The United Arab Emirates remain an attractive work destination for people from all walks of life, and with the economy steadily growing and diversifying, this is a trend likely to accelerate even further. Every month, hundreds, if not thousands, of expats visit the UAE to apply for, and eventually score, one of the many jobs on offer.
However, the UAE are relatively cyclical when it comes to hiring. While every company and industry is different, there are annual periods in which it is more difficult (but not impossible) to find one’s next employment. We talked to several Talent Acquisition Specialists to get an idea about the best time to come to the UAE for scoring that big next opportunity, and the majority agreed that the best time is Autumn & Winter.
Here is why:
Budgeting & financial years: Companies are unlikely to hire if their respective budget for the coming year is not approved. Employment results in a variety of different cost, including permits, salary, and health insurance, to name but a few, and without having all figures outlined and agreed on, hiring is unlikely to take place. Many companies end their financial years at the end of December or the less busy summer months – and you ideally apply for jobs after the budget has been finalized.
Summer: When temperature soars and schools are closed for holidays, many decision makers and managers take their annual leave and are not in the country, leading to hiring tangibly slowing down, as more final recruitment decisions are likely to require green light from one (or more) of the company’s managers. Especially when considering the limited time individuals without residence visas have, it is advisable to hunt for jobs at times when the process can be facilitated as quickly as possible.
Ramadan: The holy month of Ramadan is a time of reflection and calmness that is observed by able Muslims around the world. While days Are spent fasting, evenings and nights are often spent offering prayers, and working hours are shortened by law. While a lot of candidates are still interviewed and hired throughout the month of Ramadan, there is considerable less activity in the recruitment sector.
Industries: Perhaps the most important point, the industry in which one specializes in plays a huge role in regards of perfect timing for applications. For instance, the hospitality sector is highly seasonal, as are education and academia. Such seasonal effects can heavily impact one’s chances when applying, and have to be thoroughly considered before embarking to the UAE - ideally, you will be applying before a season starts to make the cut.
While in general, Autumn & Winter are the best seasons to go job hunting in the United Arab Emirates, one of the most important points that cannot be emphasized enough is the need to network before, during, and after one’s stay in the country – getting referred often results one’s CV to land straight on the company’s HR desk, which is a considerable advantage over applying through the regular channels. If possible, try to come to the UAE 'blind' by trying to line up as many interviews as possible before entering the country - and don't be afraid to ask for help!