Finding a job in Dubai isn't easy – here’s how to start

Moving to Dubai is a dream for many British workers. The high wages, tax-free living and luxury lifestyle are just some of the attractive benefits for expats. The work/life balance is a draw for many single professionals, couples and families. It’s no wonder that a large majority of the population in the United Arab Emirates is made up of foreign nationals.
Many British expats will move to Dubai because a job opportunity comes up within their current role, and they relocate thanks to an inter-company transfer. However, there are many others who want to move to Dubai and need to actively seek a job to facilitate this.
It’s important to secure a work role in advance of any relocation. An employer will have to apply for a visa and work permit for potential employees. It’s not easy to find them, but there are jobs in Dubai for British citizens.

Starting the search

There are a number of ways to find out what expat jobs there are in Dubai. The internet is a good place to start, with dedicated recruitment websites. is a good first stop, as it is one of the biggest job sites for the Gulf and the Middle East. It has job opportunities with a large variety of well-known companies, in areas such as construction, banking, manufacturing and travel. Applicants need to register for an account to apply for the jobs, but there are, at the time of writing, over 18,000 vacancies in the entire region for all career levels.
Another job site worth looking at is Gulf Talent, which has a decent pool of professional-level vacancies. It’s easy to filter the search to just Dubai-based roles and, again at the time of writing, there were almost 1,000 roles just in the city, covering industries such as engineering, entertainment and hospitality, and manufacturing.
When researching for the right role, there are a number of key questions to ask before submitting a CV if the answers are not already included on the job specification, including whether there are any benefits (some roles will include housing or living allowances, for example). The roles can be very competitive, due to the demand for British expats.

Target key companies

As well as looking at these general recruitment sites, it is worth investigating particular companies of interest. Many large corporations will host vacancies on their own website. There are also large business groups that have recruitment sections on their website, such as the Al Tayer Group, which has a variety of high-end and varied businesses. While these sites offer a smaller number of roles, they are highly covetable and offer inroads into a large corporation with potential career growth.
Persistence is key to finding a job in Dubai. Many companies will have certain countries that they prefer to recruit from, and a basic understanding of Arabic can be an advantage. There are plenty of jobs out there for British expats, particularly those with advanced skillsets, but it can take time and effort to find the right role to make the move for.