Why Dubai is opening its government agencies to foreign talent

Expat news
  • professionals in Dubai
Published on 2023-03-27 at 13:00 by Asaël Häzaq
The United Arab Emirates is still facing significant labor shortages despite its multiple strategies to fill in the gaps. In Dubai, the impacted public sector is opening its doors to international talent. But the Emirate doesn't want to limit itself to simply recruiting foreign workers. Behind this vast recruitment campaign is a broader project to attract more investors and foreign talent.

Dubai's public sector needs skilled labor

Here's some good news for those considering a move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Faced with a skilled labor shortage, the public sector is embarking on a major recruitment campaign. The city of Dubai is particularly concerned by the labor shortages, and several of its government-owned agencies have been posting job ads open to expatriates. Most of them target highly skilled workers. 

For instance, the Dubai Hospital is looking for general consultants in hepatobiliary surgery and radiologists, while the Ministry of Finance is looking for a chief service continuity specialist and a systems manager. The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government is short on multimedia specialists and instructional designers, and the Financial Audit Authority needs senior financial and IT auditors. But the Roads and Transport Authority is the agency that is recruiting the most. Several engineering positions are available, from chief engineer to senior engineer. The agency is also looking for project managers, auditors and specialists, including senior specialists.

Just like for any highly qualified profile, these positions offer a comfortable salary, ranging from about 10,000 to 50,000 UAE dirhams (about $2,700 and $13,600). But to access these jobs, certain requirements must be met. These positions require extensive work experience in the field and the appropriate academic qualifications. However, as the degree requirement gets higher, less experience is demanded. This is the case for the position of Chief Service Continuity Specialist. Foreign candidates with a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent), a master's degree, or a doctorate may apply. Baccalaureate holders must have at least 16 years of experience. Experience is reduced to 8 years for holders of a Master's degree and 6 years for holders of a Doctorate.

Is Dubai the global economic giant of the future?

The year has begun on a positive and very ambitious note for Dubai. On January 4, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, announced that Dubai plans to double the size of its economy in the next 10 years. The goal is to become one of the top 3 economic cities in the world. To achieve this, an 8,700 billion dollars' worth plan is being deployed by Dubai. This imposing financial instrument is essential for such an ambitious plan which, according to the Emir, will attract the world's largest financial actors. Dubai authorities point out that more than 300,000 investors are already contributing to the city's growth and that recruiting new foreign talent in government enterprises is an essential part of this outreach.

In fact, Dubai authorities have good reason to be optimistic. The UAE has been steadily gaining points with foreign talent, particularly in 2020, when the Emirate established itself as a business stronghold as the Covid pandemic almost paralyzed the rest of the world. Since then, Dubai has reinforced its image as an international city. According to a recent survey of more than 50,000 expatriates from 79 different countries, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are among the top 10 most popular destinations for expatriates. The two cities score well thanks to their business-friendly environment, their framework that facilitates the establishment of companies, and the possibility of investments in many sectors like industry, tourism, real estate, transport, finance, etc. 

Recent announcements by the Dubai authorities tend towards greater internationalization to attract more and more foreign talent. As such, Dubai is giving itself the means to achieve its ambitions.

Useful links:

United Arab Emirates: Job offers

United Arab Emirates: Government job offers

Government of Dubai