MESSAGES from OUR FITNESS and SPORTS GIRLS working in the SUN

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      Sarah Al Hamed
 

When I accepted a position in the Middle East, I came for an initial 2 year contract enroute to USA, Australia or Canada; the major fitness industry countries. 28 years later I'm still here! I now have my own fitness centre in Bahrain and enjoy a comfortable, safe and privileged lifestyle.

I have worked in UK and the Far East also, but in comparison, the lifestyle and balance of life is much higher in this Arabic region. Both the local and the Expatriate communities are pleasant and tolerant of a multi-national community which is incomparable to the rest of the world. For those with drive, determination and the right mind-set, the Middle-East is a great way to 'Fast-Track' your experience and career to the next level, plus the support you get from Simon at SPORTSJOBS4WOMEN is great. He was there at the other end of the phone if I ever needed advice or a pep talk.


Sarah Al Hamad, Managing Director
Life-Fit Fitness Centre
Bahrain

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After being hired by SportsJobs4Women (SJ4W) in 2013 I've had many opportunities that I would never have thought possible in Saudi Arabia. Working in the Eastern Province at the Head Office of the biggest oil company in the World has been a privilege and something that will stay in my memory for a very long time to come. I've made friends for life through the various activities that I have been involved in whilst here. I've learned to sail and taken part in various Touch Rugby Tournaments in and around the Middle East, all of which I would never have done had I stayed in the U.K.

Being in the Middle East means you're already closer to the rest of the World. Whilst here I have travelled to Australia, UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), Bahrain (which is just a short car ride away) and Europe. I have also travelled within the Magic Kingdom itself, which has some really beautiful landmarks and old forts that are a must see. I was privileged to travel to Yanbu, which is in the west of Arabia for work. There is so much more to see and do in Saudi that the news outlets don't show you. This has most certainly made my stay in Saudi Arabia so much more interesting.

During my time here, there have been many work colleagues who have come out with SportsJobs4Women and have all had a positive impact on the work and social environment. The Contract Manager on this project is from the U.K., as are most of the supervisors for the oil company, so they all make you feel very welcome.

My sole purpose for coming out here was not motivated by money, it was purely to work in a country that is closed, which most people don't get to experience. I came out here thinking I would take over a successful Learn-to-Swim Program and put my stamp on it, when I got here there was nothing in place so I started from scratch at introducing a comprehensive program that catered for all experience levels from children through to adults. The Learn-to-Swim Program is now at a point where I am happy that it is moving in the right direction and clear results can be seen, which is why, after nearly 4 years of working here I have decided it's time to take up a Master's Degree, which has always been one of my aims in life, next to working in a country which is shrouded in mystery! I also thought I'd get a really good tan but having red hair, blue eyes and fair skin the sun isn't supposed to be my friend, although I have tried to VERY hard to change colour!

The friendliness and hospitality of the Saudis is something I believe everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Saudi Arabia is an extremely safe country to be in, if you're thinking of taking up a job out here, do it! You have nothing to lose, YOU will be the one that makes your experience what you want it to be. So contact SportsJobs4Women today & see the world for free!


Elizabeth Jones, Swim Program Coordinator, Dhahran Saudi ARAMCo

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          Lizzie Stowell
 

I was successful in gaining employment with SPORTSJOSB4WOMEN as a Fitness Supervisor for Tamimi Global Company on the huge residential community for Saudi Aramco. I was in this position for 2 years 8 months and I loved every moment of my post. After that amount of time, I found it very difficult to leave this post, having nurtured a full team of Saudi female staff that had never worked before. I was able to interact with staff and customers alike earning friendship and respect. However, it's time to move onto a new challenge now detailed below.

I learned a great deal both personally and professionally and I loved engaging amongst a diverse range of people and nationalities from around the world. My experience in Saudi Arabia as an expat female has been very valuable and extremely enjoyable. I have grown as an individual and developed skills that I would not have acquired if it wasn't for working in Saudi Arabia. I am extremely thankful to SJ4W for what has been an incredible journey because I was able to:
1. Travel the world on my 30 day vacation to places I would never have dreamed of going. I travelled to over 10 countries during my time in Saudi Arabia.
2. Meet a diverse range of people and friends from all over the world.
3. Learn a new culture unlike my own which has been extremely rewarding and I was able to do this during my work and personal life.
4. Having worked in Saudi Arabia, I believe I can work anywhere in the world as an expat female. You can adapt to situations readily and you are more versatile in work situations. As a result, I have been successful in getting another job in Qatar. I believe I would not have been successful in getting my new position, if I had not worked in Saudi Arabia.
5. My goal when I arrived in Saudi Arabia was to pay off my Master loan and other financial commitments. I have achieved that goal and left Saudi Arabia debt free! I intend to continue to save for my future to enable me to have a better life, where ever I finally reside.
6. I met an American boyfriend 6 months into my post and we have a plan to work in South East Asia which should come to fruition after a brief 2 month contract in Qatar.
7. Obviously, the weather is a bonus since any activity can be done outside without having to worry about the extreme wet weather or freezing cold winter.

I would definitely recommend working in the Middle East. The lifestyle here is far too good to give up. Being able to travel and save is benefiting my future long term. I can honestly say that I will not be returning to the UK anytime soon (expect for holidays). I wish you the best of luck in your future career - you have an exciting adventure waiting for you!

Best


Elizabeth Stowell, Fitness Supervisor, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

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        Jill Calvert
 

8 years ago I landed a job in Saudi Arabia with the assistance of SJ4W. From start to finish they kept in contact with me and made the process easy and reassuring.

I hope that my experience puts fellow Job seekers at ease with my experiences with SJ4W and making one of the biggest decisions of your life.

 

Has moving abroad to work has been the best decision I have made? Yes of course!
I can also go on nice holidays & the benefits are great too. But by far the best part is meeting so many great people & making lifelong friends. I have got to learn about other cultures & lifestyles which is refreshing and appreciative.

If you are considering making the move..... why not give it a go?!

Healthy Regards

Jill Calvert, COO KORE Studios Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


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Hi

For the past 12 months I have been deciding whether a job abroad, away from home life in the UK was for me, after I spoke to Simon from SportsJob4Women (SJ4W) he made it clear in my head that this is part of my life I want to explore in more detail.

In early 2017 I was hired by SportsJobs4Women (SJ4W), through this website and with the help of Simon I found a job that suited me and my qualifications perfectly. I was lucky enough to get this job and I get to start that new part of my life in January 2018!

I have been able to get a job with HV holistic health in Bahrain working with an amazing team of women. The team at HV holistic health have been in touch with me preparing me for life in Bahrain, it has made me feel more at ease all the support I have received from both the team at HV and also the support from Simon. It is good to know if I ever need help or need to ask questions I can simply call or email Simon and he will be there to give his advice.

If you want to start a new chapter of your life or experience something completely different, I say do it! SJ4W make every step from start to finish an easy process with all the advice and help you could ever need. So why are you waiting? Contact SJ4W to start the next journey of your life… it is well worth it!

Best regards,

Andrea Lister

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Hi Everyone

I have currently been residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia since 2013.  Working in the leisure industry for the past 14 years, I have now been lucky enough to now work for a company that truly value their employees.

I found my current job role online through SPORTSJOBS4WOMEN (SJ4W) which was truly a great experience.  Applying on line was done within minutes and was followed up with a call less than 24 hours afterwards.  SJ4W was very supportive through the recruitment process keeping me updated with their communications with my company, ensuring I had as much information as possible about moving to the Middle East. 

After initial interviews via Skype I had the extra opportunity to meet with my future employer in the UK which was great as nothing compares to seeing someone face to face when you hear different things about moving abroad. This really set my mind at ease.

Tax free employment definitely has its perks, along with accommodation packages also.  Out here you find that the world is your oyster and you have so much time to concentrate on yourself.  We are so near many fantastic destinations and holidays to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Dubai and Singapore that have definitely brought down my “bucket list”.

Western compounds in the Middle East are just like little enclosed towns with fantastic facilities, swimming pools, restaurants, shops, cafés and brilliant sports facilities.  It’s lovely having a small community which is very social all year round. What can seem daunting at first is the security but you soon come to realize how fantastic the security is for keeping you safe.  The company do a fantastic job at giving us all the information we need to keep safe and also add in many security procedures to ensure our safety all the time.

The culture in the Middle East is so different and the ladies here are so friendly.  There are very few qualified fitness professionals here so it is fantastic to be a part of changing the lives of the local community Arabic girls  They are also so grateful to have us which is lovely.

You meet so many nationalities here which is so interesting!  It is great working with Fitness Trainers from all over the world like Australia, Europe, South Africa as well as all the Expatriates you meet along the way.

30 months through my Riyadh stay & 2 promotions so far, I do not have any plans to leave any time soon. My Bank Manager back in the UK is also very happy with my account balance these days!  So if you are looking to progress in your career with great opportunities, I believe Arabia is a great place to be.

Best regards,

Based in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and brought up in Yorkshire, England

 

Hi Fitness girls,

I have now been living in Muscat, Oman for several years. I can easily say relocating to the Middle East has been the best decision of my life to date. I am very lucky to be working for a company who truly value their employees. Previously in the UK I was working in Sports Development for almost 10 years, working for Local Authorities, National Governing Bodies of Sport, and County Sports Partnerships in England & Wales

I found my current job through SPORTSJOBS4WOMEN (SJ4W) Meeting with Simon & other agency staff was a breath of fresh air. Not only do they give you great, honest truths & advice about working in the Middle East, they also make you feel part of the SJ4W family. Through the whole process they were very supportive & kept me updated as much as possible with the progress of my application.

Living in Muscat has been amazing from the moment I arrived. The company I work for have supported me in more ways than any of my previous employers have – you definitely feel valued & respected from day one. Tax-free living definitely has many perks. It allows you to do things you never thought you could. When you move out here, you all of a sudden realise that the world is on your door-step & you have the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t imagine of doing back in UK.

I had my first Christmas here and it couldn’t have been better – spent the evening with friends, singing, dancing, BBQ and we ended up in the pool – why did we end up in the pool? Well its still 25 degrees here at night so it would be rude not to jump in!

Oman is so peaceful, its people will go above and beyond for you. I HAVE NEVER FELT SAFER. I don’t think I felt this safe back in the sleepy town in the South Wales Valleys that I call “home”.

The company I work for are taking Fitness in Oman to another level and it’s so exciting to be part of that. All of our staff are REP’s registered Level 2 and 3 Personal Trainers (very much unheard of in Oman). We have some of the most exclusive equipment and treatments not only in Oman but also in the Middle East. I’m very proud to be the Assistant General Manager of Operations at this club.

Working with a multi-national Personal Trainer and Instructor team, has been a great challenge being a mixture of European, Filipino, Omani, Egyptian and many more. It’s really interesting – plus everyone brings some amazing food to our staff BBQ’s!

I see my future in the Middle East. For now and the foreseeable future my home is Oman, I’ve definitely fallen in love with the country.

Best regards,

  

Helen Davies Fitness Manager in Muscat in Oman

 

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Hi Girls!

My name is Claire from the UK & I’ve always loved travelling and experiencing new countries not only to visit but to work, so that I get the most out of each place. I had a break from the fitness industry and couldn’t wait to get back into it, As I was applying, many fitness positions came up in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia stood out to me as you can’t just visit here as a tourist. I have never experienced living in a Muslim country before so Saudi Arabia sounded pretty interesting. Many people think OMG Saudi Arabia is so restrictive etc. but as an Expat, it’s just a different lifestyle & you have to be here to experience it! Do not believe everything you hear and see on the media!!!

As soon as I started I felt right at home, the hours I work are less to what I was working in the UK, shorter class time, more money, tax free, accommodation paid for, meeting new people and learning a new language although everyone speaks English here including the locals.

The accommodation I live in is like a holiday village with 2 pools, restaurants, mini supermarket, cafes, a gym, tennis courts and basketball courts and everyone is so friendly and it’s very easy to make friends. My days off from work include chilling by the pool almost all year (November to February winter) shopping is popular here (so many malls) and also visiting other residential complexes once you make friends.

Saudi Arabia is also a good place to see the world on your time off as its less flight time to places such as Sri Lanka, India, Dubai or other Middle Eastern countries plus Europe & Africa.
I am really enjoying my time here, My first contract is coming to an end, so I have extended to stay for another contract which is one more year. My employer is a great company to work for and I was promoted to a Duty Manager of one of the gyms. We now have 3 Ladies only Clubs and soon to be 4 !

If you love the fitness industry and you are interested in a good tax free salary and you want to save a good amount of money, then Saudi  Arabia is a great location to work. It is an experience you will never forget & since being here I have never felt unsafe or scared. Every place has its pros and cons and so far, Riyadh for me is more pros than cons. Even wearing an Abaya (head scarf) on a daily basis is an experience. No Expats have to cover their hair or face just their main body areas. You can wear anything you like on the residential complexes within reason, but outside & downtown you have to cover up just to show respect to local customs. 

Best regards,


Claire - Fitness Manager in Saudi Arabia