Home Dubai How to Work in Dubai | A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Work in Dubai | A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Work in Dubai - The Vacation Builder

Dubai is one of the most popular cities on earth to visit right now. Travellers who have been once just don’t want to leave!

The UAE Emirate is also home to some of the biggest companies in the world. With a thriving business scene, tax free wages, year round sunshine and a chance to live a luxury lifestyle, it’s no wonder more expats are choosing to relocate to the UAE each year.

Whether you’ve recently been to Dubai and have caught the bug, or you’re just curious and fancy a career change as well as a new location; we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on How to Work in Dubai.

Is it Easy to Get a Job in Dubai?

Getting a job in Dubai can be difficult if you are not already living here. You need to consider many things such as; getting a working visa, finding accommodation and getting sponsored to re-locate.

Saying that, there are many job sites which are readily accessible and offer help in finding work in Dubai. Some of the best sites for finding jobs in Dubai can be seen below:

The above are the most popular job sites for finding work in Dubai and all have online recruitment agents which will help you with your search.

Dubai welcomes more than 200,000 expats into the city each year, which shows what huge opportunities there are here.

Can Foreigners Work in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners can work in Dubai. However, before you begin to live and work in Dubai you must register and gain residency and a work permit.

Employers are supposed to take care of the work permit for you. However, the following circumstances may mean you will have to apply individually:

  • The employer has failed to meet its contractual obligations (including lack of pay for 60 days or more)
  • You’ve had confirmation from the MoHRE that the employer has not provided any work for two months
  • A court case between the employer and the employee has taken place with the employee winning the right to early termination or an upfront payment of wages of up to 60 days.

If your circumstances fall under the above then you need to visit the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to apply for a work permit, although this is highly unlikely.

What Visas Do You Need to Work in Dubai?

How to Work in Dubai - What Visas Do You Need? The Vacation Builder

To be able to work in Dubai, foreigners require an entry visa as well as a residency visa. Both of these are required before you or your potential employer can apply for a work permit.

The type of permits available are below:

  • Entry Permit Visas
  • Visit Visas
  • Tourist Visas
  • Student Visas
  • Multiple Entry Visas
  • Visas for Medical Treatment

What Documents Will I Need to Apply for a Residence Visa?

How to Work in Dubai - What documents do i need to apply for a residence visa in Dubai? | The Vacation Builder

Once you have your entry visa you will need to gain a residency visa. To apply for a residency visa you will need the following documents:

  • Application Form & Proof of Payment
  • Passport and Copy Of
  • Several Passport Photos
  • Certificate of Health (From your local doctor) You will also be examined in Dubai
  • Entry Permit

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Work Permit in Dubai?

How to Work in Dubai - What Documents do I need to Apply for a Work permit in Dubai? | The Vacation Builder

Once you have your entry visa and residency visa granted, your employer will apply for a work permit with the following documents:

  • An Employment Contract with the Employer in Dubai
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Marriage Certificate (If Applicabe)
  • Proof of Accommodation in Dubai (Rental Agreement for Example)
  • Bank Statements (To prove you can support yourself in Dubai)

What is the Process for Getting a Job in Dubai?

Once you have found a suitable employer, the process is relatively simple, as in most cases the employer will take care of the visa’s and application fee’s. It is however good to understand what documents are required and the process, shown below:

  1. Employer files to the Ministry of Labour to hire a foreign employee
  2. Employer applies for an entry visa on your behalf which will grant you access to stay in Dubai for an initial 30 days
  3. Once you arrive in Dubai you have 60 days to gain a residence visa
  4. Visit an Emirates ID Centre with your passport and entry visa to get an Emirates ID
  5. Go to a hospital or local GP in Dubai for your examination
  6. You can now apply for your residence visa through the UAE Immigration Authority
  7. Once you have your residence visa you need to visit the DNRD to have your passport stamped as a resident of UAE
  8. Your employer will apply for a work permit on your behalf

See below location for the DNRD (Department for Naturalisation and Residency Dubai.

Bringing Your Family to Dubai?

How to Work in Dubai - Bringing your family to Dubai | The Vacation Builder

Once you, the employee, have your residency visa, you must apply for any spouses or children to also be residents in the UAE. Proof of your relationship to your spouse or children must also be presented on the Application Forms.

Dubai Average Salaries for 2022

Now you know the process of How to Work in Dubai, let us take a look into some of the most popular jobs in Dubai and their average salaries. Below we have researched across multiple sites to give you the best idea of salaries in Dubai. All salaries are per year.

We have used the below sites to gain an accurate average salary across the board.

Things are always changing in Dubai, so it is a good idea to keep checking many different sources to get a true understanding of average earnings. But don’t forget, salaries in Dubai are tax free!


Job TitleSalary (AED)
Construction Manager230,000
Civil Engineer240,000
Design Manager250,000
Head Architect600,000
Mechanical Engineer252,000
Electrical Engineer165,000
Pipe Welder150,000


Private International School Teachers in Dubai earn an average of 11,000AED per month / 132,000AED per year.

Medical & Health Care

Job TitleSalary (AED)
Mental Health Nurse216,000
Head Nurse228,000
Doctor (Av. Across all Disciplines)540,000

HR & Recruitment Specialists

Job TitleSalary (AED)
HR ManagerUp to 240,000
HR Officer125,000
Recruitment Consultants150,000 +

Salaries in the HR sector in Dubai vary more than most other jobs. This is due to the huge companies that are involved out in Dubai which push up the average potential earnings.

For example, some HR Managers will be earning around 8,000AED per month / 96,000AED per year whilst others can earn upwards of 240,000AED per year.

The same principal goes for recruitment consultants. Freelance consultants can earn up to 300,000AED as they’re paid per lead and if they manage to work for major companies this can contribute to a higher salary. Most other recruitment managers working in-house for a major firm can expect a minimum salary of 150,00AED per year.


The average salary for a paralegal based upon experience ranges from between 80,000AED per year and 180,000AED per year.

Many sites are reporting Paralegal salaries at around 60,000AED per year which is grossly inaccurate.

Admin Assistants

Similar to HR, the role of Admin Assistant and its salary varies greatly. Admin Assistants for small businesses can expect to earn around 50,000AED per year whilst other more professional firms can pay up to 110,000AED per year.

Working in Dubai as a Woman

How to Work in Dubai - Working in Dubai as a Woman | The Vacation Builder

There was once a time in the Dubai where women did not go out to work and were seen only as domestic house wives. Times have and are still changing over in Dubai as the city adapts to more immigrants from different backgrounds. This is contributing to making the city one of the most diverse places on earth.

The UAE is still a Muslim country and it is still important to follow and respect their rules and culture (not going to work in a mini-skirt for example!), but you will be pleasantly surprised at how they’re adapted to the western principles of the world.

Women have just as much chance of getting a job out in Dubai as men now and so working in Dubai as a women couldn’t be any more exciting right now as the city presents all of the opportunities it once did for men only.

Advantages of Working in Dubai

There are many advantages of working in Dubai, some of which we have listed below:

  1. Tax Free Salaries
  2. The Climate
  3. The City of Dubai
  4. Endless things to do ensure you are constantly on holiday every weekend
  5. Incredible night life
  6. A great place for family to come and visit
  7. Huge business opportunities and world renowned companies benefit your career and your CV
  8. The luxurious life-style

Disadvantages of Working in Dubai

Oh, how we hate to write about any disadvantages about Dubai whatsoever… but I guess we need to be impartial, so here goes!

  1. The hot summers, and I mean really hot!
  2. Adapting to a different way of life if you are non-Muslim
  3. There won’t be any alcohol during work lunches
  4. Driving – People are crazy on the roads out here!
  5. Expensive cost of living


Being able to live and work in Dubai is a fantastic opportunity should you be fortunate enough to do so. The attractive tax free salaries, incredible climate and luxurious life-style are the main reasons you may want to work in Dubai.

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