Recruitment Practices in UAE – An insider view

Middle East and Arabian Gulf has always been a preferred career destination for sub-continental work force.

After successfully overcoming the worst recession in its history and remaining unscathed in ‘Arabian Spring’ revolt that recently surfaced in several Arab countries, United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the GCC countries in Middle East, once again showing signs of its very familiar quench for quality manpower to execute and manage many of its multimillion dollar, multi-faceted mega projects.

More than the career options, it is the quality of lifestyle, clean and safe environment along with a tax free salary that attracts us to the expatriate life in Gulf countries.

According to a survey conducted by Gulf Talent, UAE is the most preferred destination among Gulf expats, followed by Qatar. However, with its strong economic development, Saudi Arabia tops the job market.

In UAE the native Emiratis form a very small percentage of the workforce. As per Indian Embassy  in UAE “It is estimated that about 33% of the total population and over 50% of the work force in the UAE are Indians.” Isn’t that breathtaking?

Just as recruitment of expats can be a challenge for the Companies, it can be equally time consuming and nerve wrecking for job aspirants to find the right placement oversees. Through a series of write ups, I am here to share my experience and expertise in recruitment, especially for UAE market.

Current Recruitment Practices in UAE – An insider view

Recruitment process timeframe: The recruitment process along with the on-boarding of an expatriate candidate takes an average of three to four months. This involves, applying for jobs, getting screened for interviews, attending interview (1 or 2 rounds for junior roles and 3 to 4 rounds for middle management and senior roles), final selection, salary negotiation, signing offer letter, visa processing and finally travelling and joining the company.

Availability of candidates: Companies give preference to candidates who are locally available, for two reasons: The Managers prefer to meet and assess the candidates in person rather than rely on telephone interviews or videoconferences. Secondly flying candidates from oversees has an impact on the cost factor. A suitable candidate who is locally available in UAE stands a better chance than an equally qualified and experienced candidate but based outside UAE. Considering local candidates also speeds up the recruitment process.

Recruitment Agencies:  Due to the high percentage of expat recruitment UAE companies heavily rely on Recruitment Agencies, especially for bulk requirement of skilled and unskilled categories in Construction industry. The companies share their manpower requirement with Recruitment agencies who does the initial shortlist of candidates and the Company representative come down for the final interview.

E  Recruitment: With the advanced online technology, more and more companies in UAE are moving towards E Recruitment. They bank heavily on online applications especially for roles like Retails Sales Representatives, Customer Service Reps, Showroom Managers, and other junior and middle management roles.

Planning for a Career in UAE –  Step 1: Do Your Home Work Well

Despite the lure of a highly attractive compensation associated with a career abroad, it is advisable to do your home work well. This might help you decipher your own motives and also help planning a well informed strategy to pick and choose the right career level and options that best fit your profile, competencies and qualifications.

What is more suitable than engaging in a focused dialogue with a team of experienced professionals who ‘have been there and seen it all.’  This will help anyone seriously contemplating a Gulf career to tabulate enough first hand information which could be used as a decision support data for your career planning.

Help is available, should you need it.  Seek and ask, many are most willing to offer in abundance.

Which are the best companies to work for in UAE?

What generic competencies can help you survive a multi-cultural environment where 200 different nationalities are working together?

Dubai Cost Living Indices, what are the practical reference points and concerns.

Does it cost too much for an accommodation in  Dubai?

Driving in UAE

Schooling in UAE

Social Life and Work Life Balance – What is the realistic View

There are countless questions and dimensions to consider.

I am open to answering your queries and questions. I will try and get you the answers to the extend I know out of a seven years stint in Dubai, exclusively working for recruitment and overseas relocation  for many a major industry players in the market, real estate, electronics, IT, engineering, retail, service…..

Lets together help the ones who are deserving and desiring …How I wished for such a resource to talk to when I was contemplating a relocation a decade ago from a  ‘well settled’ life and career in India…

You could be the ‘me’ of those days…I wish I can offer my helping hand, should you need!



4 thoughts on “Recruitment Practices in UAE – An insider view

  1. I’m a project engineer working in dubai and my family is here.and my fiancee works in bangalore as product design engineer and how can he give an interview of a dubai company as he plans to move here before marriage.i want to know how can he get recruited directly from bangalore to a company in dubai.can you list any genuine dubai recruitment agencies in bangalore.

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