If you’re looking for well-paid international jobs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE for short), all seven Emirates promise a lot of exciting opportunities. Skyscrapers, booming nightlife, beaches, indoor ski slopes, and luxury hotels in the desert? What’s not to love? With sunny weather all year round (and temperatures reaching a whopping 113°F in August), say goodbye to heavy winter coats and frozen toes forever! If you’re a travel junkie, the UAE is also the ideal base for exploring nearby countries in the region, like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.
Cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are world famous for their cosmopolitan mix of residents and ease of expat life in the UAE. With its free economic zones, the UAE is also the place for international business, and with no income tax the region promises very attractive salaries for expat workers with the right mix of qualifications and experience, making it easy and comfortable to work and live in the UAE.
The region is a great middle ground if you’re interested in Arabic culture. While the official language is Arabic, it’s not uncommon to hear English spoken almost everywhere. Although recent low oil prices have made jobs in the UAE for expats in the energy sector more selective, you can still find employment, provided you can show that you will add value and experience to the company. Demand remains high in booming sectors like tourism, construction, and hospitality.
If you’ve got the stuff, working in the UAE is a chance you should take. To start your search off right, here are some of the top paying jobs in the UAE for expats:
Engineering Jobs in the UAE
Since the UAE is the Middle East’s third-largest producer of oil and the skylines of its cities are always evolving, there’s a high demand for engineering professionals in the region. You can find many entry-level engineering jobs in the UAE for fresh graduates, as well as and senior management jobs in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, in addition to a new emphasis on environmental engineering. Engineering salaries are quite generous and may come with additional benefits, like airfare to your home country every year.
Teaching Jobs in the UAE
With excellent pay and perks, the UAE is also one of the top places to make bank teaching English in the Middle East. Many teaching jobs in the UAE will require a bachelor’s degree in your subject area, a valid teaching license from your home country, and at least two or three years’ teaching experience. If you have a master’s in education, even better. There’s a high demand for English, mathematics, business studies, and science teachers as well as a recent call for more primary school and early childhood education teachers. Teaching jobs in the UAE can be quite lucrative, as private school and language school teachers can expect to earn between $1,300 and $4,000 per month while teachers in the public school system can earn up to $6,000 per month.
Child Care Jobs in the UAE
With so many expats coming over with young families, most child care work in the UAE will be as an au pair—especially if you’re looking for child care jobs in Dubai. Au pairs generally receive accommodation and other benefits from their host family in exchange for taking care of the kiddos during the week and/or on weekends. In exchange for free room and board, however, you might find your salary a bit on the smaller side of the scale. This won’t hinder your expat life in the UAE, and you’ll find these job placements quite comfortable.
Medical Jobs in the UAE
The Gulf region has an astounding number of new hospitals and medical centers, so it needs doctors, dentists, nurses, child psychologists, and other qualified medical professionals to fill the necessary positions. If you’re a specialist or consultant in the medical field, you can expect to earn even more.
Medical jobs in the UAE are available in both the public and the growing private sector. Salaries and benefits will vary according to your qualifications, experience, and what sector you choose to work in. On average, medical staff earn generous tax-free salaries and enjoy other benefits, such as family-friendly working hours, opportunities for further training and development, great work/life balance, and the chance to work in ultra-modern facilities equipped with the latest in medical technology. Some hospitals also collaborate with medical research universities abroad, making careers in the UAE both challenging and rewarding.
Finance Jobs in the UAE
Banking, accounting, and finance are where the money’s at in the UAE. If you have the right qualifications (at least a three or four year undergraduate degree in any of these fields), relevant experience in the industry, and a curiosity about the Islamic financial system. Starting your finance career in the UAE offers attractive employment packages. With lots of wealthy folks in the population, there’s also an ongoing demand for private bankers.
To increase your chances of snagging a competitive job in this field, get some experience back home and brush up on your people skills before you go. On the other hand, if the stock market is more your kryptonite, forget New York and London and head to Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city, to rake in tons of cash. Although finance jobs in the UAE can be demanding with long, unsociable hours, the tax-free salary, high bonuses, and other perks certainly makes up for it!
Marketing Jobs in the UAE
The UAE’s local and expat population has a lot of disposable income, so many multinational advertising and marketing companies choose to set up shop here. There are lots of marketing jobs in the UAE for expats to get your brand on. Take your pick from entry-level positions, such as marketing assistant positions, marketing analyst roles, mid-level marketing management, even big wig marketing consultancy jobs.
Advertising and marketing firms generally specialize in traditional ways of branding, although, digital marketing is only recently making inroads in the industry here. Advertising and marketing jobs in the UAE are highly competitive so make sure you have the relevant qualifications (at least at undergraduate level) and experience (at least two years, especially in digital marketing) to impress employers in the region. Getting experience in marketing in the UAE looks really impressive on your CV, so give it your best shot, even if you only want to spend your time working in the UAE for a year or two.
Journalism Jobs in the UAE
The media industry is also mushrooming in the Emirates, with media cities to encourage local and international media and entertainment companies to set up shop without any hassle. The industry needs experienced media sales people, writers, editors, videographers, photographers, and PR professionals.
If your interests stray a little far from traditional journalism and media production, the UAE has also become a mecca for Hollywood and Bollywood film crews, with sci-fi blockbusters like Star Wars Episode VII filmed on location in Abu Dhabi and Star Trek Beyond in Dubai. Working in the UAE in media can be really exciting, as your co-workers are bound to be very creative and hail from all corners of the globe. If you’re interested in working in media in the UAE, remember to be flexible, as your schedule can change frequently, depending on the nature of your assignments.
Travel & Tourism Jobs in the UAE
The Emirates is the gateway to the Middle East and has its own airline to help travelers explore the region easily. In recent years, demand for travel and tourism jobs in the UAE gave way to one of the region’s leading industries. Dubai and Abu Dhabi regularly host international meetings, conferences, and exhibitions, which leads to a higher demand for high-end and luxury hotels that need experienced spa professionals, personal trainers, yoga instructors, bartenders, chefs, receptionists, and drivers to take visitors on desert tours. In the tourism and hospitality industry, it is easy to work and live in the UAE. Just be sure you know what you are getting into. If you choose to work for a large group or chain of hotels and resorts, you might be able to swing transfers between major hubs in the Emirates as well as the Middle East as a whole, allowing you to really experience the region.
More Tips for Working in UAE
If you’re thinking of making that move to work and live in the UAE, don’t do it blindly. Look for jobs in the right places: company websites, reputable recruitment agencies, and legitimate placement providers. Make your CV as comprehensive as possible (two or three pages are okay in this part of the world) to make a strong impression on potential employers and to get that foot in the door.
If you pass the interview stage, remember to research your job offer very carefully and talk to people who have already worked for the company, school, or organization. Research salary pay scales for the job and check your employment contract for basics like annual paid leave, visa processing fees, and bonuses/gratuity. You can also negotiate for other benefits, like accommodation, travel allowances, phone plans, and flights back home at the end of your contract. Get a good feel for what life’s really like in this part of the Middle East by chatting with expats in relevant forums. Once you’ve done your research, you’re ready for an exciting and fulfilling job in the UAE!