Expat Advice: Working in
Dubai at Night
A former expat in Dubai warns about the risks of Dubai's lavish lifestyle - many expats end up in buried in debt as a result.
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
It depends really. The Oil & Gas give the best opportunities based on the salary and benefits offered, Real Estate / Construction were also main industries before the economic crisis. There are always job openings for the hospitality industry but usually do not pay as much, but these jobs are always the best entry jobs if considering to move to the UAE as the companies usually provide the accommodation, so it is easier to make a move from them rather than coming on a visit visa and then hunt job. Newspapers and websites are reliable and great tools in finding new jobs.
What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?
I was an Executive Assistant / Office Manager for an Oil & Gas Company.
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How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?
Obtaining work permit in Dubai is taken care of by the HR department. You just have to provide them your originals which will be returned back to you after the entire process.
Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?
English is widely-used. If you know French and Arabic, it is a great advantage since French is second language to some Arabic countries like Lebanon & Morocco. Some companies offer cross-cultural courses, but learning a language is something you usually need a lot of practice of and surely takes a lot of time.
If you were transferred abroad by your employer, were you guaranteed a job upon repatriation? What type of mentoring programs does your employer offer?
What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?
I have lived in many different countries and even now that I am based here in the US, I found living in Dubai the best and easiest for me. The only challenge I can think of and to consider if one is to move there is to have a more in-depth understanding of the culture and the religion. It is important to make a research firstly and to gather as much information as possible before making a decision. It is also important to keep in mind that although Dubai can seem to offer a lavish lifestyle, one shouldn't fall trap to this habit as a lot of the expats in Dubai end up buried in debts because of this.
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