If you’re planning on coming to Abu Dhabi to look for work, here are some things you should know.
8 June 2017| Last updated on 15 June 2017
Many expats who come seeking employment in Abu Dhabi are left astounded when the perceptions they had turn out to be different than reality. In an effort to help you be more prepared, here are some myths you should stop believing.
1. You’ll easily find a job
This is one of the biggest and most common misconceptions here. Years back, this was quite true, but it’s no longer the case. There is a lot more candidates than there are jobs available, so the competition is quite high. It’s not uncommon to stay to be searching for a suitable job for several months.
If you do not have enough experience, it’s advised to get that experience before moving here. Unfortunately, many come here on a visit visa with hopes of reaching their dream job quickly, only to end up with an unsuitable job (low pay, different industry, etc). There are great opportunities here, but it’s important to have realistic expectations.
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2. Recruitment agencies will do all the job hunting and find me one
Recruitment agencies here are very different from those in Western countries. While they can be a good resource to help you land a job, you shouldn’t be relying on them only. Keep in mind that their job is to forward your CV to companies with relevant openings.
They work for the employers, not you. So they’re not under an obligation to get you a job, but they do get paid if you get hired. Note that you’re never responsible for paying a recruiter.
3. Mass emailing is a good strategy to find a job
There are many services that offer to send a CV blast for a fee. Some candidates might also do it themselves. While it might make sense that the more CVs you send, the higher your chances of getting a positive response, it’s very ineffective.
Many email servers recognise such mass emails and filter them out to their spam folder. Additionally, CVs should be personalised for the job you’re applying for. Recruiters can easily spot a generic CV and it certainly doesn’t make you stand out.
4. You need to speak Arabic
While Arabic is the official language here, you’ll have no trouble if you don’t speak Arabic. The business language here is English and most expats don’t speak the language. However, it’s always an advantage if you do, for certain jobs more than others.
It’s always good to learn some basic words though.
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5. Men always have priority over women
This might be the case in professions at oil rigs and construction sites, but it’s only due to the harsh natures and physical demands of the job. Abu Dhabi is quite open and women make up a large portion of the workforce.
That being said, it’s not uncommon to see job adverts that specify require characteristics such as gender, age and nationality. CVs here also are expected to have a photos on them. This can come as a surprise for many who come from Western countries, but there are simply no regulations on that here. However, in a general sense, men aren’t preferred over women in this country.