Looking for a job in Dubai? A complete guide to finding work in Dubai

People who travel to Dubai marvel the amazing skyscrapers and man-made islands where luxury is portrayed everywhere you turn. Dubai has met a more than noticeable economic boom during the mid 2000’s and it is on a path of constant development.

A high percentage of the companies in Dubai are looking to hire new talent in many sectors. Multinational companies are the leaders of the employers’ market in the UAE.

In Dubai, the construction sector is one that offers numerous employment opportunities, as it is one that is growing by the year. Tourism is also on the rise, and thus it is a sector in which expats can find a suitable job.

One of the most looked for job profiles is that of an engineer, which can offer the option of working for an oil company for example. The banking and finance sectors are also on the look for employees. The UAEs health care system is always welcoming medical staff in both the public and the private section.

But looking for a job in Dubai, as a non-Emirati citizen, can be tricky. Here are a few tips and ideas as for how one should approach the matter of available jobs in Dubai.

Where to start looking for a job in Dubai

There are basically 3 main ways to start looking for a job in Dubai:

  • On your own
  • Signing up on job sites and receiving job offers
  • Through a recruitment agency or headhunters

Are you an English teacher or a baby sitter looking for a job in Dubai? Google it! Just do a query for the job you are interested in, and see what comes up in the search results. Buy local newspapers or access their online version to browse the classifieds and business directories to find jobs on your own.

Signing up on websites like as Monster Gulf, or Gulf Talent, Career Jet can make your life much easier, since you can easily filter jobs by industry, skill or level of salary and you will receive job offers daily into your inbox. Pretty cool! Other useful websites can be:

  • bayt.com
  • dubizzle.com
  • jobsindubai.com
  • dubaijobs.net
  • laimoon.com

Recruitment Agencies and headhunters in Dubai:

  • bacme.com
  • jamshrsolutions.com
  • headhunter-dubai.com
  • accel-hrconsulting.com
  • medicalinternational.ae

When is the best time to apply for a job in Dubai?

The best time to look for a job in Dubai is about mid January or February, as this is a “holiday free” period. Try not to end up looking for a job in Dubai during Ramadan or other holidays as you will simply be “talking to the hand”.

Also when you have found the job you wish to apply for in Dubai, try applying early in the morning, as most employers will read their emails when the day starts.

What kind of Resume/CV should you have?

The layout of your CV, try to keep it simple and easy to read. You can also have a picture on your CV, and make sure it is written in proper grammar, include also a cover letter.
A few tips that will really make your resume stand out:

  • Keep your resume focused, an employee will know exactly what skills they are looking for, and it’s best if they see a clarity of vision on your CV;
  • Keep it truthful, you can leave out details that don’t make you look too good, but don’t make up facts that you cannot account for;
  • Include your date of birth and nationality; these are things that may influence the hiring process for certain positions.

What documents should you have on you when looking for a job in Dubai?

You should have with you your educational documents attested from UAE Embassy in your home country, before you actually get to Dubai.

A portfolio may also be helpful, preferably in an electronic format. Bring your driver’s license or even better if possible, your international driver’s license.

Medical records are also of help, you may be required to present them when applying for certain positions.

Obtaining the Employment Visa

Regardless of your job position or sector, as a non-Emirati citizen you will need to obtain an Employment Visa.

This is how this works: if you have received and accepted a job offer in Dubai, your employer will start the paperwork so you can get an employment visa.

The employer will be responsible for paying the employment visa processing fees. You will be contacted by the immigration office once everything is set.

You will then need to undergo a medical examination and a blood test and you will get a health card after you submit your medical records, as well as two passport-size photos, copies of your passport, the job offer verification in writing and the employment visa application, and a completed application form to The Dubai Health Authority.

Then you must obtain a labor card form the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Labor, and then a residence visa from the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Basic living expenses in Dubai

Be prepared to actually “be your own man” financially for at least 1 month, as the job may not come up right away. Same goes even if you actually have obtained a job but you still need to get your medical examinations done, the labor card, health card, etc., which can take a while.

Short term rental price for a studio/flat in Dubai starts from about 6000 AED. You can find a short term rental on airbnb.com for a chance, or on websites like:

  • dubaiapartments.biz
  • dubaishortstay.net
  • dubizzle.com

Utilities will be about 1000 AED, groceries about another 1000 to 1400 AED, dinners, and nights out and lunches in the city, etc. can rise up to another 1000 to 1400 AED maybe, other incidental expenses can also be counted in, so about another 1000 AED, let’s say. This is ball point figure only, of course, but you kind of need about maybe 9000 AED a month for two people to live in Dubai, which is approximately 2500 dollars.

To this you must also add the cost of the employment visa which is about 5400 AED, this including the fees for the work permit application, for the e-quota application, the immigration fee, the medical certificate fee and others.

If you’re looking for a job in Dubai you will most likely need to know how to get around also, and more so, how much this will cost you. The Dubai transport system is divided into seven zones, and the price for a metro ticket will depend on how many of the zones you cross. Modes of transport in Dubai will include the metro, tram, bus and water bus. Passengers will pay with Nol Cards, meaning contactless smart cards available in more than one type, costing between 2 and 80 AED.

The job interview

Neither when you are receiving the call, neither when you are actually going to the interview, you are allowed to panic at any time. Be calm, explicit, and always ask the time and date for the interview, the location, the best way to get there maybe, and the person you should be looking for when you get there.

When actually going to the interview after looking for a job in Dubai, do not look down, do not rub your hands or bite your nails. You must be confident, and well informed about the company, the position you applied for, and the responsibilities you may have.

Dubai job salaries

This will of course depend on the job. It is important though to know your virtues, and more so, to know how to present them. Besides Dubai is an expensive city, so when negotiating your salary, it is recommended to start high.
The basic salary package for a job in Dubai includes:

  • Basic salary
  • The annual paid leave of 30 days
  • Medical insurance
  • Recruitment fees, visa-processing fees
  • The gratuity pay
  • Ticket fare for returning back home when the contract ends.

Of course, you can negotiate other benefits, such as a private medical insurance, or accommodation allowance, transportation allowance, etc.

It is rather hard to estimate the average salary in Dubai for different kinds of jobs, yet a few approximate examples of Dubai job salaries would be:

  • Electricians, between 10,000 – 16,000 AED per month
  • Plumbers, 2000 – 5000 AED per month
  • Accountants 10,000 – 26,000 AED per month
  • Bank tellers 5000 – 11,000 AED per month
  • Cashiers 3000 – 4000 AED per month
  • Customer Service Reps 6000-10000 AED per month
  • Pharmacists 7000 – 14,000 AED per month
  • Nurses 8000 – 15,000 AED per month

An English teacher will make between 2500 and 5000 AED maybe in Dubai, but again, this depends on the job and the employer.

You can check out your expected salary online, using this salary calculator.

If you lose your job in Dubai

Typically, you get about three warnings before your employment contract in Dubai is ended, and you are also given a 30 days’ notice period according to the law. This may though vary from one company to another, according to their policy, you can maybe agree to have a longer notice period.

Both parties can also agree to accept a payment instead of notice for example, or to even waive notice entirely.

An employee that has continued service with an employer for one year will be entitled to an end of service gratuity payment if the employment contract ends.

Within 30 days of termination of employment the employer has to cancel or maybe transfer the sponsorship of an employee’s residence visa and labor card. Plus, the employee must sign a settlement and confirm though that they have received all of their legal entitlements.

All in all, looking for a job in Dubai may not be the easiest of things, but it just may be your first step towards a successful experience. And if you are well prepared to look for a job in Dubai and more so, well informed with regards to the process to be followed, there is no reason why you should not experience success in this matter.