Get Jobs in Dubai

Finding a job in Dubai, especially if you are unfamiliar with the customs or legal differences, can be a tricky prospect. Many methods of job hunting that might be considered outdated or time consuming in your home country are still viable means of finding a job in Dubai. By walking into your job hunt armed with visa requirements and an understanding of the business culture, you'll improve your chances of finding work in Dubai.


Getting a Sponsor

  1. Understand legal differences. The visa that you will need to enter Dubai will depend on your nationality, the length of your stay, and the purpose of your visit. If your country of nationality is not included on Dubai's 39 country list of countries approved for entry without obtaining a visa prior to arrival, you will need both a sponsor and a visa, even if you're only visiting for pleasure.[1]
    • A "sponsor" is defined as: an individual, company, or institution that takes responsibility for you and any misbehavior or violation of regulation committed on your part.[2] Furthermore, your sponsor must hold residential status and have a minimum income of AED10,000/month.
  2. Research the environment of your industry. Depending on your industry, there may be cultural differences from your own country, and knowing these will make finding a sponsor, and a job, in Dubai go more smoothly. Failure to respect the traditions and social expectations can cost you potential sponsors and jobs.
    • Be sure to acknowledge and show appropriate deference to the most senior person when meeting with multiple people or interviewing. Handshakes are always used, and these can go on for longer than you may be comfortable. Be sure not to grip too tightly; this can be considered rude.[3]
    • Islam, the national religion of Dubai, pervades all aspects of life.[4] Showing the proper respect and understanding for Islamic customs will earn you professional and personal respect.
  3. Make contacts. Generally speaking, networking is an important business skill, but in a country with strict requirements for visa sponsorship, the contacts you make could determine whether or not you will be granted access to Dubai. It is common for an individual or company with relevant experience in your field to act as an initial sponsor in exchange for remuneration.[5]
  4. Look into a hotel sponsorship. It will help a great deal for you to do some reconnaissance of your own in Dubai before committing to a job there. A hotel sponsorship and tourist visa (valid for 30 days) will give you time to evaluate if the climate, culture, and professional opportunities are suitable for your professional goals.[6]

Using a Recruitment Agency

  1. Analyze the recruiting agencies in your region. Though not always the case, most Dubai recruitment agencies in the traditional West (like the UK and US) focus on managerial positions. Agencies recruiting in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Korea, and the Philippines generally focus on filling manual labor positions.[7]
  2. Identify your preferred area of industry. This will determine the kind of recruitment agency you will approach. Agencies have different areas of specialization, but not all job categories have a suitable recruitment agency that can connect you with the job you desire.[8]
    • Newspaper classifieds and online job postings, while more time consuming, offer potential opportunities or, at least, direction for cold-calls you may make in search of employment.
  3. Be aware of the culture of recruitment. Recruitment agency fees are always paid by the employer, with no charge to staff.[9] These fees are usually a percentage of the annual salary of the position you are applying for, ranging 10 - 20% for most positions.
    • UAE Ministry of Labor prohibits recruitment agencies to charge employees a fee for representation.[10] Some recruitment companies legitimize claim a service fee to prospective employees by being based in a country other than Dubai, though many countries have bans on this practice as well.
  4. Maintain a good relationship with your agent. Your recruitment agent can do more for you than simply help put you in contact with future employers. Should you accept a position in Dubai, your agent can help your spouse with the necessary paperwork to find work, or put you in touch with someone who can help.[11]
    • Show proper respect in personal meetings. It is important, if at a business lunch, that you accept and express your enjoyment of food and refreshment before moving on to matters of business. Additionally, try to always accept food and drink with your right hand, avoid pointing the sole of your foot (or your foot in general) at your agent, try not to point or beckon with your finger.[12]
    • Giving a personal gift can establish a meaningful bond with your agent. Be sure your gift does not violate any of the precepts of Islam. Avoid anything with alcohol, including perfume, pig products, personal items like underwear, knives, canine themed gifts, and sexually suggestive material.[13]

Freelancing and Temping

  1. Do the groundwork ahead of arrival. Due to sponsorship law, paperwork considerations, and cultural expectations, it is rarely possible for you to arrive in Dubai without employment and find a job locally.[14]
    • Investigate job portals online to give yourself a better idea of where you could best focus your job search, but be on alert for illegitimate web based companies that might take advantage of your lack of knowledge of UAE Law.
  2. Get a freelancer license. UAE law makes a careful distinction between part-time work and freelancing. If you are considering freelancing in Dubai, you will be considered a single person company working for yourself, which is allowed as long as you have an appropriate freelance license.[15]
    • Licenses are distributed by relevant government agencies in accordance to your industry/location. Freelancing in a free trade zone of Dubai has different requirements than that of Dubai proper.
  3. Investigate common temp positions. These may or may not differ greatly from the temp opportunities in your own country. If you're interested in temp work in Dubai, you should look into the following positions:
    • Office administration/secretarial
    • Retail work (during tourist season)
    • Bar/nightclub staff
    • Market research
    • Nursing
    • Courier services (with international companies)
    • Chauffeur/driving services[16]
  4. Make cold-calls. Though many experts today believe cold-calling to be a relic from the past, this method of job hunting is still alive and well in Dubai.[17] Some analysts claim that as many as 24% of candidates get their job through cold-calling in Dubai.[18] Do your homework first; understanding the corporate vision or already having a contact in the company you want to work for will open doors.
    • Look into recent accomplishments or business ventures of the company in which you are interested. Lead with this in your call, and then work your way to inquiring about a position.
    • As an example:
      "Good morning, I've been reading about your company's work in investment planning. I found the article in Khaleej Times about your company very interesting, especially about the new ventures you are planning. I recently graduated from UK University in investment planning, and the article lead me to believe there might be openings with your company. If it isn't inconvenient, is there perhaps someone I could speak with in regard to that?"
  5. Peruse the classifieds of newspapers. Many companies advertise new job postings or openings for positions in the "Appointments" section of such reputable periodicals as the Khaleej Times and Gulf News. Make contact with the information provided, be firm, yet polite, do not try to schedule a meeting on Friday (a day of prayer and rest), and come armed with your business cards and a well constructed CV/resumé.[19]


  • Be leery of anyone who asks you for money up front and/or guarantees your employment. This is often a warning sign of a less than reputable company.
  • Beware of a job portal called "jobs in Dubai and Bayt." This job provider has been found to be a fraud concern.
  • Recruiting agencies based in or out of Dubai are prohibited from charging employees for recruiting services under UAE Labor Law.[20]



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