For a long time, Dubai has been viewed as the promised land. Every year, hundreds flock to the City of Gold with the hope of landing a rewarding job and making it big.
According to Global Media Insight, the expat population of Dubai as of 2021 sits at 8.84M. The figure is big given that the Emirati population is only 1.15M. Expats comprise nearly 85% of the total population of the Middle Eastern nation. Majority of them belong to Asian and South Asian countries with India grabbing the top spot followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
If you are looking for a job in Dubai, you may have already started searching the web for vacancies or using your contacts. Well, that’s a great step to start with.
Moving to another country is a big decision in itself. We’ve seen dozens of people make the move; however not all like it there.
Keeping this in mind, we’ve put together a detailed guide on securing a job in Dubai. We talk about what’s best in the city, the cost of living, the economy, the booming industries and estimated salary range.
Why go to Dubai?
There’s plenty that attracts you to this Emirati city.
Let’s start with its cosmopolitan character. There are people of several nationalities residing here, mainly expats. That’s an interesting mix of culture, languages and food.
Dubai is one of the seven Emirates constituting the federation. It is one of the most modern and well-developed regions in the UAE. The capital city has emerged as a major business centre of the country. So, this is where you will find most of the jobs. The Dubai International Airport remains the busiest airport in the world for international traffic.
Yet another reason expats choose to stay in Dubai post-retirement is because of their excellent lifestyle and high standard of living. It is a place where you can enjoy all the modern conveniences literally at the click of a button.
Dubai is a popular destination for its scenic natural and urban landscapes too. The Dubai skyline offers a breathtaking view with its high-rise buildings. It is home to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest free-standing structure in the world. Nonetheless, the urban hub also has its own highlights.
In Dubai, it is not only about work. A vibrant nightlife lets you achieve the perfect balance of work and leisure, which makes it a truly satisfying experience.
The climate, though not a major attraction, is one of the reasons Europeans and US citizens come to the country. You can enjoy sunshine and blue skies throughout the year. There is a minister of state for well-being and happiness. With a relatively low crime rate and strict laws, you can reside in the country without worrying about safety.
If you need yet another reason to come work in Dubai, know that your income is tax-free. You do pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services, but your income is tax-free. Despite being an Islamic country, Dubai is still one of the highly tolerant Middle Eastern nations.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Dubai, or for that matter any of the Emirates, is not cheap. Rentals take the largest share of your income. The prices of renting or buying a property are region specific.
For instance, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah or Dubai Marina are among the most expensive neighbourhoods in Dubai. If your employer covers the costs of accomodation, it can be a great saving for you.
Dubai boasts of high-quality schools, colleges and universities. There are local and international schools to choose from. Nevertheless, education can get incredibly expensive especially if the number of dependents are more.
Healthcare is another of the major expenses. In Dubai, having a health insurance cover is mandatory. Employers sponsor medical insurance for their employees. However, not all provide a cover for the dependents. Therefore, if you plan to move to Dubai with your family when you take up a job, private health insurance will be an additional expense out of your pocket.
Finding a Job in Dubai
You can start your Dubai job search online. You can register with sites and job portals dedicated to posting job vacancies in Dubai.
Seek assistance from recruitment companies that know of job vacancies in the UAE. A professional recruitment agency will help you find a job that matches your academic qualifications and skill set.
The best way to look for a job in Dubai is to visit the country personally on a visit visa. While there you can look for jobs, approach employers and build your contacts. As soon as you receive a work visa and a labour card, you can return to the country. Working in Dubai on a tourist visa is illegal.
If you lose your job, you have a window of 30 days to secure a new job.
Every expat entering Dubai for work purposes will have to undergo a mandatory health check-up at a government-run institution.
Until a few years ago, the Dubai economy was predominantly an oil-based economy. However, now-a-days especially after the economic meltdown, it has become more diversified.
Dubai draws its income from varied industries including real estate, education, financial services, health and tourism. Logistics, engineering, business development, telecom, hospitality, procurement, IT, construction and sales are high demand fields in Dubai.
There is an abundance of jobs for IT professionals, human resource professionals, accountants, finance executives, sales and marketing experts and engineers and architects.
Given the increasing shift to a digital work culture and growing reliance on technology, jobs in artificial intelligence and software engineering are also careers with a bright prospect. A career in the arts has a very limited scope in Dubai.
The salary slabs in Dubai are fairly good. Besides, with no income tax and if you come from a country with a lower currency value, you can transfer a good amount of money home.
However, there are plenty of variables when it comes to salary and how much you would save at the end of the month. The job level matters most. For instance, an entry-level or mid-level position gives you a higher earning potential as compared to a senior level position.
The salary you take home also depends on where you are employed. Most international companies have their branches in Dubai. Besides, there are local businesses too. You can expect to earn more when employed with an international corporation. They also offer better staff-welfare measures.
Do your research on the average salaries for the role you are applying for. Sites like Quora, job portal blogs and web forums will give you an honest idea of the average salaries per job and the estimated expenses.
Based on the living expenses calculations, your qualifications and experience, you can negotiate a reasonable amount for your salary.
Read up reviews online.
At the end of it, you need to ask yourself a question - Is Dubai right for you? And for the answer to that you definitely need to weigh your options and goals and make the decision. Plan beforehand and make the move an enriching, rewarding experience.