While the rest of the world was suffering in 2008, Dubai was proudly flaunting its money and supposed lack of vulnerability to foreign market forces. Sadly, that all came crashing down at the end of the year, resulting in mass redundancies across a range of sectors. The hardest hit was the property sector, but because it employed so many people, the effect has been devastating. The hardest thing for Dubai has been its lack of empathy for people without employment and as a result there has been a mass exodus from the country.
If you believe the media reports in the UAE – bearing in mind there is limited press freedom and the media is not allowed to publish anything that would be considered ‘harmful’ to the country’s reputation – then the economy is starting to show signs of improvement.
It is hard to predict what will be the key industries in the coming year as no one is sure what will happen with Dubai’s economy. While there have been massive redundancies in a number of industries, jobs in those industries are still available. Typically, the biggest employers have been finance, property and gas and oil. Media has also been a good employer due to Dubai’s status as a media hub for the Middle East.
Wages & conditions
Average monthly rates of pay are hard to come by in Dubai as there is no consistency. Generally, your rate of pay is judged by your nationality. Good employers will take into account your level of experience, however this isn’t always the case.
Another thing to remember is that the standard working week in the UAE is longer than in the UK. A lot of companies will work their employees the equivalent of six days in five, however this varies depending on the industry and the company. Also, being in a Muslim country, the weekend is Friday and Saturday, so you’ll need to get your head around working on a Sunday.