As we promised you, here you’ll find the second part of this interview including some extras & answers for your common questions .
Part 1 :How to seek a job in Dubai Part 1
Mohamed: What is the one single and biggest challenge that Egyptian talent will face in Dubai? Tell us how candidates can prepare themselves before hitting the market there.
Ehab: I think it would be managing the diversity. In my current company, there are more than 40 different nationalities. In my team, I can count up to 10 different nationalities with completely different cultural background, operating styles, and preferences. In my views the challenge is how fast you will be able to manage this diversity and how willing you are to learn from those different cultures and perspectives. If you are to work here, you need to be very agile and flexible. You need to learn how to appreciate the different point of views, perspectives, and styles, and really see the value this diversity brings to teams and organizations.
Put your ego aside! Now most local GCC talent go for western-education, and you can see how smart and sharp they are, with many of those young talents leading organizations that are making millions and billions of dollars. So, Egyptian talents used to have a competitive advantage in the 60s and 70s may be, but not anymore, let alone the expat community who adds complexity to the competitiveness of the market.
Again, being humble and willing to learn from everyone, and avoid engage only with Egyptians, but be open to engage with the different cultures and backgrounds, something that will help you building new skills and will set you up for success.
Mohamed: What advice would you give students and undergraduates who want to seek great opportunities in the Dubai market?
Ehab: To seek international exposure as early as possible. This can be done through internship opportunities abroad. Many organizations like AIESEC and G200 offer conferences and international internships that provide young students and youth with exposure to the outside world at an early stage.
First, starting early enables students to experience different fields that might be potential for and related to their field of study. It will give them the chance to learn about themselves and decide what aligns with their skill set and value system, and so decide what is suitable for them and what isn’t.
Second, an international internship opportunity can give insights into whether working and living in Dubai is something they would like to pursue or not, and there’s no right or wrong answer here, what can be the best-fit for someone might not be suitable for others. Sometimes it is challenging to get such an opportunity if you are not living in UAE already, so seeking help from expatriate family members who can sponsor you to make a summer visit, can be a good option.
Mohamed: Tell us about some Dos and Don’ts for traveling to seek job opportunities in Dubai.
Ehab: I would highly advise against candidates flying to Dubai to seek job opportunities unless they already have scheduled interviews with employers there. That’s because simply a four-week tourist visa wont be enough to do a job search and ensure availability for a full interview cycle, and remember if your visa got expired before leaving the country, you might get blacklisted and it will be so hard for you to get visa again.
Alternatively, you can put efforts in reaching out to the right decision makers in advance, and as you they’re communicating with them highlight you are very flexible to fly to Dubai to have a face to face interview if they believe you initially have the right skills for the role. This will show your keenness on getting the job, and motivation to join the company.
Another thing is networking even if there’s no open roles. Meaning that, you don’t have to be looking for a job in order to get in contact with people from your industry. For instance, if you are a finance manager, you should have finance managers, directors, and CFOs in your LinkedIn network from the countries that you are interested to work in one day.
LinkedIn is a platform where professionals network and interact together. Write posts and publish them on LinkedIn, and share these posts with the people whose views are valuable for you. Expose your work to the right people and learn from influencers on LinkedIn. You can also attend conferences and events that are related to your industry. Get the agenda in advance, and connect with the speakers beforehand and ask if you can have conversations with them later on. Try to become an outgoing person, reach out for people, establish your network and always make an ongoing dialogue with those who can help you grow.
If you are a senior professional, speaking opportunities is something that you might want to think of. This will showcase your expertise to different people, and as you teach people and share some best practices with them, you will also get the chance to network with them. All these personal branding activities will help you promote yourself in the market and eventually push your career forward.
One last thing is: if you are to move to Dubai, avoid moving to very small company and rather move to multinational organization because this won’t help your next move. The idea is that multinationals usually attract from multinational players, and big regional firms hire talent from multinational organizations but it in very few cases when we see regional companies attract talent from small companies. So consider the size of the organization you’re moving to and think of the package in line with the cost of living in Dubai, because a package of 12,000 Dirhams which is equivalent to nearly 60,000 EGP might not be as lucrative in Dubai given the cost of living here compared if you are taking this amount in Egypt.
Thanks Ehab for your valuable insights. We wish you & the Arab talents all success and happiness.
Note: The above are the author’s personal views based on their experience and education, and do not represent the organization they work for.
You can also read How Arab Talents can Join LinkedIn team