Consider working in the UAE if you wish to avoid paying income taxes and are part of the vast ex-pat community (UAE). If you need more convincing, consider the country’s rich cultural heritage and subtropical climate. There are several job opportunities in the environment or conservation, with popular efforts including animal sanctuaries and marine ones.
The UAE is a location where tradition and modernity coexist. The UAE’s persistent growth in recent years has made working there look good on any CV. It is made up of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain.
English is the primary business language, and over 85% of the population is foreign-born, so you’ll have no trouble fitting in. Opportunities abound throughout this diversified country, however, the majority of jobs in the UAE may be found in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The expense of living is high, but you get your money’s worth because the standard of living is first-rate.
Living and working in the Gulf region will allow you to discover Islamic culture, but you must obey local laws and practices to avoid getting in trouble with the law. Breaching these can result in harsh punishment. For example, there is a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use while driving. Relationships outside of marriage, as well as same-sex marriage, are outlawed. To consume alcohol, you’ll need a special license, and women should dress modestly when out in public. Swearing in public and public displays of affection are also arrestable offences.
You’ll be able to enjoy hot weather in the summer and warm days in the winter on your days off. You may explore picturesque sandy beaches and cosmopolitan sites such as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the Dubai Mall.
Job Opportunities in the UAE
With a population of ten million and an unemployment rate of 3%, the UAE is an oil-rich country. It’s had to deal with fluctuating oil prices and global oversupply but on the whole, the economy is strong and has seen rapid growth in recent years.
Major industries in the UAE include:
- boat building and ship repair
- handicrafts and textiles
- petroleum and petrochemicals.
Some of the best major companies to work for include:
- AstraZeneca Gulf (pharmaceutical)
- Apparel Group (retail)
- DHL (logistics)
- Etihad Airway
- FedEx Express (logistics)
- Hilton Worldwide (hospitality)
- Marriott (hospitality)
- Microsoft Gulf
- Omnicom Media Group MENA
- Splash (fashion)
- THE One (retail)
- Weber Shandwick (communications).
How to Get a Job in The UAE
Many ex-pats find jobs through international companies in their home countries and where possible it’s best to try to secure work before making the move. Thousands of British companies have operations in the Gulf region, so securing a position with one of these organisations before requesting a transfer might be an option.
In the UAE many positions are advertised via recruitment agencies or online and, while it may be unusual practice in your own country, don’t be surprised to find job adverts specifically asking for a particular gender, age or nationality. Networking is important but this may be difficult to do from afar. However, once you’re in a job in the UAE successful networking could help you get promoted.
Speculative applications are not unwelcome but securing a job through this method often relies on strong personal contacts.
Most applications are made online via an application form or CV. Make sure to attach a photograph and a short cover letter.
You’ll usually undergo a face-to-face interview and a medical examination before being offered a job.
UAE Visas Guide
Visas for visiting the UAE will be issued on arrival to all UK nationals. This allows you to stay in the country for 30 days. The emirate you arrived in can then extend your visa for another 30 days, three days before its expiry date. However, you must leave the country at the end of this period. Your passport must have at least six months of validity from the date of entry, so check before travelling.
If you intend to work in the UAE you’ll need to be sponsored by an employer – you cannot work on a visit or a tourist visa. Once you’ve accepted a job offer your employer will apply for a residency visa on your behalf and you’ll then be able to get a work permit from the Ministry of Labour. You’re not entitled to work without this permit and doing so is illegal.
Work permits and employment visas can last between one and ten years. Documents needed to secure a work permit include:
- proof of work contract
- application form
- Emirates ID card
- valid passport
- passport photos
- medical check and health certificate documents
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