Unemployment is low in Dubai and there are a wide range of jobs available. It is worth remembering, though, that unless you have a professional qualification and sufficient experience to set you apart from other candidates, working in Dubai is not likely to be economically rewarding. Due to the large numbers of workers from poorer countries, relatively unskilled work will be quickly taken by workers who are often prepared to accept extremely low salaries. In some cases, companies must first seek to employ UAE nationals, then nationals of other Arab countries, before they consider employing a foreign national to fill a vacant position.
There is a wide variety of business operating in Dubai and it is possible to find work in many different market sectors. A number of employment agencies specialise in the Dubai and UAE regions, some of which are shown below:
A number of sites offer on-line Job Search in Dubai:
Note that a number of EasyExpat members have reported bad experiences with JobsInDubai.com. You must pay to register your curriculum vitae on this site, and reports suggest that little is achieved by doing so.
If you are considering relocating to Dubai, the initial interview may take place by telephone. During the interview, you will have to describe and explain your experience noted in your CV. Note that in Dubai, it is common for the offer of employment to comprise a monthly salary, a contribution towards accommodation costs and occasionally a contribution towards car/transport costs.
It is possible to work for yourself in Dubai, either by working independently in a profession or by starting your own company. In both cases you will need to find a local sponsor. If you work independently, for example, you could work as a sub-contractor and seek sponsorship from the company for which you provide your services.
If you start your own company, unless you set up business in one Dubai's Free Zones (see below), a local partner is required, who under local law must own a majority stake in the company. The sponsor can be either an individual, or another company. You will have to negotiate a fee with the sponsor, which can be either a flat annual rate, paid in instalments, or a percentage of your turnover. When you have reached an agreement with the proposed sponsor, you should consult a local lawyer, who will help you to draw up a legal contract.
Further advice and assistance is available from the Chamber of Commerce:
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
PO Box 1457 Dubai
(Tel. +971 4 221181)
The Free Zones are large, purpose built business districts, aimed at attracting foreign businesses to Dubai. In legal terms, companies operating in the Free Zones are treated as being offshore and are considered to be operating outside the UAE. Locating your business in one of the Free Zones gives you significant benefits, including 100 per cent ownership of the company for foreign businesses (avoiding the requirement to have a local partner), no import duty or corporate tax, and leasehold land ownership.
The free zones are:
New companies, known as Free Zone Establishments (FZEs) can be registered in the free zones and are treated as a limited liability company, governed by the rules of the free zone in which it was established. Alternatively, you can set up a branch of an overseas company in the free zone. It is usually straightforward and relatively quick to establish a business and each Free Zone will be able to advise you of it's specific requirements. Ordinarily, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire by the Free Zone authority, who will the assess your requirements and provide you with a license application.
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