Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Finding a job in Dubai

As long as the world turns, jobs will be a necessity and for most of us finding a job we love is the holy grail. However being an expat does bring with it some challenges in terms of employment. 

We move because we're incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to live and work in different countries. However it does pose a bit of a problem for me; every time we move, I start from the beginning, researching the job market an refining my CV. And while I have been lucky enough to find a job everywhere we have landed,  moving every few years and translating my skills to suit the job market of our current country of residence, means my CV looks a little fragmented on the surface. 

However there is a flip side; I can demonstrate my flexibility and how easily I can fit my skills to suit any position, I have lots of experience working in different cultures, with a range of people and in international markets. 

I guess being the other half of the expat couple, the one whose job doesn't move us, means I have to adapt pretty quickly; hone in my research skills, navigate a city and suck it up and get over first interview nerves. My former self would have been petrified at the thought of this. But the more I go through life, the more more my confidence grows and as my Cv develops I realise how much I have to offer. 

Dubai is a chaotic place at the best of times. High rise, hot and straight talking and I was a little petrified at the thought of throwing myself out there for the job market to devour me. But actually it wasn't so bad. There are a whole range of industries in Dubai thanks to the free zones created by the UAE government which allow international companies to establish here. This means you have a range of industries from technology to fashion design and publishing, engineering and architecture to financial and business services and recruitment. 

With a steady flow of expats in and out, the opportunities to find a job in Dubai are certainly out there. LinkedIn was my saviour because I typed in marketing jobs dubai and a whole host of vacancies popped up. And after just three weeks, I have myself a job in Dubai. It is a small company that is growing quickly and they're so passionate about what they do, that it quickly rubs off on you. I left the interview with a huge grin and a sense of energy and after more months of unemployment than I can to declare, I am excited to start work. 

So I have pulled together a few little tips that helped me along my way to finding a job in Dubai. 

1. Get on LinkedIn. Fix up your profile and add all your skills and experience. LinkedIn is the perfect way for recruiters to find you and for potential employers to see your CV. Companies in Dubai are definitely using LinkedIn to search for employees and that means you need to be visible and have a decent amount of info on your profile. 

2. Use any social situation as a chance to put yourself out there. I mean you're new to Dubai, you will be making friends and you are looking for a job in Dubai. So use social situations as an easy way to let people know you're looking for a job. Just talking to people about your situation, what you do, what your looking for may result in an introduction or an interview. You never know where you might find a job in Dubai. 

3. Use keywords. When I started looking for a job in Dubai, my first stop was Google. I wanted to look for writing jobs and marketing jobs in Dubai, so those were the words I Googled. But think outside the box too. I searched for publishing companies in Dubai, advertising and marketing agencies in Dubai and creative companies in Dubai. All searches churned out a load of job search platforms, but also companies, which I then researched and contacted directly. Another tip is to think of relevant international companies you might want to work for and then search to see if they have offices in Dubai. They just might!

4. No vacancies. So what. Just because there are no relevant vacancies at a specific company, doesn't mean you should exit the website. Write a nice cover letter, attach your CV and email them anyway. Your CV may catch someone's eye or there may be a vacancy not listed yet. The worst that can happen is they don't reply. No biggie. I found a big English speaking publication here, but they didn't have any vacancies that suited me. I found said publications media kit and it had the actual contact details of a person from the marketing department. Ok I wanted to write for them, but I sent my CV over anyway and a few minutes had a reply saying that my CV had been forwarded to the head of the editorial department. You never know....

5. Sign up to local recruitment agencies. As a newbie looking for a job in Dubai, I searched local recruitment agencies and recruitment websites and contacted/set up an online profile on all of them. Their job is to fill vacancies so putting yourself out there as a prospective employee is the easy bit. Setting up job email alerts is a must too, so you are always in the know about new jobs in Dubai. Some of the websites you must look at if you want to find a job in Dubai are;,,,, and 


  1. I completely agree with point number 4. I encourage the people I mentor and anyone looking for a job to always submit an expression of interest even if there are no vacancies. I'm so happy that your hunt is over :)

    1. I am so happy to, that I no longer have to spend my days glued to the computer reading job descriptions. Haha. It is always a good idea to show and interest and demonstrate that you have initiative. I think it goes a long way.

  2. This is great Mimi, I will be making a move soon to a new place as well as shifting into a new career. Your story and search for a job is really inspiring.

    1. Oh so exciting Kayleigh!! Where are you going and what will you be doing? Thank you for your super sweet words. I never thought I would be inspiring but I think I have a little knowledge about finding jobs in random countries and it is tough but I think the important thing is to persevere and you will be rewarded.

    2. We will be moving to British Columbia, another province here in Canada but there are wineries and tons of lakes and beaches, I am really excited to move close to the water again.

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