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Working in Abu Dhabi
 
 
 

The allure of a tax-free salary in the UAE still draws in expatriates. Although the increased cost of living means less disposable income, good packages can still be found. Basic benefits, regardless of employment package, usually include around 30 calendar days of leave a year, and most organisations include annual flights back to your home country.

Working hours vary quite dramatically within the emirate, and are based on either straight shift or split shift timings. Split shifts are still common in Abu Dhabi; they allow for an afternoon siesta and timings are generally 8 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm.

The working week generally starts on Sundays and ends on Thursdays with a two-day weekend. If you do not have a job upon arrival, an employment supplement is published in Gulf News on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and in Khaleej Times on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Walking into a job is not as easy as it used to be, with many expatriates now relocating to the Gulf. However, there are opportunities available, and you will find skill sets are not as rigid as some other countries, making a career move more of a viable option.

The UAE government is strongly encouraging the private sector to give preference to Nationals when employing staff for white-collar management positions – a process referred to as 'Emiratisation'.

A quota system is in place for the insurance, banking and trade sectors and the number of Emiratis employed has gone up by as much as 300% in some sectors. This, of course, can make it more difficult for expatriate workers to find a job in these areas but if you have the right skills there are still plenty of employment opportunities out there.

Word of mouth can be invaluable in Abu Dhabi when it comes to finding a job, so try to use expatriate websites and make as many friends as possible. There are a number of recruitment agencies working in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Many agencies only accept CVs via email and then contact you for an interview.

For the interview, you will need your CV and usually two passport photographs. Invariably, you will also have to fill out an agency form summarising your CV.

 

 
 



 


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