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Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Current Job Market in the U.A.E.

Many of you may be interested in employment opportunities in the Emirates as things may seem quite desperate where you currently live, which is just about everywhere nowadays. The lure of lucrative work in an exotic location, tax free income, mild Winters, palm trees and glamor/glitz can be overwhelming in these dark days.

A decade ago, this all would have been true. Fat expat salaries were made possible by demand exceeding the supply of professionals needed to build this country to what it is today. Westerners came here for a few years and made their retirement nest egg. For a country that just celebrated it's 38th anniversary last month, the transformation from a dusty trade crossroads to the modern nation it is now is nothing less than phenomenal.

But the fact is that the global economic downturn has infected the UAE too. There have been many layoffs in the last year especially in the financial and real estate sectors. Dubai has suffered the most because Abu Dhabi has revenue from its vast petroleum reserves to rely on...

I am not saying things are dire here. They just aren't this good:

And they aren't this bad:

They are somewhere in the middle.

Its a seller's market for jobs here lately so be careful if you are considering a position in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other of the Emirates. If you are dealing with a recruiter, be sure to read the fine print especially if you are paying a fee up front. Due Diligence is your friend! There are still some good positions to be found here, but they are scarcer and less lucrative than in the past.

Here is a link to a report from a company called Gulf Talent: Middle East Jobs Report I assume they are one of the recruitment companies in this area but I read the report and found it timely and factual. You have to sign in to get the report and I assure you I have no connection to this firm. If you want the .pdf file, email me and I will get it to you. It is somewhat a dry read but apparently they did their homework and presented an unbiased assessment of the employment situation in the region. It's worth your attention if you are considering the Big Move!


Misalyn said...

Great shots and I must say you delivered your lines so well. Looking at the photos, one could really understand the current situation of UAE.

We,the expat healthcare professionals,can feel the is such a huge difference from 2005 'till this date. Even the salary increase that we were waiting for, I think, will not happen anymore.

Anonymous said...

If you are dealing with a recruiter, be sure to read the fine print especially if you are paying a fee up front.

A bit more on this point. Supposedly it is ILLEGAL to have a job applicant pay a fee to a recruitment company, I guess the fees are paid by the company that will ultimately hire.

However, as with many foreigners, these bits of info arent known to them and so the recruiter takes them for a ride.

So the best thing would be to read up on employment laws of the specific emirate to make sure that anything being asked of you by anyone is actually allowed. The recruitment companies KNOW that there is a general naivety in these areas and exploit it.

By the time a candidate is aware of this, it's usually a year down the line.

See! I can be iffin helpful!

Ace said...

@Misalyn:I took the photos at Heritage Village. It's hard to imagine these two buildings were just a few hundred meters apart!

I have not seen even a one Dirham payrise since 2008.

Since you are a healthcare professional, where can I get a bursitis-ridden elbow taken care of? I hate pain!!!!

ABIT: I always look forward to your comments, I never know what to expect!!!!

I did not know this law existed. It is a good one as recruiters back in the US charge huge fees from desperate job-seekers...especially now.

I know it goes on here by the smaller "fringe" firms but it is good to know they can be held accountable.

Yep, good advice. You were effen helpful. I learned something new today.

Misalyn said...

Hi Ace. If you are taking the nonsteroidal antiflammatory pills, please continue to do so and please make sure that your stomach in not empty when you take it. Cortisone injections can suppress the inflammation response but if your elbow needs draining of the bursa, it is better to seek for doctor's help.

I don't know the other areas of Abu Dhabi, its pretty far from my place ( Al Ain), I think there are good Orthopedic doctors in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

Have a blessed weekend.

Ace said...

Thanks Misalyn!
Aspirin is my NSAID of choice and after 10 days the pain and swelling are down. The next flare-up I will see a doctor. My bursa need attention!

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Anonymous said...

I am on visit visa here and this is my second time with in 6 months! My wife works here therefore I got to Dubai looking for employment. I have to say to anyone who even remotely thinking of UAE for an employment, DON'T! It's a place where you don't want to be right now.
Sure there are hundreds of jobs advertised each day, but to tell you the truth, as a person who has been hunting jobs excessively, I'm not even sure that these jobs even exist! From a country where they prosecute you if you publish anything that they think harms the image, it's not a surprising thing to get these kind of false information.
It is illegal here for job agencies to charge from the candidates, apart from a honest few, there are hundreds of 'agencies'that exploit the loop holes and charge the candidates in every turn. As everything is in this country, authorities turn a blind eye to these.
I think the dark side of UAE.. specially Dubai, is not fully visible to the most yet. It's just emerging.
Financial downturn has hit everywhere. Don't come here looking for easy ways as it's a myth now! It's worse here than ever. tell me honestly, why would anyone want to be on a sinking boat?