Strategies to Apply for a Job in Dubai & UAE (2024)

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Vadim

A lot of people have the misconception that it is easy to apply for a job in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai is one of the most competitive Job markets in the world, as millions of people apply from all over the world. Based on the data from JobXDubai.com, candidates from India, Pakistan and Europe make up the most volume.

Popular positions such as Accountant, Sales & Marketing and HR receive easily over 500 applicants within 24 hours. When a recruiter receives an overwhelming amount of resumes, he or she is unable to process them all. From the feedback we have received, recruiters tend to open at the most the first 100 Resumes and try to pick someone from that list.

Video – how to apply in Dubai

Recruiters work on a performance based compensation – meaning they receive a commission, when they fill a vacancy. Their motivation is to find the right candidate as soon as possible and receive the commission for their work. Most likely if they go through all of the 500 resumes, they will be able to identify the perfect candidate for the position. At the moment, nobody does it and it consumes too much time to look through each resume.

Assuming that a recruiter spends approximately 1minute on a single CV, he would need to spend at least 8hours non stop to look through 500.

So how do you stand out in such a competitive environment?

On average, a candidate needs to apply 200 times before being invited to an interview and get eventually hired. Since your Resume is the only piece of paper that actually markets your skills and yourself, you need to have a winning CV. If you want to learn how to write a winning CV, you can read our article.

Considering you have already followed our guide and created a winning CV, your next step is to set a strategy of where you are going to apply.


1. Jobboards

A job board is a website where employers post job openings and job seekers can browse and apply for positions. The top job boards in the UAE are the following :

  1. Bayt.com
  2. Gulftalent.com
  3. JobXDubai.com
  4. NaukriGulf.com
  5. LinkedIn

Please consider, as a candidate, you should never pay a fee when applying for a Job. Platforms such as JobXDubai.com offer various premium services to help candidates stand out and improve their chances to getting hired in Dubai.
For example, we offer a professional CV service or you can also check your Resume with AI and receive feedback on how to improve it.

Some jobboards are more specialised than others. All of the above mentioned post jobs across MENA, whereas JobXDubai only focuses on Dubai and the UAE.

The process to apply for a job on these platforms is relatively straightforward. You register free of charge, upload your cv, add some personal information and apply.

Strategy: Apply on Job Boards such as JobXDubai.com

We would suggest to start applying via those above mentioned platforms and see how you perform. As the job market is very competitive, we suggest to apply for at least 200 positions, on a daily basis. This strategy should yield result and get you at least shortlisted.

Here is a break down of the strategy:

  1. Register on all of the above platforms
  2. Setup email alerts for your particular position
  3. Speed is key – so make sure you are ready to be the first to apply when a position opens up
  4. Be consistent – apply daily and do not give up

Do not expect to receive any feedback from the Companies / Recruiters, as most of them receive a very high number of applicants and could not provide individual feedback.

If there is no feedback within 2 weeks then most likely you have not been shortlisted and would not advance to an interview. Recruiters might send you an automated email saying something like “we are not moving forward with your application“.

This is not a reflection on your skills or experience, there could be several reasons why the application did not go forward. Do not think about it too much and just keep going and apply daily.

If you should get to the point that you have been applying for over 200 positions and still have not received any single feedback, maybe you should revisit your CV – here is a comprehensive guide how you can improve it.


2. Independent Recruitment Agencies

In Dubai, a lot of smaller to midsize companies tend to outsource their talent search to independent recruitment agencies. There are some well established agencies and non regulated recruiters, which you should avoid at all costs.

There are some shady recruitment agencies, who contact candidates and ask for a fee upfront for a guaranteed job. In all of those cases, these are scams designed to extract money from the candidates and there is no guaranteed job waiting. So please avoid those as much as possible and do not pay.

Strategy: Approach Recruiters

Another strategy on how to get hired in Dubai is to approach recruiters directly. In this article, we have provided Top 30 reputable recruiters in Dubai and the UAE.

How to approach Recruiters:

Step 1

  • You can start by visiting their official website and see if they have open vacancies that fit your criteria
  • Submit your CV with recruitment agencies even if there are no open positions
  • If you contact the recruiters via email, do not write an automated email. Draft the email in a more personal approach.
  • An example of an email could be:

    “Dear Accel team, I hope my emails find you well. I am a chartered Accountant with over 10 years experience at a big 4 company. I believe your company is specialised in this field and I would like for you to have a look at my Resume and see if there would be a position I would be perfect for.

    Currently in Dubai on a Visit Visa, I am available for Interviews. I appreciate your time and effort and I am looking forward working together”

Step 2

Most recruiters are using LinkedIn as their main social network. Find the recruitment companies from the list, visit their pages, start following them and setup alerts for new posts.

A lot of companies tend to post their open vacancies on their LinkedIn pages, so make sure you will receive an email, when a new job post goes live.

Furthermore, open the LinkedIn page of any of those Recruitment pages and click on the tab “People”. In this field, you will be see all the employees working for a particular Recruitment Agency.

Research all the agents from the company and start approaching them – if the option to connect is available , then sent out an invite.

Most of the recruiters have a public page and have a “Message” button. Use the message button to get in touch with the recruiter.

As you can see from the above picture, this particular agent has over 17,000 followers on LinkedIn. This is in indication that a lot of candidates are Messaging him with their Resumes.

If you decide to send a message, make it very personal. Do not use any automated / chatgpt generated text. Be polite and friendly. You can write something like this :

“Hey Tommy, hope you are well. As you are Senior Technology Consultant, I would like to share my Resume with you. I have seen that you have [open position title] and I believe my expertise would fit perfectly.
I am currently in Dubai and would be available for an interview”

Do not expect a response here, as you can imagine that a lot of candidates follow the same strategy. In most cases, the recruiter will look at your CV and if he has an open position that he is trying to fill and your skills align with that position, he will invite you to a short interview.

However, if you do not receive a reply, do not panic – try to follow up with another message in a couple of days, reminding him to have a look at your Resume. Be polite, be patient – these are the keys to landing a job in Dubai.

List of reputable and well established Recruitment Agencies

HR Consultancy Firms in Dubai

HR Consultancy Firms in Dubai

1. Accel Human Resource Consultants


2. Adecco Middle East

  • Services: World’s largest HR provider and temporary staffing firm.
  • Address: Marina Plaza, Dubai Marina Road, Office 1206, Dubai, UAE.
  • Phone: +971 (0) 4 368 7900
  • Email: adeccoae.info@adecco.com
  • Website: Adecco

3. Agile Consultants


4. Alliance Recruitment Agency

  • Services: International recruiting, staffing, and HR services provider.
  • Address: PO Box No: 336899 Dubai, UAE
  • Website: Alliance Recruitment Agency

5. ANOC

  • Services: Recruiting and Manpower Consultancy.
  • Address: 14 Boulevard Plaza, Tower 1 Downtown Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Email: info@anoc.ae, jobs@anoc.ae
  • Website: ANOC

6. BAC Middle East

  • Services: Professional recruitment consultancy.
  • Address: 919 Liberty House Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai,
  • Phone: +9714 – 4398500
  • Email: recruit@bacme.com
  • Website: BAC Middle East

7. Budge Talent

  • Services: Recruitment and HR Consultancy in Construction, Real Estate, and Asset Management Sectors.
  • Address: Office 208C, Diamond Business Center 1 Arjan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Phone: +971 (0)4 374 8101
  • Email: hello@budgetalent.com
  • Website: Budge Talent

8. Charterhouse

  • Services: Represents job opportunities across various sectors.
  • Address: P.O. Box 75972 Suite 903 Maze Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, U.A.E
  • Phone: +971 4 372 3500
  • Email: info@charterhouse.ae
  • Website: Charterhouse

9. Cooper Fitch

  • Services: Recruitment, executive search, and HR advisory services.
  • Address: 13th Floor Tiffany Tower Jumeirah Lakes Towers PO Box 118468, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Phone: +971 4 352 2506
  • Email: talktous@cooperfitch.ae
  • Website: Cooper Fitch

10. Candor Human Resources Consultancy

  • Services: Global employers-oriented manpower recruitment agency.
  • Address: Suite # 1449, Damas Tower (Burj 2000), Sharjah, UAE
  • Phone: +971 6 563 9142, +971 6 563 9149
  • Email: info@candorintl.com
  • Website: Candor HR Consultancy
HR Consultancy Firms in Dubai

11. Dawaam

  • Services: Headhunting services and staffing solutions.
  • Address: 2nd Floor, Office 203 Nassima Tower, Trade Center 1, Sheikh Zayed Road, P.O. Box 49260 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Phone: +971 (4) 353 4774
  • Email: info@dawaam.net
  • Website: Dawaam

12. Engage Selection


13. First Select Employment

  • Services: Professional outsourcing and workforce solutions.
  • Address 01: Dubai, UAE, Al Manara Building. P.O.Box 32634
  • Phone: +971 4 380 7491
  • Address 02: Abu Dhabi, UAE, Al Jazera Sports Tower A. P.O.Box 6314
  • Phone: +971 2 4451130
  • Website: First Select Employment

14. Greenland UAE

  • Services: Bridging the gap between employers and job seekers.
  • Address: Level 30 – The H Hotel Office Tower One Sheikh Zayed Road – Dubai
  • Phone: +971 4 405 8198
  • Email: admin@greenlanduae.com
  • Website: Greenland UAE

15. Gulf Recruitment Group

  • Services: Locally owned recruitment agency.
  • Address: One Business Bay, Omniyat Tower, Business Bay, P.O Box 300179, Dubai
  • Phone: +971 (0)4 210 9000
  • Website: Gulf Recruitment Group

16. Guildhall

  • Services: Executive HR consulting and recruitment.
  • Address: Dubai Logistics City – United Arab Emirates
  • Phone: +971 48874527
  • Email: asia@guildhall.agency
  • Website: Guildhall

17. Hays

  • Services: Global recruitment expert.
  • Address 01: Dubai & Saudi Arabia, Hays FZ LLC, Block No 19, Knowledge Village
  • Phone: +971 4 559 5800
  • Address 02: Hays FZ LLC, Guardian Tower 4th Floor (Technip Building), Abu Dhabi
  • Phone: +971 4 559 5800
  • Website: Hays

18. HR Source

  • Services: Multi-dimensional recruitment and HR consultancy.
  • Address: Fortune Executive Tower Office 2001 (20th floor) T Cluster, JLT Dubai
  • Phone: +971(0)4 441 2289, +971(0)4 447 4707
  • Email: info@hrsource.ae
  • Website: HR Source

19. Inspire Selection


20. Mackenzie Jones

  • Services: Recruitment consultancy.
  • Address: Jumeirah Business Centre 3, (JBC 3) Cluster “Y,” Jumeirah Lake Towers
  • Phone: +971 (0) 4 457 1700
  • Email: info@mackenziejones.com
  • Website: Mackenzie Jones

21. ManpowerGroup Middle East

  • Services: Global workforce solutions provider.
  • Address 01: Regional Head Office, Dubai Internet City, Building 1, Office 204
  • Telephone: +971 43910460
  • Address 02: DIFC, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Precinct Building 2, Level 3, Office 306 PO Box 26359, United Arab Emirates
  • Website: ManpowerGroup Middle East

22. Meethaq Employment Agency

  • Services: HR services and employee outsourcing provider.
  • Address: Unit 113, The Offices 2 One Central, World Trade Center, P.O. Box: 33663, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Phone: +971 4 208 3000, +971 4 297 3333
  • Email: info@meethaq.ae
  • Website: Meethaq Employment Agency

23. Mindfield Resources

  • Services: Specialist recruitment consultancy.
  • Address: Level 14, Boulevard Plaza Tower 1, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, P.O. Box 334155, Dubai
  • Phone: +971 43695011
  • Email: info@mindfieldresources.com
  • Website: Mindfield Resources

24. NADIA Global Group

  • Services: Recruitment, training, and HR services.
  • Address: 904, Grosvenor Business Tower, Barsha Heights, Dubai, UAE
  • Phone: +971 4 331 3401
  • Email: info@nadiaglobal.com
  • Website: NADIA Global Group

25. Michael Page

  • Services: Specialized recruitment consultancy.
  • Address 01: Building 9, Level 6, Dubai Media City, P.O. Box 502440, Dubai, UAE
  • Phone: +971 4 709 0300
  • Address 02: Level 9, Office 903, Liberty House, Dubai International Financial Centre
  • Phone: +971 4 709 0310
  • Website: Michael Page

26. People Perfect Advisory


27. RTC-1 Employment Services


28. RecruitMe

  • Services: HR solutions and recruitment services.
  • Address: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Phone: +971 4 375 8989
  • Email: info@recruit-me.com
  • Website: RecruitMe

29. Robert Half

  • Services: Specialized staffing and consulting services.
  • Address: Office 1703, Level 17, Boulevard Plaza Tower 1, Downtown Dubai
  • Phone: +971 4 354 25 44
  • Email: info@roberthalf.ae
  • Website: Robert Half

30. SOS HR Solutions

  • Services: Global HR outsourcing and consultancy services.
  • Address: Office No. 804, Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1, Dubai, UAE
  • Phone: +971 4 396 6000
  • Email: info@soshrsolutions.com
  • Website: SOS HR Solutions

3. Large Companies

Large companies usually have a large HR and recruitment department and do not outsource the recruitment process to outside agencies. They usually have a careers portal on their main website.

Careers websites are similar to a job board, where they list all the available positions and candidates can apply after registering.

Please note that larger companies receive a high volume of applicants and use ATS – applicant tracking systems, to identify the right candidates.

If you are not familar with ATS systems, we have provided an indepth article on Applicant Tracking Systems here.

Strategy: Careers Websites

The process is relatively straightforward but very time consuming. You will need to go to each companies website, register your profile (will take you up to 15-20 minutes), then fill out lengthy forms which might take you another 40minutes to do.

As those companies use ATS systems, they require as much information from you as possible, as a lot of CVs will not be parsed correctly. Since those ATS systems do not yet use Artificial Intelligence, they are outdated and have a high error rate.

A lot of large companies in Dubai have hundreds or thousands of open vacancies at all times. Due to their size and employee turnover, they are always hiring new people.

This strategy can prove to be successful, but it is very time consuming.

Top Companies to apply to

The following 100 businesses were chosen as the greatest workplaces because they prioritised serving both their employees’ needs and those of their customers.

We would suggest to go through each of those companies, identify the careers website and apply.

Large Category

  1. McDonald’s UAE
  2. DHL Express
  3. Metropolitan Group
  4. BFL Group
  5. Leminar
  6. InterContinental Group Hotels & Resorts
  7. Hilton
  8. FIVE
  9. Burjeel Holdings
  10. Ajmal Perfumes Group
  11. Globelink West Star Shipping L.L.C
  12. Chalhoub Group – UAE
  13. Teleperformance
  14. Millennium Hotels & Resorts – MEA
  15. Arada Developments LLC
  16. SANIPEX GROUP
  17. Apparel Group
  18. AD Ports Group
  19. Al-Dabbagh Group
  20. Talabat – UAE
  21. Bayut Dubizzle
  22. Massar Solutions PJSC
  23. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
  24. G42
  25. BEEAH
  26. Provis Real Estate & Property Management
  27. AtkinsRéalis – UAE
  28. NAKHEEL
  29. Redington Gulf FZE
  30. Al Khayyat Investments
  31. Aldar Education
  32. PureHealth
  33. Saudi German Hospital
  34. Miral LLC
  35. Gulf Coca-Cola Beverages

Medium Category

  1. Century Financial
  2. Aura SKYPOOL
  3. Majid Al Futtaim – Accor Properties
  4. Cisco Systems, Inc
  5. Eros Group
  6. BANKE INTERNATIONAL PROPERTIES
  7. PIZZAEXPRESS UAE
  8. PetroGas
  9. Emirates District Cooling (EMICOOL) LLC
  10. MVP Tech – A Convergint Company
  11. Nissan Middle East FZE
  12. Sunset Hospitality Group
  13. Edenred
  14. A&A Associate LLC
  15. AstraZeneca
  16. STS Group
  17. Medtronic United Arab Emirates
  18. PSA BDP (BDP Global Project Logistic LLC)
  19. ABBVIE BIOPHARMACEUTICALS GMBH
  20. NOVARTIS
  21. Media One Hotel
  22. L’Oréal Middle East
  23. Gastronomica Middle East General Trading LLC
  24. Telecommunication and Digital Governement Regulatry Authurity
  25. Visiontech Systems International LLC
  26. Khidmah
  27. GYMNATION
  28. Alpha Nero FZ LLC
  29. Messe Frankfurt Middle East
  30. Canadian Medical Center
  31. Hilti UAE
  32. Publicis Sapient
  33. Cigna Healthcare
  34. Property Finder
  35. Wyndham Dubai Deira

Small Category

  1. Mood Rooftop Lounge
  2. GREEN BOX CONTAINERS L.L.C
  3. shift
  4. LUXE PORT
  5. KnowBe4
  6. Mott 32
  7. Amgen Gulf – United Arab Emirates
  8. EATON BUSINESS SCHOOL LLC
  9. The Box Self Storage
  10. Goldfish Sushi & Yakitori
  11. Lola Taberna Española
  12. WAHL Middle East & Africa
  13. KALLEGRA INDUSTRIES LLC
  14. RAISE Fitness & Wellness
  15. Charterhouse Middle East
  16. VOLTA SHIPPING SERVICES L.L.C
  17. HOUSE OF SHIPPING MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCIES L.L.C
  18. SEO Sherpa
  19. Cogent Solutions Event Management
  20. Blue Ocean Corporation
  21. International Diplomatic Supplies
  22. Faith Group
  23. Howden Guardian Insurance Brokers L.L.C.
  24. Smart Salem Medical Center
  25. Sahara Motors
  26. Glander International Bunkering
  27. Stryker United Arab Emirates
  28. Marc Ellis
  29. Joe’s Backyard YOUR BBQ HANGOUT
  30. TishTash Communications

In Conclusion

Dubai is a highly competitive job market and after following this guide you should be equipment and well informed on how to apply.

Make sure your CV stands out , setup job alerts across all the platforms such as JobXDubai.com or follow our Telegram Group, where we post all the vacancies.

Start following all the recruiters on LinkedIn and approach individual agents via direct messages on LinkedIn. Be persistent and do not give up. Do not expect to receive any feedback – just apply consistently.