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How to Get a Job in Dubai

Posted by CMO October 25, 2012 9 Comments

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Dubai is a city rich with opportunity and career potential for upwardly mobile professionals and is consistently ranked one of the top places in the region to live and work. Some essential job search tips from for professionals looking to find a job in Dubai:

1. Identify what you would like to do Remember the Dubai job market is sophisticated and extremely competitive and you will not sound too convincing to a prospective employer if you are not convinced yourself of your objectives, strengths and weaknesses and that you will be a real asset to his team. Assess your career aspirations and motivations. Come to terms with what it is that you specifically didn’t like about your past or present job. Ask yourself what is it you would like to have in a new job? Reliable psychometric tests such as the ones offered by can help you evaluate various facets of your professional persona that will help you leverage your strengths and address your weaknesses and hone in on an ideal job and career.

2. Research the market Thanks to leading regional jobsites such as which has well over 11,000 jobs a day advertised in all sectors and at all career levels from entry level to senior management, it’s not that difficult to know who is hiring and what roles are in demand. Moreover,’s free online Career Map tool allows you to further hone in on what skills are most in demand by local employers. There are other ways to research the market including reading company and industry literature and regional HR surveys that are specific to the recruitment needs of local employers, such as the Jobs Index and Consumer Confidence Index and Employee satisfaction and loyalty surveys. Research will help you identify what companies, departments and positions to target and will uncover who is hiring in your target segments.

3. Build an Online CV Based on’s 2012 “Hiring Management in the MENA” poll, not only is the Internet the medium of choice for the vast majority of employers seeking potential hires, but 84% will take the time to research candidates online before making a final decision. allows you to create free of charge multiple CVs and cover letters as your own professional branding toolkit and access point to the local recruitment market. Your CV and Cover Letter are usually the first interaction you will have with a potential employer so use them to leave a lasting high-impact first impression. Make sure the format, content and flow is professional and appropriate for the role and that you keep them updated at all times. Regularly updating your online CV especially on leading job sites such as will ensure that employers searching for your skills will find you, even if they don’t have vacancies posted. Make sure you include plenty of keywords and details such as industries you are targeting, targeted job roles, career highlights, key skills, etc. as all this will make your CV more searchable and competitive.

4. Create an Online Public Profile The benefit of this is that it enables employers to find you through search engines like Google. offers you this option through its pioneering People platform which is organically married to the jobsite and its broad scope and functionalities. In fact, once your CV is online, creating your online public profile with a personalized URL is an essential one-step process. Your online public profile becomes your online business card and enables you to get your colleagues to endorse your skills.

5. Treat the Job Search as an Actual Job Set aside a fixed number of hours a day and approach the job search methodically, logically and systematically applying the same discipline, rigor and organizational skills you would apply to a real job. Identify your targets and set a game plan in place that includes companies you will target, activities you will undertake, dates and follow up plans.

6. Widen the Net The job search is no time to be shy. Talk to friends, family, alumni, peers, family, local business groups, business councils and the career planning team at your college if you are a fresh graduate and make sure your CV is circulating in the right circles. Network actively and aim to broaden your circle of acquaintances on a daily basis. It is true that networking cannot be that easy, especially if you are new to the city. So start by find out from an updated UAE events page if there are any job fairs and industry expos or events happening that you can attend. Dubai is renowned for its rich and varied calendar of business events and its world-class conferences and exhibitions. This would be an excellent opportunity for you to not only meet employers, but also conduct informational interviews with company representatives. An informational interview can help you expand your network in the new city. You can ask your interviewers which companies would be the best to apply to, get advice on applying there, and ask for names of other contacts for your network. If your time does not allow you to visit physical career and industry fairs you can always attend from the comfort of your home virtual job fairs like the ones run by that go live online and bring together job seekers and employers in an online recruitment environment to explore potential fits. Placing your CV on a leading website like vastly increases its visibility and allows you access to both advertised positions as well as the “hidden” job market.

7. Understand your Earning Potential Before you start accepting offers, it’s helpful to know what salary structures and trends are locally and what your peers with similar skills at a similar career level are earning. This is easily done on the online Salaries platform which has salaries for different roles across the region; and also by reading the freshest local and regional salary surveys such as the annual Salary Survey which is also published online.

8. Be Patient and Persistent Remember a good start is a job half done. Perfect your toolkit, research the market thoroughly, network actively, apply rigorously to jobs that interest you and that you are qualified for and be persistent in your pursuit of that ideal opportunity. According to’s 2012 “Hiring Management in the MENA” poll, the process of hiring senior level employees can take up to three months according to 68.4% of respondents and in 18% of hiring situations, arriving at a successful hire can take six months or more.

Published on Gulf Business 27-09-2012

Photo by Joi on Flickr

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  • Nissar Beeran

    Thank you so much for this useful information. This is really gonna help those who are new to the GCC like me….

  • Sameena Khanam

    Dear Lama Ataya,the article on seeking jobs in Dubai is brilliant. Really helped me take some right steps in my endeavor of finding a job in Dubai. I am traveling next month for this reason to Dubai and I am sure these tips will be of great assistance to candidates like me. Thanks and Cheers! – Sameena


    i appreciate for such a valuable information, Its very vital information for those who are ssking a
    job opportunities in UAE.

  • sifat rokhsana hasin

    thank u very much for overall details about how to find a job

  • Henry Lukwago

    Let me hope that this site will help me find the job i want and thanks for the constant updates.

  • Apeksha Udeshi

    Hi Henry hopefully the steps listed will help you organize your job search efforts.

  • Syed Kamran Mohsin

    Hi Lama,
    Interesting article and many thanks for the same.
    Could some one kindly throw some light on why companies in the GCC prefer GCC experienced candidates only? I understand one reason is cost saving on the repatriation aspect but surely it does not do much good for the the talent pool by recycling the same over and over!

  • Sulaiman Khan

    This will definitely be vital points to remember for a bright survival in UAE

  • An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t speak about such topics. To the next! Best wishes!!

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