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How to Seek a Job in Dubai – Part 1

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Do you know how to find a job in Dubai ?

Want to know the job challenges in Dubai market ?
Are you thinking of approaching new job opportunity in Dubai ?
Want to learn what does it take to find a good opportunity in Dubai ?
in this article, Ehab Hafez will share many valuable insights with us .

Mohamed: Welcome at Careery, Ehab. We’re so happy and excited to have you today to share with us some insights to help the Arab and Egyptian talent and we appreciate your participation to add value through your expertise. Please give us an overview about your role at PepsiCo, Dubai.


Ehab: Thank you Waziry for having me today. My name is Ehab Hafez and I’m working for PepsiCo now for the past seven years. In my current role, I lead the talent acquisition center of expertise at PepsiCo Asia, Middle East, and North Africa (AMENA). In this role, I focus on three key areas; first is the talent acquisition processes and systems including the hiring process, assessment techniques, and programs like our global employee referral program. The second key area is the overall talent acquisition capability, building the talent acquisition team’s advisory skills, something that helps them in better serving the business while being able to build impactful relationships with their candidates. Last but not least is the new sources for talents area, where I help PepsiCo securing their needs for difficult-to-find talents on both the medium and the long-term through partnerships with universities, institutions, and professional bodies.



Mohamed: We always hear that the Emirati and the Dubai market in particular is one of most competitive markets worldwide. Is that true? If so, what do you think the core differences between such a market and the Egyptian market are?


Ehab: Well, I definitely agree that the Dubai market is extremely competitive and there are key differences between the Egyptian market and the market here in UAE. I believe one of the key differences is the talent diversity here in UAE, and the level of exposure those talents have. First of all, the Emirati talent market is predominantly an expat market. 92% of the population who live and work in Dubai is expatriates coming from different countries other than UAE, while local employees constitute only 8% of the workforce. This means that here you will find many talents who are educated from top-tier US or European schools, which give them a competitive edge.

Another main difference is the fact that most regional offices of the big multinational corporations are located in Dubai. This gives the talents who work here a wide graphical exposure as they’re managing multiple markets and cultures.

Looking at the Egyptian market on the other hand, one will find that its is more of a local/country level operations.


Mohamed: If such a market is very competitive and dynamic as you have just explained, how can Egyptian talent stand a chance to join it and compete with their fellows who received top-class education? Could you share with us three success factors.


Ehab: In competitive markets like Dubai, there’s no tolerance for average or even just good performers. With that being said, the first quality candidates have to demonstrate is solid past performance. Candidates applying should highlight this during interviews, they must show what added-value and impact they made in their previous roles and with their current employer.


An equally important element is potential. Managers should be able to see that a candidate is able to grow further in the organization, manage a wider geographical scope, and interact with and/or manage multiple and diverse cultures.

Candidates should demonstrate agility and flexibility in terms of understanding others’ perspectives and learning from everyone.


Finally, the foundation for superior performance and future potential is leadership skills with growth-oriented mindset, something that enable talents to focus on their strengths and view developmental areas as opportunities rather than hurdles. Stretch beyond the boundaries of your role, because many can do the job but very few who are really willing to go the extra mile and step out of their comfort zone, and those whom the companies here – and everywhere – are looking for.



Mohamed: How can a person with a mid-level career in Egypt approach a direct opportunity in Dubai? Are there any practical steps to take? Special job boards and websites to check frequently, for instance? What kind of networking should be made? Is there a special action to do in order to target and join the Dubai market? We need some practical explanation on these points.


Ehab: As I have just mentioned, the Dubai market is a very competitive one and it’s not as easy as you may think for anyone to find a good job here. Once a job is posted on any job board, hundreds of applications are submitted in the very first few hours of the job being posted especially if it is coming from a big multinational organization. Very high number of applications come from Dubai, but also a significantly high number of applications come from markets like Egypt, India, and Pakistan.


So it is not about just applying to as many roles as possible to get a job here, as much as how you as a candidate stand out from the crowd. You need to understand that your application journey goes far beyond submitting your resume.


And here I want to share some of the ways to get your application visible to the companies and accordingly increase your chances in getting a job through one of the very popular professional platforms; LinkedIn.


LinkedIn is used by almost everyone, especially HR teams of the multinational organizations and the big regional companies. If you are applying for a role, you first need to check and understand the role details carefully and find matchings between your expertise and the job qualifications.


Decide whether or not you have what it takes to apply, and only if you saw a match, start to search the role’s manager on LinkedIn. For example if you are applying for a Financial Analyst, probably you will need to search for the Finance Manager. There are many search filters in LinkedIn that can help you identify the right people, like ensuring they are still currently working in the company you are interested in, and their location in United Arab Emirates, this will bring you closer.


The talent acquisition team, recruitment or HR teams won’t be my first stop, because by design tons of people are reaching out for them, and honestly they might not notice your message given the number of requests they’re receiving, and this on daily basis every day!


My recommendation is that you reach out for the hiring manager of the role first and share with them your relevant experience that is related to the job post. You need to be very specific, highlighting key success stories from your employment history that emphasize and match the job requirements in briefed bullet points. You might want to connect with them on LinkedIn first to send them a message, or you can always use the InMail feature to send them a message directly to their mailbox. For the later you will need to have a premium LinkedIn account.


Using InMails can increase the probability of the message being read; however, it doesn’t guarantee it. If you haven’t received a reply within seven days, you can send a follow-up message wishing to hear from them soon to discuss your experience and capabilities.


When using LinkedIn, you need to make sure you avoid messages like “Please view my profile” or “I am interested in this role and this is my CV. Please let me know if there’s an open vacancy” because simply no one will view your profile or remember you when jobs are posted! Avoid this kind of reactive approach and know that no one will refer back to you unless you’re very relevant for a role, and it’s your responsibility to make them aware of that.


Approach your job hunting efforts as your evening job. You need to put in time and effort to make yourself visible and recognizable, and don’t ever get frustrated that people don’t respond to you, because it can be for reasons other than you being unqualified or not good enough like a preference for an internal talent who is ready for a move. In conclusion, don’t lose hope if you didn’t get a response from everyone you’ve reached out to, actually, a 10% response rate is considered great!


Note: The above are the author’s personal views based on their experience and education, and do not represent the organization they work for.

Part 2, coming very soon .
To be continued …..


CAREERY Content Marketing TeamHow to Seek a Job in Dubai – Part 1