How to find a job in Dubai: 11 not to miss tips

by Danni B
Men in local dress taking part in a meeting at work

Over the years since I first moved to Dubai, I’ve been successful in finding work in Dubai using many different ways.

I’ve also seen the job landscape change very rapidly, shifting within a matter of months!

Based on my years of experience, these are the best ways to find a job in Dubai in ANY market.

When the job market is slower or more competitive, it will take longer to get a job, but the methods stay the same. This guide will help you get clued up quicker, especially for those newer to the region!

I’ve also included essential things to do before you decide to try and move to Dubai! Followed by commonly asked questions about working in Dubai.

11 tips for the best way to find a job in Dubai

1. Join Dubai Facebook groups

Say what?? YES! Facebook groups (you can see our one for saving money in Dubai & the UAE here). The UAE is all about networking, and many job roles are posted within Facebook groups.

It’s also worth searching for groups based on your Nationality since there are often groups offering advice specific to your nationality. You can also search for “Jobs Dubai” or other communities related to Dubai.

2. Search Linked In for the right people

Emirati men wearing traditional Emirati dress while having a boardroom meeting at work

Search for the larger companies within your field and look for those working within HR. You can send a LinkedIn request or follow the person.

If you send a message, sell yourself in a concise way and ask to keep you in mind if any relevant roles come up. But make sure they’re the right person to speak to first!

It’s common for HR managers to share roles on their LinkedIn when they’re looking for someone.

By following them, you’ll see when roles become available earlier. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Apply Directly

If you see a role on LinkedIn, I recommend going off LinkedIn and seeing if the role is also advertised on the company’s website. If it is, apply on their website rather than LinkedIn.

Frequently, they receive a lot of spam applications from people with no related experience via Linked In. So unless you get there really early on LinkedIn, your application is likely to fall into the sea of applications. Applying directly via their website or if there’s an email is better.

Most companies prefer to hire directly when possible, as recruitment fees can be high. So, you’re more likely to be hired if you come directly vs a recruiter.

4. Look for a remote role

Dubai’s very affordable Remote Working Visa has made living in Dubai even easier as you can find a remote job and after working for 3 months, apply online for the visa.

We Work Remotely is one of the largest and most well-known websites for finding remote work. So, while it’s not technically a job in Dubai, it will give you the same opportunity to move!

5. Upload your CV to recruitment websites

Although I haven’t had any companies contact me directly through this website, I have found recruiters search it. So it’s an easy way for them to find you and contact based on roles they may have.

Gulf Talent is my personal favourite, and I’ve found many recruiters check this website for CVs.

Dubai Careers is also the official government portal where jobs are listed.

It’s free to upload your CV.

You can also search for job roles in your field and apply with your uploaded CV. Out of the several different websites I used, Gulf Talent was the easiest to use and most successful.

6. Attend networking events in Dubai

Two men shaking hands over desk in business suits and the importance of networking in business in Dubai

If you have the budget, I highly recommend flying out to Dubai and trying to find networking events within your sector.

There are always events going on in the city, and it’s very easy to meet new people in Dubai, especially if you are outgoing!

You can also find events based on nationality, general expat events, professional events, women’s events and the list goes on! There’s pretty much an event for every group you can imagine!

7. Research your job role and sector thoroughly

This is the most important part before you decide to get on a plane to Dubai!

Look through job websites to find out what salary you’re likely to get in your sector, as some roles in Dubai pay significantly less than those in Western countries.

These include service-based roles, such as store assistant, waitress (server) and bartender. You will earn less than back home unless you are in a managerial role due to competition from nationalities from lower-income nations.

Others are graphic designer roles and office assistant jobs in Dubai. Again, for the same reason as the service-based industry ones, they are typically filled by people from lower-income nations. This leads to my next point!

8. Apply for a higher position than you would back home

So it might surprise you, but you may be able to get a higher position than you’re currently in! It’s definitely worth applying for positions higher than you would normally, especially if you’re from a Western country and work in a service-based or office assistant role.

It’s more common for Western expats to be Bar Managers, Store Managers, Marketing Managers etc.

I also learned a great tip from a recruiter: If you meet two-thirds of the requirements but not all, still apply!

9. Adapt your CV and cover letter

I don’t think its necessary to adapt your CV for every single role as most roles you’ll apply for are in the same field or speciality.

However, if you’re applying for sales roles and marketing roles, for example, then adjust your CV to be more sales-focused on one and marketing-focused on the other.

Make the skills you’ve learnt relevant to the position. For example, if you worked in customer service but want to work in sales, say, “I improved my problem-solving skills, and I learnt to deal with many people from different types of backgrounds.” This is relevant to a sales role.

For a marketing role, focus on the skills you learnt related to marketing. “I crafted emails and dealt with queries helping customers to feel understood while still giving an appropriate response that pulled from the strengths of the company.”

10. Get a local sim

An Emirati woman outside with her mobile phone and local sim card

It’s super easy to get a sim in Dubai, you just need your passport.

Most recruiters and HR professionals will contact you via the phone and want to have a quick chat with you first before deciding to interview. Having a local phone number will really strengthen your application.

Check out or in-depth article about getting a sim card in Dubai here.

11. Attend job fairs

There are many kinds of job fairs, some focused on graduates and others on teachers or work sectors.

These fairs are a great opportunity to see who is hiring and to find out what local recruiters are looking for. Bring your CV and ask if there are any ways you could improve it.

I’ve seen teaching job fairs recently held in the UK for teaching jobs in Dubai and the Middle East. So definitely look out for events happening in your home country.

Commonly asked questions about finding work in Dubai

Is it easy to get a job in Dubai?

This depends on your sector of work, your qualifications, your experience, and the general economy at the given time.

I work in marketing, and I’ve found getting a marketing role quite easy in Dubai. This is due to the sector’s growing importance, and nearly every kind of company needs marketing.

They often prefer Western nationals or native English speakers to manage their marketing. Having a native speaker write your English content helps a company look more professional.

Teaching roles are also in high demand and they commonly recruit from abroad, so this type of role is easier to get without needing to be in UAE. You will normally need 2 years of teaching experience and a relevant teaching qualification.

Another role which is easier to get from abroad is that of a Real Estate Broker. Many real estate companies like those who have been trained in Western countries, and some companies even actively recruit from the UK and abroad. One benefit of this type of role is it doesn’t require any pre-existing qualifications.

Other roles that are in demand in Dubai are medical-related, cabin crew, engineers and information technology.

How can I get job in Dubai?

After seeing the sparkling lights of the Burj Khalifa and the luxury lifestyle offer in Dubai. Many start to ask, “How can I live in Dubai?” Of course the easiest way to move here is to find a job!

Dubai is like most other countries, you need to apply to jobs that are based in Dubai and the majority are advertised online. However, Dubai is a much more network based place than most Western coutries.

Companies like to get recommendations from someone already here and get a sense of who you are as a person. This makes it easier to move roles or to get a job where you don’t have a specific qualification which is a huge advantage over Western countries.

In addition, Dubai based experience is highly desirable. Since the culture and market can be somewhat different than Europe or the US. However despite this, many still manage to move over without Dubai experience of course since the city is nearly 90% expats!

So my biggest tip for getting a job in Dubai is networking! Speak to people you know, find out if you know someone already living here, fly over for a short trip and attend networking events or connect with people online.

What jobs are in demand in Dubai?

These are the most common jobs and Dubai careers for expats in Dubai:

  • Airline Crew
  • Teaching
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Project Management – Construction
  • Engineers
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Recruitment
  • IT manager
  • Medical
  • Nanny or Governess
  • Personal Assistant
  • Admin Roles
  • Sales

What language is spoken in Dubai?

The most commonly used language in Dubai is English and Arabic is the official language of the country. However you can find many job roles speaking English only. This is why jobs in Dubai for foreigners are much easier to secure! As it doesn’t require learning a new language for many.

Arabic or speaking other languages is a highly desirable skill and can certainly help in finding a job.

Do I have to move to Dubai before I find work?

In an ideal world, try to find something before you move there. If you work in a specialist field that is in high demand, finding work without moving will be a lot easier. For most job roles however, companies request for someone who is already located in the UAE. Even if you’re on a tourist visa in the UAE.

Another option is to see if your current company has operations or an office in Dubai and to request a transfer. Often with this option, your company will include a relocation package to help with the move. So it will make it cheaper to move to Dubai and less risky!

Why do many companies request UAE applicants? The market moves very fast here and it’s common for jobs to have a very short start date. I’ve had roles where I’ve started the Sunday after the interview. The exception to this rule generally are larger multi-national corporations.

Secondly, a lot of companies don’t want to pay for relocation costs. If they hire you from abroad, they have to include a relocation package. Such as flights, initial accommodation, and shipping belongings. Due to the economy and popularity to work in Dubai, these packages have pretty much disappeared. So often companies say they want someone already based in the UAE in order to avoid these extra costs.

How much money should I save before I come to Dubai?

You will need a minimum of three months money to survive but I would recommend taking six months of money since the job market is slower at the moment. You’ll also need extra money for paying for a deposit for your accommodation. It’s also quite common if you’ll be renting an apartment for rent to be paid in advance, sometimes multiple months.

More and more landlords now accept multiple checks but some landlords may still request 3 months in advance. You may be able to negotiate for a rent reduction if you pay in advance also!

For me personally; monthly costs including renting a room, buying food and renting a small car. My absolute basic monthly costs were 6000 AED which is $1633 USD (£1200) per month. This would be without any extras such as dinners out. So realistically you’ll need at least 36,000 AED ($9800 / £7200) to cover your living costs for six months

What qualification do I need to work in Dubai?

There are no set qualifications for anyone to move to Dubai however having a degree definitely helps with the visa process in Dubai. Those with a degree have more protections under employment law as they are put on a higher level.

You will need to verify your degree in your home country and then have it stamped in the UAE as well. It is best to start the process before you come to Dubai, as the service to attest your degree can be expensive. Doing the first part in your home country, so you can run between offices will save you a lot of money.

Can I get job in Dubai without degree?

Yes! There are many jobs without a degree and despite it having some advantages in terms of your visa. There are still many roles out there where you do not need a degree.

Is Dubai a good place to work?

My favourite part about Dubai is the work life balance and lifestyle. I have a much more balanced life in the GCC, family is given a lot more importance and I can have a much higher standard of life than I would back home.

The job market here and companies tend to be less stable than western countries, so that’s one thing to keep in mind. You’ll find people move around jobs and even the economy changes a lot. Some of the most stable careers out here are working in the airline industry and teaching.

Dubai is generally more expensive however to live in as an expat than their home countries, I go into more detail about the living costs of Dubai in my previous article here


The best way out of all of these for me personally is searching through the groups for job posts. Often this means you are dealing directly with the company or recruiter. They are the most up to date and receive lower spam amounts compared to websites like LinkedIn. Of course it’s good to apply for others on top of this and not to rely on just one but due to the network based nature of Dubai. These groups have always been my most successful way to find and apply to jobs in Dubai

I wish you all the best in your job search!

Want more information on Dubai? Make sure you read these other articles here:

Read more Living in Dubai Guides

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