Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Fancy a job in the sunny oasis of Dubai? Apparently, it’s not as easy to get employed there as it was a decade ago.
Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is a confederation of Emirates that includes other regions such as Abu Dhabi and Fujairah. In its effort to diversify beyond oil and gas production, Dubai initiated and invested in vast construction projects in the last few decades, hoovering up resource, intellectual capital and know-how, from overseas. Back in the day, it was easy to get a job in the UAE, and they paid top-dollar.
In the last few years, reforms in education and welfare, and established service industries that employs more local citizens and retains the wealth within the region.
Still, there are many employment opportunities in key sectors: such as information technology, healthcare, hospitality and education.
However, it’s not a case of getting on a flight and speculatively walking into a job.
All foreigners require a sponsor to enter the UAE, for purposes of business or pleasure. And temporary residency status does not automatically grant you the right to work or seek employment. You are required to find an employer or sponsor who would provide you with a labor card before you can begin work. A sponsor is accountable for the visitor – a guarantor – and they must undertake all paperwork/administrative work that involves the visitor from overseas – this includes opening of bank accounts, visas, rental agreements for accommodation or cars, etc. If you get into trouble, your sponsor does too. So you’re a liability to your sponsor during your stay! So you won’t finding a sponsor an easy thing.
Naturally, the UAE government favors the employment of its citizens. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is very active in helping its young citizens to find work and build a career. Therefore, workers from overseas will be very unlikely to be offered intern-ships, traineeships or work experience positions. You might be lucky in finding an entry-level job, but its unlikely to have career prospects. It will be a ‘dead-end’ job… so why bother? However, if income is not an issue for you, then there is a healthy voluntary sector in Dubai.
Something else to consider; many Arab companies routinely delay the payment of salaries/bonuses – cash flow problems are passed on to their staff and temporary workers. There is no option other than to wait until it is paid. So, you’ll need to go to Dubai with a financial cushion and expect to need to use it. You should really go in with your eyes open about this, and plan to be financially self-sufficient for at least 90 days.
If you’re thinking about starting your own business in Dubai, you’ll need to know about the regulations. Before setting up shop, you must plan carefully as there are strict rules about foreign investment and ownership. For most of the country, a business requires at least 51% ownership by a UAE national. But there are ‘free zones’ in Dubai where foreigners can invest their capital and own 50% or more of their business. From a legal perspective, companies based in these free zones are considered as offshore, so they are not allowed to do business within the city of Dubai without an UAE national agent or distributor. And then, of course, you need a license to trade. And note the statement above about cash flow…
There is a lot to think about.
Personally, I wouldn’t have known where to start if I wanted to work in Dubai, until I found this in-depth guide that promises to share many of the ‘secrets’ of finding work in Dubai: Dubai Job Secrets System. This guide provides insightful information, passed on from successful ex-pats, recruitment agencies and recruiters in Dubai, on how to get a job there quickly. It contains a list of 8,000 employers to contact – so it’s an instant Dubai rolodex.
Best of all, it comes with a cast-iron money-back guarantee that if it doesn’t work for you, then you will get your money back without any quibbles. And it’s just $29.95. Could this be all you need to get a job in Dubai? If you try it out, please share your experiences by leaving a comment below.