If you’re planning to work in Dubai, you’ll need a work visa. The good news is, if you’re employed by a Dubai company, they’re pretty easy to obtain.Because a work visa is required, it’s easiest to head to Dubai after you’ve been offered a position. That being said, it’s possible to enter the emirate on a visitor or tourist visa for your job search and then transfer your visa status once you’ve found employment.Most visitors to Dubai aren’t required to obtain a visa ahead of time; one will be issued to you upon arrival.While these tourist visas are a good way to enter the country in order to perform your job search, it’s critical that you either get a work visa, provided you find employment, or leave the country when your visa expires. If you’re caught working on a tourist visa you can be jailed or fined and deported.

The good news is, once you find a job, the visa process is largely out of our hands. Outside of having to provide your employer with some documents, like your passport number, they’ll take care of the entire sponsorship and visa process for you. The not so great news is, your job isn’t entirely done.

Large international and/or local companies including aviation firms such as Emirates and Fly Dubai or hospitality companies such as Marriot; media and advisory ones such as Reuters, or finance firms such as KPMG, Emirates NBD and PWC have a fully functional career portal within their website. 

This is much more direct than going through a third-party website such as LinkedIn. Most of these portals can take a bit of time to submit applications as you have to be quite detailed on your entries for work history or qualifications; but the best part here is that you can directly track your application.

You can also email the HR department with the job ID to ask for updates. They usually conduct initial tests on the website itself making it easier for you to get to the next level if shortlisted.

Personally, I spent more than seven months unemployed in Dubai – a highly expensive and unproductive phase of my life. Utilise that time to learn something you’ve always wanted to do, or learn things that could possibly help in your career. It really worked for me, making me able to talk intelligently about things I took an interest in. I even started a blog; so, new skills gained while also keeping me productive, or sane.

This is by far the most important of them all. Living in the UAE without a job is very hard and getting a job is also quite hard – but that is not, in any way, a reflection of your capabilities and skills.

In the big plan of life, there is always something good waiting around the corner. Cold call people cheerfully, if they smash the phone in your ear, think of how good it is that you aren’t working there and move on. Use your time to do things you love, for free or for less money.

Dubai’s job market is extremely competitive, and on average a recruiter will only spend six seconds checking out your resume. It’s important to avoid major CV pitfalls, like using buzzwords. “I’d rather see applicants present themselves in a more unique way, supported with facts such as targets realised, projects worked on, among others,” said Annalinde Nickisch of The Thought Factory in a recent interview with The Gulf News. Monster offers a great resource for CV tips and advice for those looking for a little more help.

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