Demand for property is at a five-year high in Dubai, and the sector is booming.
As prices soar, so do commissions, meaning working in property can pay some of the highest salaries around.
It was with that in mind that applicants turned up at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel on Friday for a recruitment day held by real estate company Allsopp and Allsopp, hoping to earn themselves a slice of the riches.
While many talked about the challenge a new career would offer, most of the 75 candidates admitted the main reason of their interest was making more money.
“It sounds like there are amazing opportunities here to make money as the property market in Dubai is growing all the time,” said Femi Kehine, 27, a Nigerian citizen with a degree in marketing and business who has lived in the city since 2019.
“It’s a great opportunity to build a network and improve my lifestyle in the process.
“This sounds like an amazing industry.”
How much do you earn?
There is stiff competition.
At least 2,500 applied for 100 commission-only jobs with the firm - so they receive no monthly salary.
Candidates are attracted by earnings that Allsopp says are an average of Dh400,000 per year ($108,000), or Dh33,000 per month. The top few brokers can earn Dh5million ($1.36m) per year, the agency claims.
The sale of a relatively modest home priced Dh2m would earn 4 per cent commission, or Dh80,000, which is split 50/50 between the agency and the agent.
But competition in a city of 10,000 agents and hundreds of agencies is fierce, and there are many agents citywide go for months without a sale.
Dubai property apartment prices - October 2022
But it is not all champagne and Ferraris when it comes to selling houses in the emirate.
For many, it is a pressure-cooker environment where workers often walk a tightrope between fortune and failure, with one sale making or breaking their year.
The demands of hard work and long hours do not intimidate the hopefuls at Friday's recruitment day.
Muriel Blom, from the Netherlands, said her experience as a former airline cabin crew member and working in a private capacity as a house manager for a family would put her in good stead to be an estate agent.
“My knowledge of working with different cultures will definitely help me to be prepared,” she said.
“It will help me to be successful and to make some money as well.”
Another hopeful said he had a fascination with property going back to when he studied the subject at school in his native Nigeria.
“It’s interesting to see the market recovering from the impact of the [coronavirus] pandemic,” said David Onaeko, 32.
“There are countless opportunities in Dubai when it comes to real estate, there are so many new people and new developments arriving all the time.”
The recruitment event follows a significant increase in interest in becoming an estate agent, said Lewis Allsopp, chief executive of the firm behind the event.
“Monthly application numbers spiked after the summer, as we expected, with close to 2,500 applications received so far in October,” he said.
“The market is in a great position. Dubai is ever popular and people can see with the right platform, they can make a lot of money.”
He said that while there was money to be made, people new to the role would have to be realistic and be prepared to work hard.
The company received about 1,800 applications to attend Friday’s event, which was whittled down to a final figure of about 100.
“There are around 10,000 licensed brokers in a population of over three million in Dubai.
"You need some money behind you, commission only roles are the norm in real estate so having financial backing is imperative,” Mr Allsopp said.
“Demanding customer needs from local, national and international clients can leave deals hanging in the balance over a period of days, weeks or even months, so being steadfast, calm, and understanding but also having the skills to negotiate are vitally important, too,” he said.