Finding a job in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a relatively easy, uncomplicated procedure. Job seekers can find employment by answering job ads on line or through professional and trade publications. However, a better avenue is through an on line recruitment agency. Once you post your resume on line with a recruitment company, the recruiter performs the job search. Potential employers assume responsibility for work visas and compliance with UAE labor laws. Although unskilled and semi-skilled jobs are shrinking because of the global recession, UAE employers still seek skilled English-speaking professionals from North America, Europe, South Africa and Australia.
Investigate the job market thoroughly to determine whether jobs are available in your profession. Visit on line employment websites. Visit job banks that specialize in overseas jobs or jobs specific to your profession. For example, magazines and newspapers seek English-speaking Western journalists and routinely advertise through U.S. and European journalism job banks.
Register your name and file your resume on line with multiple recruitment agencies that specialize in Middle East/Gulf jobs. State your salary requirements. This is essential. Some employers, but not all, provide housing and transportation allowances above the salary. However, other employers do not and the salary should reflect these additional expenses. Housing and public transportation are expensive in the UAE (see References 1 and 2).
Avoid traveling to the UAE on a visitor’s visa to look for a job. UAE or foreign employers based in the UAE generally do not hire workers this way. Only workers already employed in the UAE can apply for a job at another UAE company and have an expectation of obtaining a job.
Avoid contacting employers directly if using a recruitment agency. The agency is doing the search for you and in most cases negotiating salary, travel, housing and transportation issues.
Prepare for multiple telephone interviews with potential employers. Depending on the salary and position, employers may not conduct a face-to-face interview and hire you based on telephone interviews (See References 1 and 2).
Negotiate a visit to the UAE if seeking a management position that demands stability, long-term commitment, supervision over multiple employees and offers a good salary. A visit offers potential employees the opportunity to determine whether working for the company and living in the UAE are good fits. Much of the success of the job depends on whether a North American employee can live in a foreign Muslim country with significant cultural and religious difference. Employers offering such positions want long-term commitment.
Whenever possible, allow a recruiting agency to work on the early details of employment: salary negotiation, housing, transportation and work visa requirements. Employers generally set parameters with the agency before actually interviewing job candidates. Once the interview sessions begin, the fine details between employer and candidate can be worked out.
Bring your family, if you have one, with you to the UAE. The UAE offers a contemporary lifestyle with most Western amenities. But living alone can be difficult.