Dubai is an exciting and vibrant city to live and work in and its residents can look forward to enjoying a comfortable life with plenty in the way of entertainment for both the individual as well as the family. However, like any big change, it is necessary to research work life in Dubai in order to make an informed decision as to whether Dubai’s work environment meets with your particular requirements. While this city has much to offer in terms of a well balanced life, like every large metropolitan city in the world, it does have its drawbacks. Rush hour traffic can be a nightmare and many people are forced to commute as rents in Dubai are very high and many people often travel daily from neighboring emirates such as Sharjah, where the rental prices are more affordable.
Below, we have answered four of the most common questions asked by the majority of expatriates who are looking to make the move to Dubai.
What is the Dress Code in Dubai?
With its large expat population, it is not uncommon that you will find yourself working in an environment with people from many different nationalities. Dubai’s dress code for office going professionals responds to the city’s culture and religion and will help to make working here more pleasant, without offending any of the people you work with. Many of Dubai’s high profile jobs require constant contact with the city’s influential and wealthy clients who will judge you by your appearance. It is, therefore, imperative to select your work wardrobe with extra care. Here are a few tips on dressing for work:
- Select clothes that are the right size for you. Many men and women make the mistake of squeezing themselves into a size that is too small for them. Wearing ill-fitting clothes that are a size too large or too small looks tacky and unprofessional.
- Avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing. Women should ensure that their shoulders and knees are covered. This applies anywhere in Dubai for any position.
- Professional clothing such as suits, trousers and shirts for men and knee-length skirts, blouses or pant-suits for women are acceptable and make you look professional. Avoid wearing casuals such as sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts or Capri’s to work, even if your job does not require face-time with clients.
- Keep traditional clothing for special occasions; many offices celebrate an international day where employees are encouraged to wear clothing from their native countries. Otherwise stick to professional attire.
- Avoid very bright colors especially neons, lime greens and bright oranges. These are not acceptable for work no matter how trendy they may be. If you do want to wear colors, opt for more sedate tones such as a dark red, rust or olive green.
- Shoes and accessories are important in completing your office attire. Avoid flip-flops, strappy sandals, spiked heels, trainers or gladiator shoes as these are inappropriate for work. Similarly, avoid dangling jewelry (jewelry which makes a clanking sound can be quite annoying for co-workers) or jewelry that is too sparkly.
How Is The Quality Of Life In Dubai?
Life in Dubai can be as exciting as you like, irrespective of earning power; there is plenty on offer for people from all income groups. With its advanced and continuously developing infrastructure, wide variety of entertainment options and mix of cultures from all across the world, Dubai is one of the most preferred global destinations for expats looking for a different experience. Not only does the city offer fantastic tourism facilities from the tallest tower in the world to the most luxurious hotels, Dubai also has much to offer in terms of daily and affordable entertainment including a host of restaurants and dining establishments offering cuisines from across the globe.
Dubai’s schools and universities offer excellent education options for primary, secondary and tertiary education with a variety of international curricula that enable students to continue their chosen syllabus in a highly challenging environment. The emirate’s healthcare facilities are on par with that of other popular international destinations with world class medical practitioners and highly advanced technical facilities.
What Is The Average Salary In Dubai?
Dubai has no standardized salaries and no minimum wage law, but on average salaries here are on par with or greater than those offered in most Western nations. Salaries are based on a variety of factors including nationality, qualifications and marketability. Western nationals often get paid better than those of similar qualifications from the Asian subcontinent as a Western education is more valued here. Salaries are often decided on what is required to lure people away from jobs in their own countries and not on what may be considered as fair compensation.
Be prepared to sell yourself effectively; salary packages are often dependant on good negotiation. Do some research to understand what the current rate is in your profession; Payscale is a good starting point. Ultimately, however, your salary will be dependent on what your potential employer deems is your worth to the company.
Can You Work In Dubai Without Speaking Arabic?
Knowledge of the local language can definitely give applicants flexibility and an added advantage when applying for jobs, but it is not a substitute for experience and skills. Many UAE companies are increasingly looking for applicants with bilingual proficiency; given a choice between two candidates with equal skills, the one who can speak Arabic as well as English fluently will have a distinct advantage. Having said this, it is not necessary to know Arabic in order to work in Dubai. Many of the expats who work here have little or no knowledge of the language. Most business is conducted in English and most websites are also in English or can be translated into English.
While knowledge of Arabic may be important in some sectors such as banking and customer service, it is not a key factor in highly specialized sectors such as construction where highly experienced engineers or technicians are required. Also, after winning the bid for the Expo2020, as Dubai and the UAE prepare themselves for an increasingly globalized stage, most experts agree that while knowledge of the language is a valuable asset, it will not be the key factor in hiring for the Expo2020 job boom.