How to Find Jobs in Dubai

How to Find Jobs in Dubai

How to Find Jobs in Dubai.

December 23, 2016 | Muhammed Ali Sheikh

Being based in the Dubai for the past 7 years, if I received $1 for every time someone asked me how to get a job in Dubai I would be a rich man by now!

In this series of articles, I will empower you with what I learned firsthand from HR Directors, HR Managers, Recruiters and Talent Acquisition teams of top MNCs and employers of choice – to help you find a job in Dubai. What we need is ‘a battle-plan for a better future’ or more simply a strategy to turn your ambition into a reality. I am going to walk you through quantifiable actions that can be applied in general anywhere in the MENA region, be it Dubai or Doha.

Before we work on that plan I would like to give you an understanding of my background; I started my career in the regions talent acquisition industry back in 2010. I have worked with Industry leaders like and MonsterGulf, working very closely with HR professionals and Talent Acquisitions teams at all levels at the companies you want to work for, understanding their hiring challenges. I would then tailor a hiring solutions to meet their Talent Acquisition strategy in the form of SaaS solutions such as a HCM, ATS or employer branding solutions amongst other solutions.

More importantly to the reader – what all this experience gave me was valuable understanding & insight of the industry which perhaps you don’t have access to – yet!

Historically Dubai has relied on the expatriate’s workforce for its meteoric growth over the past couple decades. Going forward it will continue to rely on them since there are huge talent gaps as Dubai prepares for Expo 2020.

This series of articles is equally relevant to those based here region as the strategy I will share can be adapted easily for you too.

What sectors are hiring?

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are in the top Worlds top 10 global financial centers it is no surprise that Financial Services and Banking sectors tend to offer a lot of career growth opportunities. It goes without saying that as an Oil producing country the Oil & Gas sector is continually hiring but more so in Abu Dhabi. The oil price is hovering at the $50 mark at the moment, if this positive sentiments continues then there should be a lot more hiring in 2017.

Here is how the industries rank in terms of opportunity:

1) Oil, Gas and Petrochemicals

2) Banking and Finance

3) IT, Electronics and Communications

4) Government/ Civil services/ Utilities

5) Media & Design

6) Education/ Academia

In 2016 the Dubai Government opened the D3 Dubai Design District which is home to designers, artists and creative thinkers. So in summary whatever industry you are interested to find employment your likely to find it.

To manage expectations wherever you are applying from albeit the US, UK or India there are astronomically high levels of competition for jobs in Dubai. I recall in my time at one of the job boards we posted a ‘Receptionist’ vacancy for an MNC and we received over 100K applicants in 24 hours! Speaking of job boards let us see how they fit into our strategy.

1. Job boards (Recruitment sites)

The job boards have to be included into your job search strategy. I have started with job boards first because they are an effective way to give your CV or resume maximum exposure – how so? When you register with they work with over 8,000 employers so potentially that number of employers will have access to your CV. The next questions is how you get the Talent Spotlight on you? This is a conversation for another day.

Each job board works with companies throughout the Middle East namely UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar but they each have a uniqueness about them. Thus its important to use them all, here are the top job boards that will catalyst your job search:

  • is the largest in terms of database size & scale of active users of all the job boards based in the Middle East. With this in-mind, it is also where you would find most of the top employers so as part of your hiring strategy create a profile on

  • may not have the same size as some of the other boards but they have recently updated their site and its far more user friendly than previous versions. It works with a great number of MNC’s and with employers of choice. If you are Western or European job seeker get your profile on it as many employers I have interacted would say it’s their “go to site” for Western/European expat hiring.

  • is a global job site so the advantage is, if you reside in the UK and have registered with and have set a preference to Middle East jobs then your CV will automatically be replicated on If you haven’t registered in your home country then register on

  • is a subsidiary of and it extremely popular with companies who are looking to hire Indian nationals although NaukriGulf is open to all nationalities. It does have a substantial database but more importantly like GulfTalent they recently revamped their site interface making it far more easier to navigate and upload your CV.

  • – is a global site aggregator, so you find all the jobs posted on the above websites as well as from many other sources like careers sites & recruitment agencies. The registration process is simple but do keep in mind when applying to jobs each site will have its own application submission process.

Actions for all Job boards:

Register and upload your CV, apply to relevant job postings. Keep refreshing your CV to appear high up in searches as an active job seeker (this is important since companies who work with job boards tend to work with active job seekers). Download their respective mobile apps and keep your CV on your phone so you can apply on the go. Set up e mail alerts on all the job boards for your specific job requirements – set them up so you are notified the moment a relevant job is posted.

Now before you submit your CV its important that you get your foundation right by tailoring your CV for the region.

2. Creating an Awesome CV or Resume Tailored for your UAE Job Search.

Do you know how long recruiters spend screening a CV? 6.25 seconds!!!

This in mind no one can underestimate the value of your CV, it is likely to be the where the first impression of your professional profile is made! Most importantly how do I get my CV to shine under the Talent Spotlight? You have 2 options; prepare your own CV or have an exceptional CV prepared by an expert.

Here are some tips on writing a CV tailored for Dubai or the Middle East based on my extensive work with employers & recruiters.

Please do keep in mind there are no Anti-Discrimination Laws in the MENA region, that in mind what do you need to include if you are tailoring your CV for the UAE job search?

  • Professional Photo – if you are applying for a sales role then without an exception include a photo . Inmost other industries it is becoming an expectation of employers. Incidentally I emphasize a professional photo not your FaceBook/Instagram profile picture.

  • Contact Numbers – all contact numbers must be in International format especially if you are not currently in the region.

  • Include your Nationality – this is a complex subject but in summary its important to include this in your CV.

  • DOB – hiring managers are sometimes challenged with requirements for a specific age range (like those roles that are looking for someone who is 20 with 35 years of experience) thus information should also be included.

  • Do not exceed a 2-page CV anything past 2 pages wont get read – if you have over 15 years experience then potentially you could go to 3 pages.

  • Include your accomplishments or write down how your responsibilities positively impacted your organization.

  • Reference will be requested so do not include your references or that they will be “available on request”.

  • No declaration is required stating that all the information shared is true – once you enter the hiring process a background check and a formal reference request is to be expected.

I have extensive experience with CV writing and LinkedIn personal branding, please do feel to connect via LinkedIn or e mail for a consultation.

As I mentioned earlier this is the first part of a series of articles that will give you a complete guide on “How to Find Jobs in Dubai”. To recap we have stage 1. Job boards and the foundation of your job search 2. An Awesome CV. Start working on these 2 steps and in my next article I will be sharing some great advice on Networking and Recruitment agencies in Dubai.

If you felt the content was useful please like, share and comment.

Lastly don’t forget the 3 x P’s – Patience, Persistence and Perspiration and remember “Rome was not built in a day (and neither was Burj Khalifa!).

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