FAQ Guide to UAE Engineering / IT Jobs
Moving overseas to work can be exciting, but it’s a big decision. Our partner agency in UAE has put together some answers to the most common questions people considering a move to UAE / Abudhabi ask.
What’s the market like out there?
UAE is an exciting and vibrant place to work especially Oil & Gas. Whilst the local market is relatively small with many people knowing each other, it is growing rapidly and is the hot spot for Oil & Gas activity across the EMEA region. For IT sector, Dubai is the IT hub of Middle East and many Industrial townships like the Internet City and other Free Zones have immense IT job potential.
The UAE job market will provide a unique combination of OPCOs (operating Companies), Engineering Companies and EPC Contracting Cos and Equipment Manufacturers.
How much experience do I need to get a job in UAE?
Depending on the roles, most candidates will need a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience for the client to justify organising a visa. It’s also very important that applicants haven’t hopped around from role to role as clients want to see commitment.
Do I need to go to UAE to interview?
Not necessarily as Skype and video conferencing are the standard methods of interviewing. If the role is particularly senior then the client will fly them out to meet with the team they will be managing after an offer is made. Some candidates have already been to UAE hence why they are applying in the first place but a client is more than happy for people to fly out to see them, although this is usually expensed by the individual.
How long does the whole process take?
If it’s a Government owned company, the process can take as long as 60 days to 90 days especially due to security clearances. But for private entities, the process of selection to mobilization can be pretty fast and can be completed in 30 days flat depending on availability of visas.
Unless there is some delay internally within the company, the interviewing process is extremely quick in UAE so candidates shouldn’t be alarmed if an offer is made after the second skype interview, occasionally offers have been made after the first but this is rare. The duration of the process is usually 2-4 weeks max. Once the offer is made then the client will start to organize the visa for which an attested degree certificate is needed. We often make candidates aware that they should have the degree ready before interviewing as being unable to locate it can delay the process quite a bit.
Is a move to UAE a good way to broaden out my skills?
It depends on personal goals, a lot of applicants want to move to UAE for very different reasons; change of lifestyle, or they have visited before and have friends in the region, or recent changes in their life have made them consider leaving the Home country for a couple of years.
You can be assured that moving out of the Home Country and working in UAE will not affect your chances of securing a new role back in the Home Country if you decide to return. A position in UAE will see your skill set broaden in general as mentioned previously as the industry is not as mature so will be given a unique chance to move up the ranks very quickly.
Will I get relocations costs covered?
Depending on the level of role, usually yes. The relocation costs include: flight out to UAE, two weeks’ paid accommodation by the employer and a return flight each year. They is a huge ex pat community who share flats initially whilst they get their bearings so you will find there are people on hand to help you secure a flat within UAE. If you want to move any items over to UAE then Pickfords is the usually preferred company and some clients will pay for this services (again depending on the seniority of the role). You need to put down a larger deposit for flats but again this is something the company can help you with and often you just pay them back over a longer period of time. UAE clients are incredibly supportive and are there to support you at every part of the process.
Who covers the visa cost?
The client covers the costs of the visa. All you need to supply is a copy of your passport and an attested degree certificate.
How easy will it be for me to come back to the Home Country?
The experience is transferable. We’ve seen a number of candidates moving back and landing good roles at great agencies in the Home Country. Also, after working overseas, you will have multicultural experience and will have much more to offer to your new employer. The question is: would you actually want to move back?
What factors do I need to consider before I look for a job in the UAE market?
1. Am I ready to move away from my family and friends?
2. What do I have to offer to a new employer and what do I expect career wise?
3. Do I have any property, any other commitments, can I rent it out, sell?
4. Why do I want to move to UAE? It shouldn’t just be for the amazing weather and tax free salary!
What’s the most desired qualification and skillset?
For employment in Oil and Gas sector, you need a minimum qualification of Diploma or Degree in Engineering and a subsequent experience of 3-5 years in Oil & Gas sector in Home Country or some other GCC region. For Non – Engineering roles, equivalent degree and experience in respective roles can be considered.
Why would I want to move?
Despite the inclement weather we are all used to here in the Home Country, your reason for moving to UAE shouldn’t be just for the high temperatures and tax free salary. It gets incredibly hot mid-summer and temperatures can reach 50 degrees. Whilst your salary is tax free, UAE is not a cheap place to live if you want to live the high life. However, sometimes Home country is also expensive so far most the transition isn’t much of surprise. The real reason for moving should be to gain experience within an exuberant and exciting market in a growing region. It offers a superb chance to move up the ranks quickly, gain exposure to MEA based clients and be given a lot more responsibility than if you remained in a stagnant role in the Home Country.
If you’d like more information about working in UAE or the Middle East, just get in touch and we’ll put you in touch with one of our contacts who’s working out there now.