Dubai comes to many as the ideal glitz and glam city to be seen in. Many expats migrate to Dubai, especially from a third world country such as Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is home to me and always will be but with the current lifestyle situation it has lead many of the young generation to take any opportunity that comes their way to live abroad.
This post has taken a lot of time to compile as I feel it is my duty to be as honest and informative as possible. Hopefully I can set your expectations straight and clear when considering leaving home for Dubai.
First step, ensure that you have done thorough research into the company that has offered you a position. I say this assuming that you have received an offer hence your consideration to move, because it will not work if you decided to apply for a tourist visa and then some how try and source a job opportunity while on holiday.
If you are Searching for a job in Dubai look at sites such as Gradberry, Dubizzle, Gulf Talent and Waitred. Lastly take note Internships opportunities from Zimbabwe do not work in Dubai, you need a working visa to work, second you need to be over 21. Lastly internships are unpaid therefore you will not be able to do an internship without a visa.
Dubai is super expensive and there are a lot of other nationalities that come to Dubai with the same goal only to leave disappointed, make sure you stand out.
Ensure you have applied online and arrange an interview while on holiday before deciding to land in Dubai wishing for the best. This will save you money and time. It will also show potential employers the extra initiative you have taken to look into applying for a job from your home country to Dubai.
Experience is everything in Dubai. If you are looking for a line of work in a certain industry you have to have worked in this industry before. So if you are applying for jobs in hospitality then ensure you have done some similar line of work, with references.
While waiting or in the process of applying for a position I highly recommend you go over those French note books you have or any other language. Having a second language in Dubai will easily add points to your resume.
The plus point of applying from home is that there is a chance the employer will offer you accommodation, visa, medical and return tickets to your home country. Though these packages are harder to come by.
Please be careful when you are considering the move without accommodation cost being covered. If you are expected to arrive on your expense and accommodate yourself, it is not worth moving here. It will not be worth it as you will not be able to save and the housing expenses in Dubai are more than 50% of employees income!
Yes it is tax free and that is a plus but the day to day cost of living is high.
If you are located in Dubai it does make it easier to travel to other destinations that would cost way more and take longer from Zimbabwe. Dubai is central to most places on the globe. (Yay for that one.)
The Dirham is strong and stable and when converting to the rand its almost double so look forward to a splurge in South Africa. When visiting home from Dubai it tends to be a lot more expensive because of the exchange rate of Dirhams to Dollars. I would recommend you visit other places such as Asia to get more for your hard earnings.
You will learn the value of what a real friend is when you move to Dubai! Some friends are for hanging out with on the weekend and a few you will be able to rely on fully.
At least try to stay within your first job for more than a year it makes it appealing to potential employees to invest in you. (Visa, accommodation,etc)
It is not the easiest place to save unless your company has provided extra incentives, especially accommodation.
It is not hard to find a job in Dubai but it is not easy at the same time, it all depends on what you have to offer. Just remember there are many other nationalities that are all wishing and striving for their chance to move to Dubai. Make sure you stand out and make the most of your experience. Apply for lots of jobs and do not get concerned if you never hear back from some of them. It’s just the way Dubai works.
Working in Dubai vs Zimbabwe
Working in Dubai is an adventure in itself. In such a cosmopolitan city you will learn a lot about the world just by working with other nationalities.
Zimbabweans in the work place are very friendly and helpful which goes for the same in Dubai. Depending on your industry you rarely work with locals. However, expect to work with people from literally anywhere else in the world.
Dubai is multi cultural and this is an advantage because you gain international work experience which helps to broaden your network.
For women it is easier to be hired and placed in Dubai. I would even recommend putting a photo on your CV.
It becomes the norm to hear many different languages in the background of conversations and you tend to pick up a few words from different countries.
Zimbabwe is limiting compared to first world living in terms of the E-commerce and services. In day to day work life we use less paper and stationery as everything is on line. Work systems are way more advanced and offer online storing of data which in the long run leaves less wasted paper.
Dubai is safe, with a lot of job opportunities to other cities within the UAE, the economy is stable and guarantees your monthly wages, as opposed to a shaky economy in Zimbabwe and even the work requires a lot of persistence and commitment.
In Zimbabwe it is all about education, qualifications and a good rapport when landing in Dubai be prepared for a society shock. You may work with a colleague with the same skills, the same position but it does matter where you are from as the how much you get paid. Your passport is your gateway to landing that amazing paid salary with incentives the list goes on; sadly the green mamba holds many back when it comes to this.
Age matters when applying for roles in Dubai, hence the reason salaries are based at entry level.
Considering moving to Dubai , most jobs are landed through Linkedin so narrow your search, it takes time so be patient.
Like anywhere else in the world it comes with its own challenges but it will grow you and shape you for the better if not you will discover a whole new you! I wish you the best on your decision and hope that you will move to Dubai and not have to look back as I did, many have come and many have gone but the ones that stay well I have to say those are strong women.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to know, I would love to hear your feedback.