  • You'll be familiar with many of the restaurants, with tons of European and North American options, such as Five Guys, Cheesecake Factory, Tim Hortons, and even Nando's.

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The visas...

Hiring in Saudi Arabia

In general, Saudis value personal interaction and want to establish a good rapport with counterparts before they are willing to negotiate agreements. Meetings involve small talk, are prone to frequent interruptions, and can be slow-paced and seem off topic. However, this is the chance to get your relationship on the right footing. After several get-to-know-you meetings, actual business talks can proceed. Saudis do not like giving bad news, so be on the alert for couched terms which really mean ‘no.’ And, do not be surprised if decisions get reversed. Finally, while it is polite to ask after your counterpart’s family, do not ask directly about his wife as doing so would be impolite.

Saudi Arabia has recently strengthened its policy of “Saudization.” Saudization is the national policy of Saudi Arabia to encourage employment of Saudi nationals in the private sector, which is in practice largely dominated by expatriate workers. Due to the policies promoting Saudization, it has become increasingly difficult to sponsor new work permits for employees coming in from outside the country to work in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Sponsoring iqamas and visas for expatriates in Saudi Arabia can be achieved but only at a premium cost. Note also that all new visas have to be advertised to Saudi’s before they can be offered to Expats. As such, it is always better to recruit employees already residing in Saudi Arabia (who already hold an Iqama / Resident work permit) and then transfer those employees to our local partner, and assign the employees to work on behalf of our customer. All matters related to employment contract, work permit sponsorship, and compliance with local HR matters are taken care of by Globalization Partners and our local partners.

The Saudi economy is powered primarily by expatriates, who must have a work and residency permit (Iqama) to work in Saudi Arabia. It is likely that an EXIT ENTRY Visa to leave and re-enter the Kingdom will also be required.

When there is a need for extended duration of an Invitation Visa, an alternative solution could be to issue Multiple Entry “Invitation Work Visit Visas”, which would allow the individual to work in the Kingdom for the validity of the Visa and continually renewed and re-issued in the Country of residence on Expiry. Cost effectiveness and duration of the Visa’s issued depends on the Nationality of the individual. Family Visa’s cannot be issued under this Visa.

The Globalization Partners solution does not require your company (independently) to hire additional employees; our local partner company already has this requirement fulfilled. The Fee structure will however require a contribution to Saudization based on minimum wage unless a Saudi is being employed.

Compensation in Saudi Arabia must be broken down into base salary plus allowances for housing and transportation.

When negotiating terms of an employment contract and offer letter with an employee in Saudi Arabia, it may be useful to keep the following in mind:

Employment Contracts in Saudi Arabia

Best practice is to put a strong, written employment contract in place in Saudi Arabia which spells out the terms of the employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination requirements.  An offer letter and employment contract in Saudi Arabia should always state the salary and any compensation amounts in riyal rather than a foreign currency. The employment contract template is part of the service with Globalization Partners; no need to draft a separate template if you use our employer of record and PEO service in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi nationals who complete three consecutive fixed term contracts or work continuously for four years (whichever is less) will automatically have their contract converted to an unlimited contract.

Working Hours in Saudi Arabia

Saudis generally work a 40-48 hour week. During Ramadan, the work day is reduced to six hours. This is typically applied to all employees, but it is only statutorily required mandatory to provide it to Muslim employees. 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. If employees work more than 40 hours a week they are entitled to overtime, which is time and a half. There is no cap on overtime.

The Saudi weekend is Friday and Saturday.

Holidays in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia celebrates two major religious festivals during the Islamic year:  Eid Al Fitr and Eid al Adha.

The amount of public holidays granted each year is variable and announced by the government.

  • Eid Al-Fitr, which lasts for 3 days, is customarily celebrated for 10 days at the end of the month of Ramadan.

  • Eid Al-Adha lasts for 4 days and is also recognized as a 10 day holiday usually extending from the 5th to the 15th day of the month of Thul-Hijja.

  • Saudis also observe Unification of the Kingdom Day which always falls on September 23rd.

Vacation Days in Saudi Arabia

The statutory minimum vacation leave is 21 days. From the 6th year of employment onward, the statutory minimum is 30 days. It is customary for most employers to provide 30 days of vacation from year 1, with senior management typically receiving 40 or more vacation days. It is permissible to allow carryover of unused time to the next year. It is also permissible to cap carryover.

Employers typically pay for air plane tickets for expatriate employees to go home to visit family on their annual leave.

Muslim employees are generally entitled to Hajj leave after 2 years of continuous employment. The leave may be up to 10 days and can only be taken once in 5 years with the same employer.

Saudi Arabia Sick Leave

Employees are generally allowed up to four months of sick leave, if they provide a medical certificate. Sick leave is paid as follows:

  • First 30 days: 100%

  • 31 to 90 days: 75%

  • 91 days to 120 days: unpaid

Maternity/Paternity Leave in Saudi Arabia

Female employees are generally entitled to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave, up to four weeks may be taken before the birth and at least six of the weeks must be taken after. During this leave, the employee is entitled to half pay if she has been employed for at least one year, and full pay if she has been employed for at least three years from the commencement date of the leave. However, if a female employee takes her annual vacation during the same year as her maternity leave, she will only be entitled during that vacation to half pay or to no pay, depending on whether she received half pay or full pay during her maternity leave. Medical expenses related to pregnancy and delivery must be paid by the employer.

Fathers are eligible for three days of paid paternity leave.

Health Insurance in Saudi Arabia

While medical and hospital care is provided for free through the national system for Saudi citizens, Employers are obligated to provide Private health insurance to all employees and their dependents (Expat and Locals) and will be provided under our Global Employer of Record solution.

Saudi Arabia Supplementary Benefits

Some common benefits include supplementary health insurance, travel tickets home for vacation, education expenses, retirement plans, mobile phones, housing allowances, and transportation allowances. Generally, we recommend budgeting 25% for benefits on top of the gross salary (gross salary defined as being inclusive of housing allowances or other allowances, for our purposes) to allocate the total employer’s cost including benefits in Saudi Arabia.

Termination/Severance in Saudi Arabia

Probation periods of up to 90 days are allowed in Saudi Arabia. If both the employer and the employee agree, the period can be extended an additional 90 days. Probationary periods are not a statutory requirement.

Employees with unlimited contracts are entitled to receive 60 days’ notice. Employees with other contracts are entitled to 30 days’ notice. If proper notice is not given, the parties can agree to compensation instead. During the notice period, employees may use 8 hours of work time per week to find alternate employment. There is not notice period for definite contracts as it is rare to have a valid reason for ending a definite contract early.

When an employment contract ends, an employee is entitled to an “end-of-service award” equal to one-half of one month’s wages for each of the first 5 years of employment and a full month’s wages for each year of employment thereafter, pro-rated for any partial year’s service.

Paying Taxes in Saudi Arabia

Employers must pay Saudi social insurance tax (GOSI) on behalf of their employees. The contributions are levied on basic salary, including housing allowances and certain commissions. This can be estimated at 10% of the employer’s cost.

Employers must pay contributions for occupational hazards insurance at a rate of 2% for both Saudi and non-Saudi employees.

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In their own words...

 

Why did you choose Dubai?

  • Positive destination and good opportunity for salary and full time coaching.

  • Because they have a vision.

  • The weather and lifestyle is great, along with the fact it is safe.

  • More facilities for sports.

  • Seemed like a place where football had the opportunity to grow.

What is the best thing about living in Dubai?

  • The opportunity to meet new cultures and different people, and the weather of course is fantastic.

  • The salary is good. Overall lifestyle is great. Meeting different nationalities and people from different backgrounds. The cleanliness of the whole place.

  • The weather in the winter period, and the ability to travel from Dubai airport.

  • Multi cultural society, changing landscape and opportunities.

What took some getting used to after moving to Dubai?

  • Adapting to the culture and you are very much there to work. It’s a very work driven culture and expect a lot. Also, Summers of 48 degrees!

  • The crazy roads out here! No one indicates.

  • The Dubai life style. Back in the UK you have to do everything yourself. Out in Dubai, everything is done for you.

  • The summer heat.

  • Coaching a range of nationalities within a squad and the desire to win outweighs all else.

What is the standard of football like in Dubai?

  • Depends on what academy you’re working with. Most academies have their “high performance” groups as they like to call it. That is a very similar standard your good/very good kids in UK.

  • There is also a lot of recreational based sessions so be expected to work with all abilities (foundation). These type of sessions will more than likely make up your session load. Lots of engagement/fun based sessions to help improve FUNdamentals.

  • Its good but its lower than UK standard!

  • Asian; acceptable. Globally; they have taken advanced steps.

  • It is okay. Not as competitive as Europe or the UK. But still has players who understand the game.

  • Within the Pro League - better than people think. Under that it is vary varied. Some top ex-pros playing in amateur leagues for fun. Private academies using it as a springboard for Europe, all in the same league as Sunday league shitkickers.

  • Differs. There is a lot of grassroots school schools/mass participation. But there are a lot of talented, smart players here.

What are some key cultural differences in Dubai that someone may need to beware of before moving?

  • You need an alcohol licence if you are a resident. There are certain laws around marriage etc. Who you know goes a long way over there. Very much money focused place in a thriving environment.

  • Football is pretty much commercial based over there so competing from a business/marketing prospective with other academies. Be prepared for some discussions around marketing/business strategy to increase participation.

  • Be respectful and don't be seen drunk on the streets of Dubai.

  • Islamic country, but very liberal and modern. Just respect the laws, as you would back in your own country.

  • In the Pro League, Div 1, Div 2 you cannot treat match officials like they are in the UK. The disrespect could get you into a lot of trouble, especially for using loud swearing.

 

Have you been able to forge a social life in Dubai?

  • Yes lots of expat groups and lots of community based groups.

  • Yes! Its easy to make new mates and have a social life.

  • Not really. But is to do with myself. But others can easily forge a social life, especially through football.

  • I work a lot with the local population. Throughout my 5 years here I have been to 1 brunch. I see so many Brits waste their times and money there getting drunk. Due to the climate it can then take 3-4 days to fully recover from a hangover. If you put the hard work in, genuinely help people through your work and take opportunities whilst other people are loving their social time, you get ahead. That’s not to say it’s all work no play. I turned my work into play and I get involved in amazing experiences that I cannot back home; camel racing, falcon racing, desert camping, jet skiing etc.

  • Yes, huge expat community that is extremely welcoming.

How safe and welcome do you feel in Dubai?

  • Very safe to be there. You feel very protected and great standard of housing and schooling if company help you.

  • Very safe. Uber gets me from A to B for less than £20.

  • Safest place on the planet for me and especially women too.

  • From my previous experience I think it's amazing.

  • Very safe and welcome.

  • I’m from the UK, I’ve visited 50 countries. I live in New Zealand and I can tell you the UAE is the safest country I’ve visited. Switzerland and Iceland would be next.

  • Really its a safe country.

  • 4th country I’ve coached and worked in and Dubai is by far the safest!

What changes do you see happening in the future of Dubai football?

  • Lots of football academies and some very good progressive academies. More qualifications and openings/partnerships with local professional clubs.

  • Great opportunity to go and develop in a fanatic place.

  • More sports academies an bigger complexes being built.

  • Right now, not that much. The city and the country are not sports minded like the UK. There is no proper pyramid structure or grassroots leagues.

  • The FA has just allowed foreign ownership of clubs in its two top divisions for the first time ever this season, with Gulf Heroes and Dubai City FC participating in Division 1.

  • More foreign ownership of clubs, more foreign players. This could mean more spectators at games if for example Dubai City FC (British ran club) markets itself well with the Brit Ex-pat community.

  • The standard of play will also increase as Non-EU passport holders in particular Brazilians and Africans use this place as a means of getting a UAE resident permit as it’s then easier to get an EU tourist visa to go on trial in Europe.

  • Landscape of football is massively shifting in Dubai. Been fortunate to be at the heart of it and the changes have massively affected grassroots roots and now affecting UAE FA.

If you had to convince someone to come to Dubai, what would you tell them?

  • I was there for 5 years and never looked back. To work FT in football with a diverse audience was great. I learned a lot about myself by just doing it. Day off at the beach on your doorstep isn’t a bad shout ether.

  • I progressed from head coach to academy manager within 4 years of being there.

  • Take the risk! After the first week, you'll thank me!

  • A place to make dreams come true.

  • It is a nice place, quality of life is so much more better.

  • Even 1 year of work here will change your outlook on life and your range of skills that you can use within your work for the future - BUT ONLY if you get out of the expat bubble.

  • Best place to work and live.

  • Best advise I would ever give a young coach is to leave the UK and work abroad. Dubai is the perfect place for this due to the environment.

What are some of the misconceptions you have been presented with in regards to Dubai?

  • Financially can be difficult to set up. Lots of deposits required upfront and very expensive lifestyle to keep up with (my advice would be to by entertainer voucher).

  • 12,000 AED looks a lot on paper for example but it definitely takes time to adapt how expensive it is to be over there. Get use to £5 for margarine for example.

  • People saying its strict when its really not! Everyone is polite and helpful!

  • That it is hot all year round. That is not true. Only 4 months of the year. The other 8 months, it is great weather, if not perfect!

  • UAE Nationals are all obese and lazy. There are some top local players and a massive fitness/endurance sports scene here that’s driven by the locals. Whilst most of the Brits are hiding inside AC and sleeping off hangovers people are exercising in 40 degrees and 80% humidity in the summer.

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The jobs...

Pro Clubs

The standard of the UAE pro league is growing. More international coaches and players are moving across every year, and Dubai is serious about investment in sport. In Dubai you have Al Nasr, Al Wasl, and Shabab Al Ahli. You may have heard of Al Ain from the Emirate of Al Ain, famously defeating River Plate before losing to Real Madrid in the final of the 2018 World Club Cup. Also check out Dubai City, a club that features many Brits, working their way up the leagues.

Pro clubs occasionally recruit throughout the year, for all positions from first team coaches, to academy staff, and all other positions such as analysts, sport scientists, and technical directors. Like in most parts of the world, opportunities in football still go to who you know more than what you know. This is why it's better to be on the ground in the location, impress locally, and then work your way up while making good connections.

PE Teaching

PE teaching for many is still seen as a doss. It's a serious job that requires a lot of time and effort, not quite getting the respect it deserves. There are many large private international schools in Dubai. These cater to quite well-to-do families, and as such, their facilities are often out of this world. As you can imagine, working as a PE teacher in an amazing place like Dubai is a very competitive market. Many of the professionals who work over there are great candidates, who perform good work and end up staying for many years. The pathway is to progress to Head of PE. Depending upon the school, the holidays can be good, and Dubai is an excellent place to travel from. Packages regularly include a good tax free salary upward of £2,000 per month, with accommodation and transport provided, health insurance, visas, a financial reward at the end of the contract, and likely a place in the school for a child or two. You'll need a PGCE and QTS as a minimum. It will also be beneficial to have a degree in a sport related subject, as well as some basic coaching qualifications.

Example of a PE teaching job at a secondary school:

PE Teacher ( Female) (F/T)

Jeddah Prep and Grammar seeks an experienced and fully qualified Physical Education Teacher with QTS for an immediate start if possible.

Prior experience of teaching within the British Curriculum to pupils from Key Stage 2 up to Key Stage 5 (A Level) is highly desirable. Previous employment in the UK or fully accredited International Schools following a British curriculum is also required.

Jeddah Prep and Grammar School is an ambitious and aspirational school, with a shared vision of academic excellence and personal development and challenge for all our pupils, from the ages of three to eighteen. We are a proud member of BSO, COBIS, CAIE, BSME, SAIKAC and the International Award (DofE).

About Jeddah Prep and Grammar School

The School was established in 1967 to serve the needs of the British and Dutch expatriate communities in Jeddah. Today, JPGS welcomes expatriate and Saudi Arabian families alike, with students from a wide range of nationalities whilst retaining a family and community atmosphere. The School is heavily oversubscribed with waiting lists in almost all year groups. Children in the Prep School follow a modified version of the Cambridge Primary Programme; whilst the Grammar School prepares pupils for Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) IGCSEs and International A Levels.

The School is located in the heart of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s most cosmopolitan and diverse city, where an ultra-modern cityscape lies close to the UNESCO old city of Al-Balad, a piece of old Arabia at its best. Jeddah lies on the Red Sea coast, boasting some of the best private beaches and unspoiled scuba diving to found in the world, and is not far from extensive areas of mountains and desert which offer endless opportunities for outdoor activities and unique cultural experiences.

Salary and Benefits

JPGS offers colleagues a highly competitive, tax-free salary with generous end of service benefits, accommodation on or near to the School campus, a relocation allowance, free tuition at the School for up to two children, BUPA Gold Medical Insurance and annual flight allowances. The school has excellent facilities and is fully resourced throughout.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please click the 'Apply Now' button.

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Example of a coaching job

JOB TITLE: Academy Coach

LOCATION: Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia

 

REPORTS TO: Head Coach

CONTRACT: 6 Aug 2022 – 3 June 2023 (10 months contract)

SALARY PACKAGE: 6000 SAR per month, shared accommodation and car, medical insurance, flights and visa

 

APPLICATION CLOSING DATE: 30th June 2022

JOB DESCRIPTION

Plan, prepare and deliver age appropriate sessions in-line with the Juventus Academy methodology for players aged from 4-18 years. Focus on the holistic development of EVERY CHILD from beginner through to advance.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Deliver high quality age appropriate sessions in-line with the Juventus Academy Philosophy

  • Use appropriate and varied coaching behaviours linked to the Juventus SFERA approach to ensure all sessions are providing an ‘engaging learning environment’

  • Take responsibility for the development of every player within sessions independent of age or ability. Desire and commitment to work with players across all ages from 4-18 years ensuring progress across the 4 corners of development; technical, psychological, physical and social.

  • Identify and support the development of player pathways between development and advanced groups.

  • Maintain the highest professional standards representing the values of Juventus Academy at all times.

  • Undertake all administrative duties, maintain clear session logs of all training and game activities.

  • Attend all relevant meetings and briefings.

  • Flexible and adaptable approach to take on additional responsibilities as required for the growth of the Academy.

 

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED Essential

  • UEFA B Licence / FA Level 2

  • Valid Emergency Aid & Safeguarding certificates

  • Valid CRB/DBS Check

  • Full UK Driving Licence

  • FA Coach Licenced maintaining CPD

Desirable

  • FA Goalkeeping Awards

KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

  • Experience of working with mixed ability level players ranging from 4-18 years

  • Interpersonal skills working with stakeholders and members

PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Desire to learn, understand and deliver the Juventus Academy methodology and SFERA coaching values

  • Committed, passionate individual with a strong personality and desire to develop young players of all abilities

  • Retain the highest professional standards at all times

  • Adaptable and flexible approach to explore and work within a different cultural setting

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Articles and interviews...

 

Read about and listen to those who have been there and done it. Learn from their successes and failures. The best coaches are often the most happy to share and empower others. Here are a handful who know Saudi Arabia well.

Over 12 Years at Southampton FC & Landed at Dubai City FC - Sam White

Neil Ormond's Coaching Journey - Current Destination Dubai

#82 BFCN #56 Coaching in Dubai - Conor Doyle (also available on YouTube)

#97 BFCN #68 Pompey Hall of Fame, England Beach Soccer, PE Teaching in Dubai - Gemma Hillier

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