If you’re a foreigner looking for a job in UAE, you’re no doubt wondering, “Is it easy to find a job in UAE?” Considering that 89% of people living and working in the UAE are expatriates, we can assume that it’s pretty easy for foreigners to find a job there.
However, it’s not wise to jump right into it. There are a few things that you need to consider before finding a job and making the move. I’m here to tell you everything you need to know. So let’s go!
Is It Easy to Find a Job in UAE? The 11 Things to Consider
How easy (or hard) it is to find a job in UAE will depend on several things. These are:
- Your industry
- Your skills
- Your chosen city
- Recruitment agencies
- Online presence
- Resume and cover letter
- Application timing
- UAE visas
- The language
- Local laws
If you find work in an in-demand industry, then it will be much easier to land a job in the UAE. Of course, your skillset and experience have to match the job description. This is why it’s important to research the UAE job market before anything else.
To give you a head start over other expats, I’ll quickly go over a few jobs in UAE for foreigners. Side note: This is not an exhaustive list.
The UAE is one of the leading countries in advanced technology. Its digital economy is said to grow to around $140 billion in 2031. Because of this rise, a lot of industries in the UAE are looking for data scientists and analysts, software developers, IT engineers, machine learning professionals, and any other jobs in the technology sector.
If this is your expertise, you’ll be a top candidate. Not only that, you can expect a lot of job opportunities, a higher salary, sponsorships, etc…
Read More: Can I Get a Job in Dubai Without a Degree?
The UAE promotes a world-class standard of living. This includes high-quality medical services for all UAE nationals and residents. If you’re skilled in the healthcare sector, you can find many jobs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or anywhere in the UAE. Plus, you’ll be playing a very fulfilling role.
If you’re a teacher, you can easily find a job in Dubai and the UAE, too. The need for teachers is very high. Lots of schools are even willing to pay a lot to secure these teachers. The most prominent teacher needs are in the subjects of English, math, science, and physics.
The UAE has LOTS of plans for ambitious buildings and infrastructures. To make those plans come to fruition, they need as many workers as they can get. This will include construction workers, project managers, construction inspectors, landscapers, and the list goes on.
The UAE is a central logistics hub with its strategic location and excellent transportation. So you can rest assured that the logistics industry is in very high demand in the country.
Is it easy to find a job in UAE if you aren’t in these industries? It may be a bit harder, but there are always many other job positions that you can find. Just look into job search sites in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the whole UAE.
I already hinted at this above. It will be easier to find jobs in the UAE if you possess the valuable skills and work experience that match the job opening. For example, even if teaching is an in-demand industry, it will be very hard to become a teacher in the UAE if you don’t have the skills and experience. If you want to quicken the hiring process, only apply for jobs that you’re good at.
Read More: How to Learn Skills Faster.
Your chosen city
The UAE (United Arab Emirates) is comprised of 7 Emirates – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm AI Quwain, Ras AI Khaimah, and Fujairah. The biggest of these are Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Because Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the biggest (and most populated), it’s easier to find job vacancies in these cities. In turn, it will be easier to get a job in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
However, that’s not to say the other 5 Emirates are not good cities to work in. It’s just that, since it’s less populated, it may be harder to land your dream job.
Trust me, it will be 10x easier to get a job in the UAE if you join recruitment agencies. This is because recruitment agencies or recruiter consultants are very popular in the country. Companies in Dubai and other cities send headhunters to find candidates with these recruiters.
What’s more, these agencies have a pool of networks to link you with. To make it even better, these agencies can help you navigate the work culture, as well as get a promotion in the future.
Here are the top recruitment agencies in the UAE:
Creating an online presence will make the job hunt process easier, too. The reason is that the company headhunters go through LinkedIn profiles to find a worthy candidate. It’s a good idea to have a LinkedIn profile. Also, make sure that your LinkedIn profile lists all your skills, experience, achievements, and more.
Another reason why an online presence is crucial is because you can use it to network with people in Dubai and the UAE. This leads us to my next point…
Did you know that the UAE relies heavily on internal recruits? This means that recruiters and hiring managers prefer job seekers who are referred to them. This is why building a strong network is crucial when you want to work in Dubai or the surrounding cities.
A good way to network is to connect with people on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. You can also reach out to friends and family that are already in the UAE. Planning this out early on will help you start working in Dubai or the UAE a lot sooner.
Read More: How to Network with Senior Executives.
Resume and cover letter
If you want to stand out (and thus quicken your job hunt), you need to customize your CV, resume, and cover letter to each company you apply for. Zippia, an online recruitment service, found that 68% of job seekers with a company-tailored resume and cover letter found new jobs in just a few months.
Here is what Jessica Hinkle, an experienced hiring manager and human welfare programmer, had to say about this:
“When I review resumes, I scan for certain skills such as contract writing, program development, and supervisory experience. I only interview candidates who have one or more skills specific to the job description. The more skills they have pertaining to the job, the more likely I am to interview them. I may get 35 applicants and only interview the top five candidates.”
Always, always read the job description carefully, research the company, and write down the skills and experience that match the job. On top of that, you should also know how to craft a resume the UAE way.
In the UAE, recruiters are more interested in work experience than degrees. So focus more on that. It’s also expected to provide this information in your header:
- Date of birth
- Visa status
- Marital status
- And photo
Joel Mason, a Recruitment Director based in the USA and UK, warns UAE job seekers.
“There is nothing stopping you from getting a job in the UAE at any time of the year. But, there are months when recruitment slows almost to a standstill. There are also months where recruitment activity is high.”
So it will be easier to grab a job offer if you send in your application in the “high recruitment activity” months. But when are recruiters and hiring managers most active?
These are in the months of January and February. March, April, and May, as well as September, October, and November, are OK months, too. If you start applying for a job in these months, you’re chances of finding a job in the UAE will come sooner rather than later.
That means June, July, August, and December are the worst months to search for jobs. Also, take note of the holy month of Ramadan (the dates change every year). The hiring process tends to significantly slow down during these celebratory times.
Say you’ve been offered a job already. CONGRATS! However, you might be a bit worried. “Will it be hard to get a UAE work visa?”
No! This is a reason why so many foreigners work in the UAE. If you already have an employment contract, your employer is responsible for the bulk load of the visa work. You just need to provide them with all the required documents, such as your passport number.
What’s more, you can even be sponsored by your employer. This means they will pay for your travel to the UAE. This is why it’s a good idea to secure a job before heading over to the UAE.
But what if you’re already in the country? Don’t fret. You can get your employer to change your visa status from a visit visa to a work visa. Just make sure that you do this before the visit visa expires. Side note: Besides a work visa, you also need a health card, labor card, and residence visa.
One reason why it’s so easy to find jobs in UAE for foreigners is because the predominant language is English, even though the official language is Arabic. You can blend in with the locals and expats right away.
That said, some job offers require the Arabic language. So make sure you carefully read each job description that you apply to.
You may find trying to get a job in UAE a bit hard if you don’t agree with the local laws. Remember, it’s a must to respect and follow the laws of the country (even if you don’t agree with them). Some local laws that might be hard to swallow are as follows:
- There is zero tolerance toward drugs and drunk driving
- Relationships outside of marriage are illegal
- Same-sex marriage is illegal
- You need a special license to drink alcohol
- Women are required to dress modestly in public
- Swearing in public is illegal
- Public displays of affection (PDA) are illegal
If you break these laws, you could end up deported or in jail.
Conclusion: Is It Easy to Find a Job in UAE?
For the most part, yes! If you look into all the considerations that I talked about here, it will be a lot easier to find a job in the UAE. With that, always keep these things in mind as you go through job portals, online job offers, international companies, and more to land your dream job in the UAE.