More than 75% of the labor force of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are migrant workers from all over the world. In order to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on traditional industries – oil and gas, the local authorities are making important amendments to the legislation and developing new areas, in particular, the financial and banking sector is growing, as well as the real estate market and construction. All this contributes to the inflow of qualified foreign specialists. Especially popular regions for employment in the UAE are considered the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Jobs in the UAE for foreigners in 2024 are primarily in tourism, hotel and restaurant business, construction, logistics, education, telecommunications, production of pharmaceuticals and the service sector. In recent years, medical professions are in short supply in the UAE. Remuneration depends on qualifications, experience, language skills, company and even the citizenship of the foreigner. In many positions in the Emirates, you can earn more than in the most developed countries in Western Europe.

Work in the UAE

How to get a job in the UAE

Even before you start looking for a job in the UAE, especially for a long-term period, you should get acquainted with some features of local culture and traditions, as well as understand the mechanism of labor migration to the Emirates. First of all, it is important to know that the UAE is a Muslim state. According to the UN, up to 85% of the locals come from abroad. Especially many foreigners came from South Asia. Total population of the UAE in 2024 is about 10 million people.

The country has a high standard of living, respectively, food and real estate prices are also high. The official language is Arabic, but English is widely used, especially for employment in foreign companies operating in the Emirates. Working in the UAE without knowledge of the language is almost unrealistic unless it is unskilled work.

The work week in the UAE begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday. The working day lasts eight hours. There is no income tax in the country, the official currency is the dirham. The climate in the Emirates is very hot, so it is better to visit the country in advance on a tourist visa, and, as they say, personally feel the atmosphere and rhythm of life in this Arab state. Next, moving to the practical side of the question, that is, find out how to get a job in the UAE.

Steps to Employment in the UAE

Steps to Employment in the UAE

As in most developed countries of the world, the official employment in the UAE involves preliminary search for a vacancy, after which the employment contract is signed. A work visa is opened at the diplomatic office, and after the move, the foreigner receives a residence permit (residence permit). Recent changes in immigration law provides for the issuance of a residence permit in the form of a special electronic card (ID Emirates), which contains digital information about the owner, including nationality, marital status, photo, signature and fingerprints.

Usually the employer handles the permits for employment of a foreign specialist in the UAE. The maximum duration of a residence permit with the right to work is 3 years and is subject to renewal. Also, the applicant is given a work card and is required to undergo a medical examination to determine the absence of serious illness. According to local laws, a foreigner cannot apply for UAE citizenship despite the number of years lived in the country.

Employment in the UAE. Search for a job without intermediaries.

Searching for a job in the UAE is not much different from other countries, including European countries. The main requirements relate to sufficient qualifications, education, professional experience and skills, as well as knowledge of foreign languages. A high-paying job in the Emirates implies knowledge of English at a high level, additional languages such as German or French are only a plus. The ideal is a good command of Arabic.

Employment in the UAE

Resume (CV) and cover letter should be tailored to the specific job, usually two pages of A4 format is enough. Local companies pay a lot of attention to the ability of a foreigner to adapt to life in the UAE, so experience in the Emirates or other countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, will be very helpful. Sometimes vacancies in the Emirates are available to representatives of specific nationalities, the age of the applicant also plays an important role. Most often young people under 30-35 years old are required to work in the UAE.

To effectively search for a job in the UAE without intermediaries, you need to use a wide range of resources, from communicating with experienced migrant workers on thematic forums and social networks, to browsing ads in local newspapers.

Popular job search sites in the UAE

International job resources

Renowned Newspaper Websites in the UAE

Gulf News

Khaleej Times

Actively use professional social media and contact employers directly. If you cannot find a job in the UAE on your own, you can use the services of recruitment agencies. For example, you can find a job in the Emirates through a recruiting company Michael Page.

Jobs and wages in the UAE

There are many large companies operating in the UAE, including foreign companies. Very often jobs for foreign specialists are offered by such corporations as Ericsson, Marriott, DHL, Microsoft Gulf and FedEx Express.

Jobs and wages in the UAE

There is no official minimum wage in the Emirates. The average salary depends on the region, industry, qualifications and experience of the employee. For example, we can highlight the average monthly pay in the UAE in 2024 in the following areas (thousands/dollars):

  • Oil and gas – up to 8

  • Medicine – up to 7

  • Construction – up to 5.5

  • Engineering – up to 4.6

  • Information technology – up to 4.5

  • Education and trade – up to 4,5

  • Tourism, hotel and restaurant business – up to 2.5

  • Sales clerks, drivers – up to 700

  • Maids, nannies, caregivers – up to 800-1000

The variation of salaries in the Emirates largely depends on the profession. Unskilled labor is paid quite low, and competition for jobs is very high. Vacancies in the UAE in 2024 are traditionally available in tourism, construction and medicine. Specialists in logistics, real estate sales and the oil and gas industry are often needed.

For women there are jobs in the UAE as waitresses, hotel administrators, hostesses, secretaries, seamstresses, nannies. Men can work as engineers, construction workers, programmers. In fact, there are jobs for foreigners in almost all sectors of the economy of the United Arab Emirates.

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