Five things expats should keep in mind while seeking a Dubai job
Dubai's international lifestyle, tax-free living and its position as a hub in the Middle East make it an attractive destination for expats from across the world.
Despite it being uncertain times for the GCC economy, there continue to be jobs for the asking. The Monster Employment Index for May 2016 reports UAE exhibiting growth in online recruitment at a diminishing pace, with hiring activity growing at 9% in May 2016 as compared to the same period a year ago.
So if you’re an expat considering relocating to Dubai, be sure to remember:
The best time to look for a job is between July and August
Dubai is a hub for attracting talent, and as competition for talent continues to intensify, employee turnover is higher than in other parts of the world. This is good news for jobseekers as the entire year is generally considered to be good for those looking for a job in Dubai.
However, there are some months when recruitments slow down. During the holy month of Ramadan, for instance, working hours are shorter and people embrace the spiritual month with fasting, praying and charity activity. Hiring lags during the winter holidays, as many senior executives travel back home in December and January.
The (MEI) tracks online job postings and is a great indicator of demand and hiring activity in the region. Looking at the MEI 2015 in the UAE, the month of January witnessed the lowest numbers in terms of online job postings (-10%). In contrast, the best performing months to have been between July and August 2015, exhibiting the steepest growth for year-on-year online recruitment, with 35% for July and 36% for August, respectively.
Mobile job apps and online job portals are the quickest route to employment
Today, technology plays a big role in recruiting talent. Job seekers are interacting with companies through mobile job apps and online job portals. Organizations are also using social media platforms -- which contain a tremendous amount of information on active and passive job seekers – to find talent. How can applicants get in on all this activity? By using recruitment services like Monster Gulf that offer a number of digital, social and mobile solutions for job seekers in this market.
Diversity is what employers look for in candidates
As Dubai attracts job seekers from all over the world, the market has become very diverse and competitive, with a high turnover rate. Because of the unparalleled professional experience that the country offers, there are over 200 nationalities currently working in the region. Cultural difference and diversity is something that job seekers should be open to. The Emirati culture and its unique heritage is something that Emiratis are very proud of and the local government is looking to preserve. Diversity is what employers look for in candidates and connect that to intercultural skills.
Arabic proficiency is a huge plus
Job applicants should identify their strength and weaknesses - being a co-operative, helpful and flexible team player are highly rated attributes for this market. A must is having good communication skills in English, with Arabic proficiency being a huge plus.
The cost of living in Dubai is very high
Taking car loans, mortgages and other financial loans from banks and financial institutions is the norm in Dubai. For those with families, education cost must be factored in. There are several school options to choose from - a British curriculum, American, Indian and others – but fees are not cheap! Annual school costs can range from 20,000 AED to 80,000 AED, depending on the reputation of the school.
Housing also needs to be pre-planned. Living in the heart of Dubai is expensive, as it is in most world capitals. But the decision of where to live should be made depending on the area that you work in. Living as close to work as possible is a good idea. This would save you on transportation cost in addition to time, as the rush hour in Dubai is not something anyone would want to be stuck in every day.
Public transportation is still developing and many professionals choose to drive to work. The UAE has an agreement with several countries by which you can simply exchange your driver’s license to a UAE one. If your country is not included in this list, you must take driving lessons in Dubai and go through the official process of obtaining a license.
The decision to apply for work overseas can be daunting. If you’ve made up your mind to take the plunge, opt for a global recruiting service such as Monster.com to help navigate an unfamiliar job market.