There is obviously a hunger to go abroad to somewhere like Dubai, or anywhere in the UAE or Middle East and return home after 5 years having earned your millions. However, there needs to be a sense of realism when one decides to take on a role.The salaries are not as good as they once were. Of course, there are some good salaries to be made, and there is the tax free element, but let's put it like this, there are very few half a million dollar jobs or above. OK, finance jobs come with the bonus amounts that the likes of the London city bankers in the UK or those in Wall Street could obtain. Because supply is almost balanced with demand, we would estimate that you are likely to make only about 25% more than you might do in the West, and that is on the assumption that you are the best in your game. So, you upside could be good, but only if you are quite good at what you do. The lifestyle is good and there is not much of the rain, so you could lead a good life in comparison to a similar job in your homeland. For those with talent elsewhere, the same is almost true - ie you need to be the best at your game. For example, if you are the best programmer from Bangalore and prove yourself, you could, with the right people skills, excel beyond all your expectations.
We mentioned demand meeting supply in Dubai. That's a figure of speech. Put it like this - ten years ago no-one much knew where Dubai was. The same could be said of other areas in the UAE and Middle East today. There is more potential when you balance in cost of living in places like Abu Dhabi and even Bahrain and Oman. But different people want different things in life, and there is a lot to be said for a bit of bravado - telling your friends you are off to Dubai for a new life sound a lot better than if you were saying the same of the Yemen!
Where are the real jobs and demand for jobs? They remain in the areas that we always that they were in. Construction has big demand, and will continue until the buildings stop going up. Whether you are a architect, project manager or have some sort of discipline in engineering, there is an opportunity if you find the right project. Speak to those in similar type industries in the UK or Europe and many will know one of their colleagues who has left for the UAE for a project.
Other jobs that are in demand are in the sectors that you see in your face and that covers tourism in a big way. Dubai is positioning itself as a big tourist destination for the future, whether you consider luxury hotels or Dubailand, and there are a huge amount of jobs in this area. With all the FDI that Dubai has brought in, with tax schemes that have lured the multi nationals, a return needs to be made. If you have the gift of the gab, you will survive in Dubai. Sales and marketing jobs are on the up to sell all the products and services that have been brought in! Also, finance jobs will always be key in any growing landscape, so accountants are in demand, especially the good ones, with experience. And let's not forget the bankers, banking jobs, although not huge in number are continuing to be on the up, as someone needs to decide with all that liquidity, whether is is in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. And we can't forget initiative specific positions, such as health and social care. With Healthcare City, this brings in demand in a different way. And we would be wrong not to mention the Oil and Gas sector in Abu Dhabi - there is always demand there.
Let's think about benchmarks. Since there are a big number of Brits in Dubai, you can take a look at why one would want to move from London for example. The salaries are probably 10-20% lower than the equivalent in the London, but bear in mind that there is no direct tax and you have an equivalent figure. Anything above that, and you know you have an in demand specialist skill. So a UK doctor who may earn GBP70K may get paid about DHS40-50k / month. Look into the cost of living and the real reason for moving and you can calculate whether it is worthwhile. Of course you may earn more or you may earn less, but with the proviso of everything on this site, everything is an example.
Real technical specialist such as within legal, banking and accounting can receive salaries equivalent to their London pay and without the tax. And if you get lucky working in an advisory position for one of the Sheikhs or senior personnel for the region, you won't be able to count the zeros.
Good luck with your search! And make sure you do the research from our site and beyond before you make the move.