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For anyone who loves to travel, working as a flight attendant could be a dream job. Working for an airline like Emirates, well known for its impeccable customer service and high degree of luxury, is even more of a dream come true. Emirates, which calls its flight attendants air hostesses, flies to some of the world’s most exotic and exciting destinations and offers employees the chance to live in Dubai while earning a competitive salary. Of course, with such an attractive job comes competition: More than 15,000 people apply to be air hostesses with the airline every month. The process is in-depth – only the most qualified candidates receive an offer – but knowing what to expect ahead of time can improve your chances.
The Basic Qualifications
Before you apply for a job as an Emirates air hostess, you need to meet a few basic qualifications. An air hostesses must be at least 21 years old and a high school graduate, as well as fluent in both spoken and written English. Physically, you need to be at least 160 cm (about 63 inches) tall and have a reach of 212 cm (82.5 inches) when standing on your tiptoes. You also need to be physically fit, with a healthy BMI for your height. You may not have any visible tattoos when in uniform; covering your ink with bandages or makeup is not allowed.
Although you do not need previous airline experience to become part of the cabin crew on Emirates, applicants must have at least one year of hospitality or customer service experience to be considered. Also, because Emirates hosts and hostesses are based in Dubai, candidates must meet UAE’s employment visa qualifications.
The Application Process
The application process for Emirates is competitive, and some might call it intense. To begin the process, you have two options.
The first option is to submit an application online via the Emirates website. Along with the application, which requests basic information about you and your background, you need to submit a resume or CV as well as recent photos of yourself. Promising candidates are shortlisted, and invited to attend an Assessment Day in a nearby city. Assessment days are held regularly all over the world. During this initial assessment, you’ll participate in an interview and several assessment activities. Only the strongest candidates are then invited for a full interview, which includes an English exam, role-playing activities, teamwork exercises and psychological testing.
The second option is to attend an Open Day. These days are held on a regular basis in cities around the world; you can find the closest option by looking on the events page of the Emirates Careers website. When attending an Open Day, you need to bring a recent photo and a CV, and be prepared to spend the entire day participating in interviews and assessments. Only the most promising candidates are called for an interview, at which point the process is the same as for those who applied in advance.
Keep in mind that both Open Days and Assessments are not held in the U.S., and you are responsible for travel expenses to the city you select.
Improving Your Chances
Emirates looks for individuals who are passionate about customer service and committed to providing the best experience possible for travelers. They also want air hostesses who are mature, confident, flexible and friendly, so your application should reflect these traits. However, the airline also stresses the importance of making a good first impression, so your application photos should reflect the strict grooming standards of the airline. You need to submit photos of yourself in both professional and casual wear, with your hair tied back and in full makeup. Follow the application instructions for your photos exactly, as they are a significant factor in your chances of being called for an interview as an Emirates flight attendant.
- Image is important for cabin crew members. Candidates must exhibit a professional, neat appearance. In addition, candidates must be able to respond to emergencies during flight and render first aid in situations that may require it. This requires candidates to be tall enough to reach into the overhead compartments by standing on their tiptoes.
- Overweight candidates will not qualify for a position as a cabin crew member. Cabin crew must be physically fit in order to act in an emergency.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.