Oleg and Elena Likhach – husband and wife of travelers: about finding a job in Dubai


Knowledge is power, and when making any strategic decision, a little analytics never hurts. How much would you earn if you found a job in your specialty in Dubai, or just a job? Experienced travelers Oleg and Elena Likhach will tell you about it.

In general, this post is based on our observations, but not to be completely unfounded, the report of the Hays recruitment agency for 2021 and of course a conversation with friends who, as we have been living outside Russia for several years.

Employer: what does he need?

Let’s start with a rather unique fact in recruitment in the UAE, namely the lack of suitable personnel for hiring: from year to year, almost 50% of the companies surveyed have this problem.

The fact is that there is no shortage of people who specifically want it, it manifests itself precisely in people who have at least a close set of competencies. And that’s the point.

Dubai is the center of attraction for labor immigration from almost all over the world, especially from the Asia-Pacific region (India, Pakistan, Thailand, Philippines, etc.). And when a recruiter places a vacancy, in a couple of days he sees 2000+ applications from completely different people:

And in very many cases, these people not only do not understand the specifics of the proposed position, but also the English language in general. Recruiters, in turn, need to find worthy candidates from this pile of applications. And this is a real problem for both the employer and the job seeker.

But as soon as an HR finds an adequate employee for an open vacancy, a new task arises – keeping him at his place of work: a quarter of employers face this.

Competition is high on both sides of the barricades, and if an employee has shown a high level of competence in a particular industry, then it is sometimes easier for another company to simply lure him away from his current job than to start analyzing thousands of submitted applications again.

But let’s skip the lyrics and move on to more specific things, namely, positions in which industries are in demand?

Employer: who is he looking for?

It is relatively easy to register your business in the UAE, so the number of firms of various sizes, sectors and incomes is extremely large. Therefore, the TOP-3 professions will always be the backbone of any business: management, operators (they are also the basic workforce), as well as salespeople.

Our friends, after four years of living in Dubai, say that it is difficult at first to count on a managerial position or another in the sales department, unless a particular company works with the Russian or Eastern European market.

In the average statistical situation, in its most trivial interpretation, priority is given to people who know Arabic and come from this region (in most cases these are Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt), then representatives of India and Pakistan (because they are in the vast majority here) , and then to personnel from Europe and the UK to maintain, so to speak, status. So it goes.

On the other hand, engineers, especially in the construction and oil and gas industries, as well as IT will always be in demand. The e-commerce sector is also doing well.

Also, and this is Elena’s opinion, things are bad in terms of marketing communications (with the exception of social media). The marketing mix, the set of tools and the abilities of agencies are 5-7 years behind Russia, and the Russian average specialist can give a good head start to its competitors in the local market. This, of course, does not save you from the heat of competition, but if you manage to break through the “white noise” of applications and candidates, the jackpot will surely be yours.

And finally, the service sector has not gone away, which is always glad to accept people from Russia and the CIS countries into its ranks. A lot of our compatriots are employed here: in five-star hotels, restaurants, as well as luxury boutiques. They didn’t hold a candle, but we can assume the following: since the status is very important for the designated establishments, and our brother asks for less of a native of a village somewhere on the outskirts of Great Britain, then this alignment is an epic win for business.

It was a brief market blitz. The opinion is not final, but gives basic ground for reflection. Let’s look at wages.

Here is our shortlist with Oleg of basic positions and average salaries. These are approximate figures, each company has its own policy and the final figure may differ both up and down:

• Accountant / Financier – 20,000 dirhams;

• Architect / Designer – 25,000 – 30,000 dirhams;

• Logistics Manager – AED 20,000 – 25,000;

• Secretary / Receptionist – 10,000 dirhams;

• HR / Recruiter – AED 15,000 – 20,000;

• Sales manager – 20,000 – 30,000 dirhams;

• Marketing manager – 15,000 – 20,000 dirhams;

• IT Manager – AED 20,000.

So that was a short guide on what you can expect and expect when looking for a job in Dubai. We hope it will give you good food for thought and help you make the right move.

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