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How to Secure a Job in the UAE

The UAE is a global financial and trade hub, offering countless employment opportunities. Many blue-chip companies have headquarters in the UAE and, along with the luxurious lifestyle many Emiratis live, make it a very popular destination for global job seekers. However, how can expats ensure success in a competitive market?

Apply or Visit at the Right Time of Year

Throughout the UAE, the job market is very seasonable, and this isn’t just due to spells of extremely hot weather.

The United Arab Emirates is made up of Islamic countries, meaning there are certain times of year when certain practices take place that mean hiring new expat workers takes a back seat. During the month of Ramadan or the days of Eid, it is unlikely that an employer will consider applications due to the religious festivities happening.

Many consider January, December, June and July the best months for job hunting in the UAE.

Unsatisfactory CV

When you consider the calibre of talent you could be going up against, it is imperative to have a focused and professional CV. Without this, potential employers will dismiss your application immediately.

Your CV needs to be job specific and it is not uncommon for people to tailor their CV for each individual job application. HR departments receive countless CVs daily so keep yours to a maximum of two A4 pages and it is not uncommon to include a photograph with your application in the UAE.

Applying Online Only

Whilst in the UK, the majority of jobs are secured via an initial online application, this is not the case in the UAE. The most successful way of getting a new role is to research and target the companies you wish to work for. From this, you can call them, arrange a meeting, or ensure their HR department receive your CV via email or hand.

Other notable ways of securing employment in the UAE includes word of mouth, LinkedIn, and promoting yourself on careers pages.

Know Your Job Market

Whilst the UAE’s financial health is becoming more stable, some markets are stronger than others when it comes to employment opportunities. Some of the most promising markets include:

  • Legal
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Procurement
  • IT
  • Hospitality
  • Telecommunications
  • Tourism

Social Media Power

In the UAE it is very common for employers to scout their prospective employees out on social media. For this reason, if you are job hunting, it can be best to keep all your social media platforms on the private setting, aside from LinkedIn.

Alternatively, keep your social media profiles available for all to see, just ensure proper use and professional conduct. However, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through as this may set you apart from other candidates.

Don’t Invest in an Agent

Job hunting and rejection from roles can be disheartening regardless of which country you seek employment in. However, throughout the UAE, many employment agents promise unknowing job seekers employment opportunities in return for a fee. Most times, these agents are scam artists preying on desperate expats.

Get Your Paperwork Together

If you do land a role successfully, you will need to submit a variety of different paperwork whilst your work visa is being processed. You will need to get the following together for the Department of Health and Medical Services:

  • Medical records
  • Passport copies
  • Passport photos
  • Job offer letter
  • Visa application

You will also need to undergo a blood test to rule out HIV, Hepatitis C and tuberculosis. Expats cannot live in the UAE if they carry these diseases, regardless of being offered a job.

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