Over the last seven years since I first moved to Dubai, I’ve looked for work in many different ways and seen the job landscape change very quickly too. In fact, Dubai is somewhere where the job market can shift so quickly! What was true last month may not be true this month. So I decided to give advice on how to secure a job in Dubai in any market! As the market slows down, it will typically take longer to get a job but the methods will be the same!
I’ve also included all the essential things you must do before you decide to move to Dubai to try and find a job!
New to Dubai? Make sure you start here:
Where is Dubai? And other essential information about the UAE
Commonly asked questions about living in Dubai
So in today’s world, how is it best to look for a job in Dubai? Firstly it is a more network-based place than in European countries. Companies here will still hire based on you as a person and experience, rather than just strictly your qualifications. However, it does depend on the company. I firmly believe this is a positive thing since often qualifications are not an indication on how well a person can actually do a job (outside of the ones where it is a necessity eg a doctor). Dubai and overall UAE can be a great place to work if you’re looking to change fields due to this. So here are my recommendations if you’re looking for work or a job in Dubai.
Do your research
This is the most, most, most, important part before you do anything. Before you even think of leaving your home country, this is the most important step. Look through job websites to find out what salary you are likely to get in the role.
For instance some roles in Dubai, particularly service-based roles. You will earn less than you would back home unless you are in a higher-up or managerial role. This is due to competition from nationalities from lower-income nations.
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 tough 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 roughly £1300 per month. This would be without any extras such as expensive dinners out. So realistically if you’re planning to move there and look for a job, you’d need at least 36,000 AED (roughly £7500).
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 field that is very in demand, then this will be easier. It is quite common for companies to request for people who are already located in the UAE. Even if you’re there on a tourist visa.
This is due to a few reasons. The first being, the market moves quite fast and jobs move fast. Companies often request people to start right away. Second, a lot of companies don’t want to pay for relocation costs. If they hire you from abroad, it would include a relocation package. This includes flights, initial accommodation, and covering the cost of shipping belongings. Due to the economy, these packages have pretty much disappeared. So often companies say they want someone already based in the UAE in order to avoid these extras for hiring someone.
Try Facebook groups
Say what?? YES! Facebook groups! The UAE is about networking and a lot of job roles get posted within Facebook groups. It’s also worth searching for groups based on your Nationality since there are groups often offering advice specific to your nationality. You can also search for “Jobs Dubai” or other communities related to Dubai.
For example, searching “British Dubai” in the Facebook search bar and then selecting the Groups tab so only Groups are showing instead of pages.
LinkedIn search for the right people
Search for the larger companies which are within your field and then look for those working within HR. You can send a LinkedIn request and ask if there are any roles available but make sure they’re the right person to speak to first! Also by following them, you’ll also typically see when roles are available as they’ll typically share open roles.
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 do normally.
Also a great tip I learnt from a recruiter if you meet two-thirds of the requirements but not all. Still apply!
Upload you CV to Gulf Talent
Although I haven’t had any companies contact me directly through this website, I have found recruiters tend to search it. So it’s an easy way for them to find you and contact based on roles they may have. It’s free to use.
You can also search for job roles here in your field and apply for them with your uploaded CV. Out of the several different websites I used, I found Gulf Talent to be the easiest to use and most successful!
I wish you all the best in your job search! Don’t forget to check out our other articles so you can learn all you need to know before you move to Dubai or the UAE!