Thousands of expats come to Dubai in search of job opportunities every year. UAE has the highest number of immigrants in the world and no wonder why! The opportunities in business and investment attract people from all over the world to start a business in Dubai. 68 percent of the employers are planning to hire new employees for 2018 and pay scales are expected to rise up to 6 percent compared to this year.

If you are planning to visit the Emirates in search of a job, Here are some tips that you will find useful.

Where to start?

job search dubai

You can either start applying for a job from your home through online job portals or come to Dubai on a tourist visa to look out for jobs. It’s up to you completely. Majority of them prefer coming to Dubai on a tourist visa and live with someone they know until they finish their job hunt. If you are planning to do the same, make sure you start planning at least three months before you arrive. Ask people you know in Dubai about job opportunities and get some interviews scheduled if you can. This way you can be more prepared for the interview. You can transfer your tourist visa to work visa if you succeed in finding a job.

According to the rules in UAE, citizens of the following countries don’t need to have a visa on arrival.

Austria, Belgium , Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland .

You only need to get a visa within 90 days of arrival if you are a citizen of any of the above countries.

Citizens of the countries listed below need to get a visa within 30 days of arrival.

Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, The Vatican.

Suitable months

Companies keep hiring new employees throughout the year according to their business requirements. Try to avoid coming in the holy month of Ramadan since the working hours are shorter than the usual timings and in December, since most people will be on their holidays.

Research on the present job Market

job search dubai

Do a proper research on the job market and latest opportunities before you start looking for jobs. Dubai is hosting Expo 2020 and the job market is expected to rise in preparation for this. The percent of new hires in major sectors like automotive, petrochemical and manufacturing were seen falling down. Where as the percent of new hires in consumer good industry was seen to be rising this year. According to the recruiting agency Hays, about 69% of the employers are planning to make new hires since 2020 expo is getting closer.

According to a source in Linkedin, the following were the top skills that employers were seeking last year in UAE.

1. Statistical analysis and data mining

2. Public policy and international relations

4. Web architecture and development framework

5. SEO/SEM marketing

7. User interface design

8. Renewable and sustainable energy

9. Mining and commodities

10. Corporate law and governance

This list was created by Linkedin by analyzing various recruitment activities of the past year.

Finding vacancies

dubai job,certificate attestation

Online job portals

Check the websites of famous job portals based in Dubai to find out current job vacancies. Many business firms list their job openings online every week. Online recruitment rates have significantly improved compared to the past years. About 2500 vacancies were listed in online job portals in the last few days only. Create a professional CV and apply for the jobs that meet your expectations. Your visa status and visa expiry should be mentioned on your CV. Make sure that you have applied for all jobs related to your field of work.

Check for new openings regularly. New vacancies are listed on job portals every day and make sure you don’t miss any of them.

Company websites

International firms will mostly have a page listing the job vacancies. Make sure you don’t miss any of that. Check the careers page of all famous companies in UAE.


Create a professional profile on Linkedin. Top class companies will check your social media profiles as a part of their hiring process. Be active on groups and forums related to your field of interest and share updates on your profile.

Personal Contacts

If you have relatives or friends currently living in UAE, ask them to let you know about job openings. Candidates referenced by employees working in the company has more chances to get hired to the company. If you don’t have a good network with professionals in your field, start creating it through social medias and attending job fairs.

Recruitment Agencies

Getting a recruitment agency to help you in finding vacancy will be a wise thing to do. Many businesses firms in UAE hire new employees through recruitment agencies. Keep in mind that the chance for getting tricked by fake recruitment agencies. You might start getting calls and emails from fake agencies offering you jobs with high salary packages. Do not get tricked by this. This is a common practice done by scammers after getting your personal information on your CV on job portals.

Be prepared for the interview

You have to keep in mind that almost 80% population of UAE are expats and this comprises of people coming from all around the world. The competition in UAE job market is very high and in order to get to the top, you need to be updated with the latest market knowledge and skillset. Be an expert in your field. The government recently urged Emiratis to focus on private sector jobs. Preference would be given to an Emirati over you if you both have the same qualifications. You need to be very prepared.

Steps after you get a job offer

Getting your documents attested

The documents you submit while processing your visa should be attested in order to make it legally valid. If you have decided on moving to UAE, make sure you get all your important documents attested. All important certificates including your educational certificates, marriage certificate, birth certificate etc should be attested. This involves getting certificate attestation from various government authorities.

Never work on a tourist visa

Workin on a tourist visa is considered as a serious offense and could even get you into jail. DO NOT WORK ON A TOURIST VISA even if your employer asks you to do so. You may get permanently banned from working in UAE, fined with heavy amounts or deported from the country. Try to avoid this for your own safety. If you get selected for a job, convert your tourist visa into a work visa.

Get a health card and labor card

You will have to submit your medical health reports, copies of your passport, photos, job offer letter from your employer and visa application to the Health and Medical services department. A blood test is conducted to avoid spreading of contagious diseases. You will be issued a health card after you pass all the tests. This is a mandatory procedure since health card is required for non-emiratis to work in UAE.

Obtain a labor card by summiting passport photos, job contract, entry visa, medical records and labor license of your employer to the Ministry of Labor.

In order to get a residence visa, Go to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign affairs and fill out the application. Submit your passport, health records, original entry permit, photos, a copy of the labor card etc in order to process a residence visa.

Further tips:

  • Create a neat online profile. Most employers search your name on the internet. Make sure search results don’t show anything that affects you negatively. This could be any of your old photos or statements you made in social medias. Make such posts on your profiles to private to avoid this. Create a professional profile on Linkedin and Job portals and add all professional details about you in it.

  • Get a local mobile connection. If you applied for the job before coming to UAE, get a local mobile number and update it on your CV and job portals.

  • Never apply for jobs that don’t fit your skill. Human resource managers will consider you as someone who doesn’t have proper ethics or someone who lacks proper direction if they get your application for a job that doesn’t even come under your skill set.

  • Patience. The job market is competitive. It may take a little more time for you to get a job. Do not get disappointed after getting turned away by a few recruiters. New vacancies open up every week in UAE. Keep applying for it until you get hired.

  • Grow your network. Try growing your network by attending free seminars and other events.

  • Communication skills. Candidates who speak more than one language ( Preferably Arabic and English ) will be preferred more by the interviewers.

  • Keep your documents sorted. Make sure you have attested certificates and their copies, resume, experience certificate and all other important documents sorted and safe with you.