Landing a Job in Dubai

Located on the northern coastline of United Arab Emirates (UAE) fronting the Persian Gulf, Dubai arguably has the highest population in UAE second only to Abu Dhabi. Dubai boasts of a colorful history with its roots tracing back as far as 1833. Now considered a global city, Dubai has a strong grasp on economic movers such as the oil industry, real estate sector and the tourism sector. This has given Dubai a colorful and vibrant business economy suitable for business investments and job-seekers.

Dubai showcases a lot of thriving business sectors from oil to trade to hospitality and offers a lot of industry options to career seekers with varied educational and professional backgrounds around the world. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Commission on Filipino Overseas' statistics, Dubai is one of the top ten destinations for Filipino job-seekers as proven by the fact that there are over 600,000 Filipino workers at present in this booming city. In 2010, almost 50,000 Filipino job-seekers were able to find employment in Dubai and more than 30,000 were women. According to that survey, top posts that were filled were administrative and managerial workers, forestry workers, and production related workers transport equipment such as motor vehicle and equipment operators, drillers and electronic workers.

As Visa is usually a critical requirement in entering or pursuing careers in other countries, Dubai is no exception for Filipinos. As of August 2008, UAE announced 16 different types of visas with The Ministry of Interior's Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department (DNRD) taking the lead in monitoring UAE’s issuance of visas to foreigners who are visiting their country. Note that there are different types of visa that can be obtained to enter UAE and eventually Dubai but can be subdivided into three main categories such as:

UAE Tourist Visa:
This type of visa is valid only for 30 days and cannot be extended and can only be applied by the tourist company you are using.

UAE Visit Visa:
This visa needs to be acquired in advance through a sponsor either through the company your doing business with, the hotel where your staying at, the travel agency you will be using or an individual either a relative or a friend who holds a UAE residency status provided they earn at least Dh4000 every month. To process this visa, be ready with certain information your sponsor might need from you such as photocopy of the first few pages of your passport that's valid for at least three months and your flight details. This visa has to be in the hands of UAE airport immigration at least an hour ahead of your flight arrival but a photocopy of the visa would come in handy as some airlines has a policy of verifying that you have a valid visit visa waiting for you at the airport. This type of visa is valid for up to 60 days and can be applied for a 30 day extension for Dh500.

UAE Work Visa:
Valid for only 60 days, this visa are for people who are looking for a career in Duabi or to do business. During which time you have to process your work residence visa.

Probably the best route to consider if you want to pursue a career in Dubai, as this was the choice for most Filipino workers already in the place, is to look for an employment agency. Their years of experience in matching employers' needs with the skills of employees seeking fruitful careers within their line of work can prove useful in the long run as it helps eliminate underemployment or being in a job position that runs contrast to your experience or educational achievements.

In considering employment agencies, it is best to practice due diligence not only for your own protection but for your own peace of mind as well. A good start would be cross-checking the name of the employment agency with the POEA website which can be found at It's as easy as verifying if the agency is listed and accredited with POEA as a legitimate business entity. Another thing you might want to seriously take time in discerning is the industry that you want to be involved in. It could be the same as what you are in, if you are an experienced professional or if you are a fresh graduate, think long and hard of the career choice you will be pursuing. Take into account the jobs that are in demand in Dubai which could offer the highest financial reward.

After deciding on the specific job, you would have to get in touch with the employment agency of your choice and determine the process on how they hire people because this can be different from one agency to another. Always be ready with personal and employment documents as the agency would usually require these from you to process your job application. Due diligence does not end with the employment agency. It would be good to research and try to know as much as you can about the employer before pursuing further employment.

After you pass all the written exams and interviews for the job and eventually you get hired, always remember that there are different cultures outside the Philippines and Dubai, even being the melting pot of a lot of nationalities in pursuit of career advancement, still has a few traditions that they religiously follow. Have fun in your new career and make the most out of every opportunity.