5 Tips for Finding a Job in the UAE

Boasting one of the most influential and most opportunity-rich economies of any nation in the world, the UAE is an alluring option for many workers around the globe. With an abundance of things to do and a robust expat community, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are two of the most sought-after places for people to live, work, and play.

The comfortable lifestyle, modern conveniences, exceptional infrastructure, and low tax requirements only make them more attractive.

Perhaps you also want to leap into Dubai’s burgeoning job market; if so, you may have no idea where you should start. While networking and reconnecting with old friends and colleagues is always a fantastic start when looking for a new job, you may not have too many (if any) connections in the UAE.

If that is the case, but you are ready to take the first steps to transform your life, read on for five tips for finding a job in the UAE.

1. Understand the Dominant Markets

No matter where you are looking for a new job, it is always crucial for you to do your research and understand the market you are looking to enter.

Whether you are browsing restaurant jobs in the UAE or are looking for a more specific position, you need to know what you are getting yourself into as that way; you are more equipped to market your skills to a potential employer.

Currently, the hospitality and tourism industry is one of the most substantial parts of the UAE’s economy.

Furthermore, the country’s lavish plans for hosting the World Expo 2020 are also boosting a lot of industries, such as legal, finance, marketing, procurement, IT, hospitality, telecommunications, and (of course) tourism. Over the past few years, salaries in the UAE have undergone steady growth, and in no industry is this more obvious than in the hospitality industry.

2. Ensure Your LinkedIn Profile is Up-to-Date

LinkedIn remains the gold-standard for businesses looking to fill positions, and job seekers looking for their dream situation.

For this reason, it is essential that you spend some time updating your LinkedIn profile so that it adequately reflects your current position and achievements. All relevant results, honors, and training, as well as PR mentions or articles, should be noted.

Your next step is to optimize your LinkedIn profile with relevant keywords and phrases that the recruiters and firms will recognize and appreciate. Note the key buzzwords and phrases in your target market and then add them to your headline, summary and experiences sections — you want to be sure that if a business is looking for someone like you, they can find you!

Additionally, you can initiate your LinkedIn “Open Candidate” flag to confidentially inform recruiters and businesses that you are open to any opportunities. If you are still working for a company, LinkedIn will hide the signal from recruiters at your current employer.

Furthermore, you want to make sure that you don’t have a negative digital footprint. Make sure your social media pages are private and that a quick Google search doesn’t bring up any negative personal press. If a recruiter was to look you up, you want to make sure that you have your best face forward.

3. Use Both Online and Offline Tactics

While it is essential that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that you are scouring online job boards on a daily basis, you don’t want to solely depend on the Internet for finding a job in the UAE. In the UAE, many firms do not post their job openings on these websites as many positions fill through word-of-mouth, networking, and other forms of references.

If you are new to the UAE and are unsure how to get your foot in the door at your dream companies, then take a risk and call/email the HR team at your target firm or visit them personally and drop off your updated resume.

While there are plenty of job opportunities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, you will undoubtedly need to be proactive and creative when it comes to locating your perfect position.

4. Consider Working with a Recruiter

Working with a recruitment agency is a fantastic idea when looking for a job in the UAE, and working with an agency is very common for obtaining a job within the emirate. By working with a recruiter, you can be confident that they will inform you of potential job openings and positions that you may not have had access to otherwise.

A recruitment agency can help you get your foot in the door at a firm that you have no personal contacts in, while also briefing you on other similar companies that they see as a potentially good fit.

Additionally, by working with a global recruitment agency, you can start your job search in the UAE before you even move there. By enlisting the help of professionals, you can now search for career opportunities in all areas of the globe.

However, keep in mind that if a recruitment agency wants to collect a significant amount of money from you (the job-seeker), there is a high chance that it is a scam. Instead, work with recruitment agencies that take their commission from the employer, and not from you.

5. Practice Patience

Due to the benefits of working in the UAE, the job market in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is exceptionally competitive. Unlike other areas of the world, the hiring process in the UAE is generally seasonal.

Most hires take place from January to March and stop entirely during the holy month of Ramadan and the scorching months of the summer, so it is best to not visit the country during this time (if the sole purpose is job-hunting).

For this reason, it is important to practice patience. While you are probably raring to go and over-the-top excited about finding a new job, keep in mind that your job search in the UAE could take up to a year. But, it will be worth it! Have you ever applied for a job in the UAE?

Have you considered moving there? How do you prepare to apply for jobs overseas? Let us know in the comments below!

Written By
Daulet Zhumagulov is the Founder and CEO at WeHoteliers, a specialized online hospitality portal in the GCC region where prospective and experienced talents can explore career opportunities and be discovered by the top employers of the industry. The company's mission is to provide an efficient and modern platform that will focus on the needs and interests of hospitality professionals.

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