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Frequently Asked Questions

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Hello and welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

We have gathered here the frequently asked questions about job search in the UAE and Abu Dhabi. Whether you are prospecting or already on site, if you are looking for information and advice, you are on the right page.

Enjoy reading and see you soon.

The FBG cannot direct candidates on aspects of “practical life”. Indeed, we are focused on the economic aspect, business & job search. So we do not have any information on that.

You will find on the website of the French embassy the practical information to come to live in the United Arab Emirates (French schools, lists of general practitioners & French or francophone specialists, driving license, legalization of French diplomas, …):
Website : www.ambafrance-eau.org
Address: Etihad Towers, Office Tower (Tower No. 3) – 22nd Floor – PO Box 4014 Abu Dhabi
Phone: 00 971 (0) 2813 1000 Nights, weekend & holidays in case of emergency only: Admin-francais.ABOU-DABI-AMBA@diplomatie.gouv.fr

You can also find information on the following sites:
– Abu Dhabi Accueil (formerly Francophone Women of Abu Dhabi), whose vocation is to guide and bring together the new French expatriates in this emirate: www.femmesfrancophones.org
– Union of French Abroad: Union des Français à l’Etranger organizes the Welcome of Newcomers, with the participation of the French Business Group, the Alliance Française and the Club des Femmes et Familles Francophones. Numerous stands are proposed by the associations and the companies located on the spot, and the “old” there dispense their informed advice to the “blues”. Ufeabudhabi.com ufe@ufeabudhabi.com.

We very rarely get offers from V.I.E. You will find all information and offers concerning V.I.E. On the Civi Web site: https://www.civiweb.com/FR/index.aspx

We do not receive internship offers. Indeed, the status of trainee does not exist in local law. For the employer, this means that the cost of hiring would be the same as for an employee, which is therefore unattractive, especially for a short period (visa price & heavy process). Long internships (more than 6 months) are therefore more likely to be accepted, especially if they can then lead to a job. A major difficulty for students wishing to do an internship in the UAE is the cost of living on the spot. Indeed, rents are expensive, collocation is prohibited by law, and transport is little developed, renting a car is often necessary. Since internships are mostly paid between 2000 and 3000 AED, most students do not pay their expenses unless they have family or friends on site.

You can contact the French Business Council (FBC), the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dubai, which also has a recruitment department and can assist you in your research: http://www.fbcdubai.com/services-rh/

The majority of companies will offer you a local contract. Indeed, an expatriation contract is more expensive, and the trend is to reduce costs.

The law requires that wages be composed, at a minimum, of a basic salary, housing allowance and health insurance without specifying a minimum amount. To this may be added other allowances such as transport allowance, school allowance for children, mutual insurance, etc. The law being very liberal, wages vary greatly from one company to another and from one position to another. It is therefore difficult to give averages. However, we have noticed that the lowest wages so far were AED 5,000 per month, and the highest were up to AED 30,000 per month (excluding government enterprises). These figures are given for information only.

For information, the law regulating immigration specifies that:

– A person earning less than 4,000 AED per month (including allowances) will not be able to sponsor family members

– A person earning less than 6,000 AED per month (base salary) will not be able to sponsor a domestic employee The National – UAE Salary Guide 2016

Fluency in English is mandatory, at least at an intermediate / business level. Indeed, companies expect you to be able to work in English, written and oral in general. A common level is often requested, so we advise you to improve your level to the maximum to optimize your chances. Being bilingual is very much appreciated.

The mastery of classical / literary Arabic is a plus but not an obligation. Other forms of Arabic may be helpful, but will rarely be decisive for hiring. The other languages you speak may be an advantage for some positions, especially if you master them fluently or are bilingual, but will rarely be a prerequisite for the majority of offers.

For visa issues (related to the position and its responsibilities) many companies apply for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, with a diploma to support it systematically. A diploma related to the position / trade is usually required. The range and level of experience required vary widely. Profiles of the secondary and tertiary sectors are the most sought after.

The most dynamic sectors offer the greatest number of opportunities. The UAE has experienced a crisis since early 2016, and redundancies have been more numerous than hires. Prior to this, the most dynamic sectors were:

• Aviation, Aerospace & Defence

• Culture

• Education

• Energy

• Environment

• Health related equipment

• Media & Communication

• Metals

• Petrochemicals

• Pharmaceuticals, Biology & Science

• Financial Services

• Telecommunications

• Tourism.

The local market is dynamic, but not as much as the media want to believe. As everywhere in the world, you will need a longer or shorter time to find a position. This can vary from 2 to 8 months depending on your profile, sector of activity, and … luck or timing. On average, it takes 6 to 8 months.

A significant slowdown is to be noted during Ramadan, as well as the weeks before and after it. Some people decide to avoid this period, while others take the opportunity to forge links and strengthen their network during these particular weeks. It’s up to you to see what strategy you want to adopt.

The summer months of July and August are also experiencing a sharp drop in activity as many people leave the country for the summer holidays and to escape the heat. It is therefore advisable to avoid this period which is not very fruitful.

September and October sign the return with the massive arrival of new expatriates from all over the world. While the months of May, June and July are synonymous with departure of the expatriates with the end of the school year.

The first rule is to write your resume in English. The English format predominates here, that means that your resume should not fit on a single page, but on 2, 3 or 4 pages depending on your experience. You will have to introduce yourself in a few lines at the beginning of the resume, list your skills with keywords and detail your experiences.

For more advice, participate to our Resume Writing Workshops (information & dates in our agenda or in the Applicants section).

The effectiveness of jobboards and spontaneous applications is very low. We still advise you to watch the ads and apply, as well as update your profile on LinkedIn. For your research, your best tool will be your network! By participating in networking events, soliciting your professional and personal contacts, attending conferences or trade shows, etc. Your connections will give you access to opportunities and will allow you to be considered as a candidate.

Yes, you need a visa to reside and work in the UAE. For more information, we invite you to visit the website of the Embassy of France in the UAE: www.ambafrance-eau.org