Finding a job in the UAE
The UAE job market offers many opportunities for people with a variety of talents. The country is one of the top job destinations for expatriate job seekers. If you are looking to relocate and start your job hunt, here is all you need to know on how to hunts for jobs, interview tips, among other formalities.
Seeking a job?
People can register their profile with a professional recruitment agency. Doing so will allow them to gain access to vacancies for a range of jobs based on their academic qualifications and skillsets. Some companies advertise for walk-in interviews while others recruit based on recommendations or requirements.
Knowing someone in the industry helps, as you may gain knowledge about vacancies that arise within the company ahead of others. Not only will you be alerted about job openings, but you could also be among the first candidates to apply for the job.
Attending networking events could also help you land a job. To broaden your network while based in another country, you could join online communities and social media networks.
If you have family or friends residing in the UAE, you could reach out to them for valuable advice or ask them to assist you with introductions and referrals. It is also worth reaching out to former colleagues, clients, or friends as they may give you job leads. The more people who know that you are seeking employment, the better your chances of finding a job quickly.
Make a list of companies that you would like to reach out to and also note down jobs that you would like to apply for. Work through the list promptly and keep track of the jobs that you have applied for and follow up accordingly.
Jobs in Dubai:
The Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed down things around the globe, but Dubai was among the first countries in the world to open its facilities post the sanitisation period. Many companies that had implemented ‘Work From Home’ policies earlier are now fully operational with employees working out of their offices.
With Dubai Expo 2020, commencing on October 1, 2021, this is an excellent time for job seekers to find suitable openings. Sectors that may offer opportunities, include Finance, Procurement, Marketing, Construction, IT, Hospitality, Tourism, Telecom, Operations, Sales, Engineering, Business Development and Logistics, among others.
Other domains that offer employment are healthcare, petroleum and gas, SEO/SEM, statistical analysis, data mining, international relations, algorithm design, web architecture and UI design. Having unique skillsets such as emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence, critical problem-solving and being multilingual, fluency in Arabic and English, may increase your chances of employment in today’s digital age.
The hiring process may sometimes take months, from the time you apply for a position, to receiving the offer letter, but one should be patient as there are several processes that companies have to follow. If you are hunting for a job online while residing in another country, it is necessary to factor in the time difference, especially when making calls to follow up or scheduling interviews. It is also important to research and have an insight about the economy, demographics, living standards and labour laws of the country. Arabic, English and Hindi have commonly used languages in the UAE.
A refundable deposit has to paid to the landlord when you rent a flat (for the first year). The deposit is returned when you vacate the property. Some landlords also deduct an amount from the deposit for repainting and repairs.
Renting a home
If you are renting a property via a real estate agency, you are required to pay agency commissions, which could range from 2 to 5% of the first annual rent.
Dubai Municipality charges a 5% fee on annual rent paid in 12 parts which are added to the electricity and water or DEWA bill.
Ejari is a legal contract registration platform by the Dubai Land Department. It helps authenticate rental contracts and agreements between tenants and landlords. Ejari fees are paid annually at the time of signing the rental contract.
DEWA deposit for an apartment
About Dh2,000 (refunded on vacating)
Dh110 (for connection, non-refundable)
DEWA deposit for a villa
About Dh4,000 (refunded on vacating)
Dh110 (for connection, non-refundable)
Tailor your resume:
Your resume is a deciding factor on whether you will be called for an interview or not. An employer spends around 6 seconds looking through a resume, therefore, relevant information must be displayed at the top of your resume. Often, the candidate has the required experience and skillset; however, his/her attributes are not displayed correctly and easily overlooked due to not having a well-structured resume.
Many agencies assist with the compilation of resumes as per the requirements for the UAE market. It is important to customize your resume according to the job you are applying for. This is vital as it increases your prospects of landing a suitable position and future employers may see you as a potential candidate for the job if your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is in line with the job description.
Several online job portals help you find the right job placement in Dubai. Listed are some other useful sites for finding jobs:
Khaleej Times Jobs
Sharing your resume directly with the Human Resource manager of a company may increase your chances of landing the job. By dropping off your resume personally, you can make a lasting impression. You also have an opportunity to showcase your interpersonal skills and make a personal introduction that differentiates you from other candidates.
Many businesses in the UAE hire through headhunters. Some agencies include:
Jivaro Partners (marketing & communications jobs)
ESP International (conferences, events, Hospitality)
MCG & Associates (PR, publishing, marketing & communications jobs)
Robbert Murray (development, construction, engineering & public sector jobs)
BAC Middle East (engineering, marketing & management jobs)
The chances of landing a job in the UAE are greater if you are on a visit visa as several companies conduct face-to-face interviews. In other cases, telephonic and video interviews are also conducted.
Build your brand
Many HR managers and recruitment consultants view the candidate’s social media accounts to understand their online personality and background. Your social media profiles should portray the correct image of you and make an excellent first impression on prospective employees.
LinkedIn is an important tool in aiding your job search. The platform allows you to contact prospective employers, broaden your system, and share academic and professional accomplishments on your social profiles. Doing so will help you attract more and more job interviews with potential employers.
Social media also connects employers and employees. According to research, 92% of recruiting companies use social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking sites.
Increasing your SEO by creating an online resume, filling out job seeker profiles on websites and publishing relevant information to the industry in which you are seeking a job will ensure that potential employees will view your profile more frequently.
Create and complete a LinkedIn and Facebook profile, join jobs and careers related to active pages and groups, and discuss them there. You will see the improvement in your jobs and career field. The more experienced you seem in a google search, the more likely you are to stand out from the other candidates.
Plan your trip
When planning a trip to Dubai, be mindful of the expenses and hidden costs, including accommodation, transportation, food and water. You may have to factor in unexpected travel expenses, phone charges (data) or cellphone roaming from your service provider. For more information about travelling to Dubai, visit www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/dubai/visiting-dubai-a-detailed-travel-guide-for-every-tourist.
Apply for jobs that suit your skillset
Many job seekers apply for jobs that do not suit their skillset. They are usually attracted to jobs that offer a high salary package, accommodation, visa expenses, flight tickets and other allowances without having the required skills, qualifications, and experience. Many times, candidates forward their CV even though they are not qualified for the position.
It is essential to apply for jobs that you are qualified for. Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes daily. Therefore, it is important to apply for roles that suit your skillset and expertise, applying for job roles that are not suitable for you in terms of experience and skill set could result in the hiring manager seeing you in a negative light and it may depict a sign of a candidate who lacks direction, or in some situations, the candidate can be blacklisted by the company HR.
Many candidates feel uncomfortable following up with employers or lack the knowledge of doing so correctly. Following up is important if you wish to stay at the top of the prospective employers’ minds. Your follow up call or email should be done in a friendly manner as a reminder. You may state that you are aware of his/her busy schedule and apologise if you may have interrupted him/her, continue with following up on the interview and close by asking when will you receive feedback. Lastly, thank him/her for their time.
Some people have the ability, skill set and experience to perform the job that they are interviewing for, but they may lack the ability to present themselves in the best light.
A major reason why candidates do not make it through to the second round of interviews is that they failed to prepare for the first interview. Many candidates do not research the company and the role that they are applying for. One of the common reasons is a lack of confidence and eye contact. Over the years, organisations are changing and are looking for a candidate who will be a good culture fit for the organisation, someone who can add value not only in their expertise and job role.
It is important to focus on body language while being interviewed as well as non -verbal communication.
Even though many candidates have years of experience in a specific industry, it may not be the same in a new country; therefore, the interviewer may ask the candidate to explain job functions and detailed questions around the technicality of the job function. The candidate should be able to explain in detail about his/her daily tasks and practical knowledge. Apart from job knowledge, the candidate should showcase his/her best attributes.
There are many walk-in-interview opportunities in Dubai. Employers will accept job applications and conduct interviews on-site, either in groups or individual formats. Companies post the date and time block of the walk-in interview on job search sites. Open interviews are also conducted when the company wants to hire candidates for many positions, so your chances of landing a job here are higher.
Pay close attention to the event description, which will have the following information:
Will the recruiters be making offers on the spot?
Will shortlisted candidates be invited for further rounds of interviews?
These details will help you when preparing for walk-in interviews.
Research the company thoroughly, view the company website and familiarize yourself with their goals, mission and vision. Spend time on their social media accounts to get an idea about the company culture. Showing a genuine interest makes you stand out during the interview as someone enthusiastic about the potential position.
Update your resume and tailor it according to the position you are applying for. Print copies of your resume to hand out to recruiters if needed. Prepare all the necessary educational certificates and professional documents you may need at open interviews.
Your appearance will contribute to the recruiters’ impression about you, so it is important to dress appropriately. If there is no dress code mentioned on the interview description, research on the company will give you a better understanding of the cultural dynamic. Alternatively, stick to dressing in formal attire or business casual attire.
Walk-in interviews are conducted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Therefore, it is advised to be an early applicant, not only does it showcase your enthusiasm, but the recruiter is also more likely to remember you than if they interviewed you at the end of a long day.
Practising confident body language is beneficial, stand tall from the moment you enter the company building. When you are in the interview, ensure that you think before you speak, ask for water if need be and maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Keep your answers concise and ask questions about the company. Always be polite, thank the interviewer for their time and smile when leaving.
Upon finding a job in the UAE, you need documents supporting your qualifications, academic background and experience.
Expats who have obtained a university degree outside the UAE are required to have the documents attested from UAE Embassy or consulate in their home country and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their home country. Some jobs in Dubai require a certificate of equivalence by the UAE’s Ministry of Education.
Health and labour cards
While your work visa is being processed, you are required need to submit your medical records, passport copies, photo, job offer letter and visa application to the Department of Health and Medical Services.
A residence visa will be issued by Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The sponsoring company has to arrange to complete the formalities of fitness testing, obtaining Emirates ID card, Labour card and stamping the work residency permit on the passport.
It is mandatory for all expats working in Dubai to undergo a medical test at government-approved health centres within the UAE. All candidates are tested for transferable illnesses or conditions such as HIV, tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis and other diseases.
There are additional documents that are required when joining a company in the UAE. This may differ from company to company:
Identity card or any other photo ID relative to your country of residence
Copies of your parents’ identity card or photo IDs
Passport-sized photos not older than three months
Driving License (not mandatory)
A passport with a validity of more than six months
Academic certificates and relative degrees attested by the UAE embassy or consulate
Visa policies in Dubai
It is illegal to work in Dubai on a tourist visa. If you are found working on a tourist visa, you can be jailed or fined and deported.
It is possible to enter the UAE on a visit or tourist visa to commence your job search and after that, transfer your visa status once you have found employment. Tourist visas are an excellent way to enter the country to start your job search. It is critical that you either get a work visa, provided you find employment or leave the country when your visa expires.
Some foreign citizens are not required to obtain a visa before travel.
Citizens who do not need a visa for 90 days
Job seekers from the following countries can remain in the UAE for 90 days after their arrival before leaving the country or applying for a work visa:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Citizens who do not need to apply for a visa in advance
Citizens from the following countries also do not need to get visas in advance. However, visas issued on arrival will only be valid for 30 days. That being said, citizens of these countries may extend their visas up to 60 days:
Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom and the United States.
Some popular jobs in Dubai
Candidates who have professional training in sales are in high demand in Dubai. The city is a business hub with new developments. Infrastructure development is on the rise in Dubai on a massive scale, connecting to real estate. Therefore, as competition continues to grow, the demand for sales executives increases.
Chief financial officers devise the strategy for an organization. This means that their demand, as well as the pay, is high. Decisions about investments and profits rely on finance experts, which means that their expertise is in demand
One of the most sought-after professions in Dubai, from mechanical engineers to electrical and plumbing engineers (MEP). Construction projects are ongoing in Dubai, which means direct demand for MEP engineers.
Real Estate/ Property Consultant
Dubai is the emerging business hub of the world. Its infrastructure development has made sure that there is limitless real estate potential in the city. Working for a real estate organization can be rewarding.
Legal advisers take care of legal issues that may arise. With competition between businesses reaching new heights in Dubai, keeping legal advisers is a necessity.
High paying jobs in Dubai
High paying jobs in Dubai will give you an idea of which industries are the most lucrative.
Businesses across all sectors need people to manage their finances, so accounting jobs are plentiful. Competition is fierce, and many companies in Dubai prefer hiring chartered or certified accountants. Those with more experience and credentials can expect high salaries. The role of management accountant potentially brings in two to four times more monthly income than a more generalised accounting position.
Engineering is one of the most lucrative career options in Dubai. Mechanical engineers research, design and build all things mechanical. Mechanical engineers also have a hand in building construction, including heating and air systems, electrical generators and elevators.
Civil engineers are responsible for determining the viability, environmental impact, structural integrity and safety of a city’s infrastructure have been a huge part of development. Civil engineers lend their expertise to the construction of buildings, streets, airports, bridges, waterways and dams. Besides technical skills, employers in Dubai require you to be familiar with local laws and building regulations. Some companies may request membership in the Society of Engineers – UAE
Electrical engineers work side by side with mechanical engineers, designing and building the electrical components that give power to the machines. Electrical engineers may also work on designing, implementing and inspecting products for telecommunications and navigation systems.
Civil engineers are responsible for determining the viability, environmental impact, structural integrity and safety of a city’s infrastructure have been a huge part of development. Civil engineers lend their expertise to the construction of buildings, streets, airports, bridges, waterways and dams. Besides technical skills, employers in Dubai require you to be familiar with local laws and building regulations. Some companies may request membership in the Society of Engineers – UAE.
Project engineers have backgrounds in various engineering disciplines. A supervisory role which entails approving budgets and coordinating work teams on major construction, design, or manufacturing ventures. A degree in a related area of engineering and quite a bit of experience is usually required for a job as a project engineer.
Business development manager
Business development managers are responsible for expanding a company’s profile and client list. Candidates are required to be involved in direct sales and marketing teams as well as taking the lead on finding and facilitating new business relationships and maintaining or improving existing connections. Employers will require a candidate who has contacts and experience working in Dubai or elsewhere.
Operations managers make sure everything in a company is working for peak productivity and profit. They oversee staffing, workflow, manufacturing operations and department budgets. Depending on the business, candidates may specialise in one area, handling all staffing, training, legal issues, and efficiency for HR.
Spending in the UAE
Living costs depend on the lifestyle one chooses. There are many apps such as Groupon, Zomato, The Entertainer and Cobone, which make a night out much more affordable. Users can avail of two-for-one deals and discounts from restaurants, spas, hotels and so much more.
Living benefits vary depending on the industry, company, and job designation.
Some companies provide staff accommodation which can help employees save a major chunk of the salaries.
Beware of job scams
Scamsters who pose as recruitment agents or illegitimate companies post jobs whereby they ask the candidate to pay for their visa and other expenses. People who do not know the labour laws often fall into their trap. To avoid being a victim of job scams, be aware of the following:
1. A job that offers an attractive salary package without any skills or experience needed maybe a scam.
2. The company might be illegitimate if you are offered a job without applying or going through the necessary interview channels.
3. No employee will request you to make a payment for processing, training, or placement fees.
4. You may be a victim of a scam if you are asked to pay for your visa processing fee and advised that the money will be reimbursed upon your arrival.
5. The hiring company may not be legitimate if they do not have a physical address and listed phone number.
6. Be wary of recruiters that collect high fees from job seekers.
7. Always apply directly to the company via their official website.
8. If you are suspicious about the company, you may contact the local authorities and ask for information.
Some tips to remain positive during your job search
Whether you are looking to change your current role or unemployed and searching for new opportunities, job hunting can be extremely stressful.
Do not take rejection personally
It is important not to take rejection personally. Companies hire according to the amount of experience as well as culture fit and budget. Therefore, not being selected for a vacancy may be due to various reasons. For instance, your salary expectation was not aligned with what the company was willing to pay, or the company is changing the cultural dynamic. You might be a fit for a different department if an opening arose. Many times, companies freeze the hiring process mid-way through the interview round or post-interview. There are many reasons why this happens: change in higher management, limited budget, or the position is no longer vacant.
Attitude and mindset
Staying positive when you are waiting to hear back from a potential employer or receiving negative feedback may make you feel sad and demotivated. It is important to remember that the human mind only feels and thinks the emotions and thoughts that we allow it to. Therefore, staying positive throughout the job-hunting process is important.
Listening to motivational podcasts, watching inspirational videos, and reading wellness magazines or books may help you stay positive and calm. Try recalling moments from your past where you experienced stress and ultimately prevailed. Similar to overcoming a difficult situation. In our panic and despair, we forget how powerful we were in overcoming difficulties.
A large part of the recruitment process is not in your control. Once you have applied for the job, the process is out of your control. You cannot make a recruiter call you back or influence how many other candidates have applied for the position.
Focus your energy instead on what you can do. Make a list of the aspects of this job search that you can influence or impact. Use the time to learn a new skill or take an online course, improve your knowledge or even learn a new language that will benefit you in your job search.
Create a routine
Treat your job search like a 9 to 5 job. Wake up early, take a lunch break, and end your job search activities before dinner. Creating a routine and keeping your job search organised will keep you focused and motivated. It is human nature to worry about being employed. However, this may cause stress and will hinder you from enjoying other aspects of your life. Set aside time each day to focus on something that you enjoy doing.
Focus on your positives
It is useful to make a list of your best qualities, skills, and accomplishments. This list will help you when crafting your cover letters and when practising for an interview. Keep this list where you can see it and review it regularly. Remembering what makes you a successful job candidate and a talented, unique person will boost your confidence during the job search process.
Make a list of specific, manageable goals that you would like to achieve. This could be anything from sending out follow up emails, calls or attending a networking seminar. Completing these small tasks and goals will allow you to feel more accomplished throughout your job search.
It is easy to focus on the negative during a job search, such as an unsuccessful interview or the job you did not get. Instead, focus on even the smallest achievements. Be proud of yourself for at least getting a phone interview, even if you did not get a person-to-person interview. Celebrating the small wins will help you to focus on the positive.
If you apply for a job or interview for a position, it is easy to fixate on waiting for a reply from the employer, if you do not hear back, or have not been given clear feedback upon following up. You should move on. Simply cross out that job from your list and focus on the next opportunity.
It can be draining and frustrating writing cover letters, going for interviews, and networking. However, think of each cover letter as a chance to refine your writing abilities. Simply thinking of tasks as opportunities rather than chores will put you in a positive mindset.