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Looking for a job in the UAE? Here's how to get one

You may wish to relocate to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because your partner has secured a job out there or you are lured by the promise of a tax-free salary. Either way, you will need to find work yourself.

As English is the language of business in the country, this can be enough although any knowledge of Arabic can help. Industries such as engineering, IT, property, finance, manufacturing and energy all employ expatriates on a regular basis.

Where to look

There are lots of ways to find out about job vacancies in the UAE and the best way to improve your chances of securing the best one is to cover as many bases as possible.

·         Talk to expats, as they may know of vacancies in their firm or those of friends

·         Join expat forums, especially those for people living in the UAE, as this is the digital version of word of mouth

·         Search the internet for jobs in your chosen field

·         Update your LinkedIn profile with your location being UAE

·         Buy the local newspaper regularly and check the classified section for jobs

·         Look out for job fairs, as these are often hosted in the big cities and can be an efficient use of time, as you will find out about lots of potential jobs in one go

·         Check out the BAC Middle East recruitment agency – its website can be found here

·         Add your CV to Jobs in Dubai

·         Sign up to Monster UAE here

Think outside the box

Many of the big multinational companies have a presence in the UAE and there is a chance that you may already have links to them. If you are working for such a company, do not be afraid to ask to be relocated, as this has many benefits.

You may also find a company you worked for in the past now has offices in the UAE, so reconnect with staff there and see if there are any potential jobs going. Even if they are not recruiting, they may pass your name onto another firm that is and having employed you in the past will be able to recommend your skills.


You will need both a work visa and a residence permit to carry out your employment in the UAE. After finding a job your employer will be able to sponsor you for the visa and afterwards you will be eligible to obtain a residence permit.


When applying for a job it is important to make sure that you send a CV and a cover letter that are both tailored to the role you are applying for. Never state that you wish to show interest in all potential vacancies and do your research into both the job and the company.

A professionally taken photograph of yourself should be added to the top of your CV. Although this is not the case in the UK, it is common practice in the UAE and not having one can put you at a disadvantage. It should just show your head and shoulders and be in a sensible pose.

Find out the name of the person to send it to and address the letter to them personally. This means it is more likely to get to the right place and your effort has not been a waste of time.

Start before you leave the UK

The process of finding a job, sorting out the paperwork and getting underway can be a longwinded one, so it is important not to get frustrated and stay focused. There will be lots of tasks to complete when you first arrive in the UAE, so give your job hunt a head start.

With so many things being digital these days, you can be in a place virtually before you are physically. Before you leave the UK, make sure your CV is up-to-date and in an easily editable format, so you can hit the ground running.

Submit your CV to free recruitment agencies with the date from which you will be in the country. Start to follow potential employers on Twitter and network on LinkedIn. Get your ear to the ground and put yourself forward. All of this will pay off in the long run.

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