UAE jobs market is highly competitive, prospective candidates find

Young people say they are finding competition for jobs tough, especially when it comes to the Catch 22 situation on experience.

Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, July 25, 2017:    Mousa Al Raeesi near the Millennium Hotel in Fujairah July 25, 2017. Christopher Pike / The National

Reporter: Ruba Haza
Section: News
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Mousa Al Raeesi, a 36-year-old Emirati with an Information Technology degree, decided to leave his job in search of a better opportunity but he’s been unable to find something suitable and is now unemployed.

“I worked in customer service for a bank for about nine years and I left my job for a better opportunity but the hiring processes have stopped for some reason and I ended up jobless since 2016,” said Mr Al Raeesi, from Fujairah.

“Salaries are very low in Fujairah compared to other emirates. The highest a salary could reach is Dh12,000 and you need to have experience to fill any position with that salary.

“Many young Emiratis prefer to work in a government entity or join the police force as they provide better salaries and benefits but not all the time you can find a job there.

“I submitted about 15 online job applications and I only got one interview since 2016. I don’t mind moving to Abu Dhabi or Dubai, as long as I get a good salary that can cover my expenses.”

Karem Ali, a 29-year-old Jordanian, works at the front desk at a Dubai hotel but has been searching for another job that would allow him to sponsor his family since last year.


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“I moved to Dubai in 2015 after I received a job offer and I thought that after spending a year or two in the country, I would be able to find another job with a better salary so I could bring my family over,” said Mr Ali.

“Some companies gave me an offer but it was basically the same. I don’t know how long I can handle this situation being away from my wife and son but I will give it another six months before taking any decision.”

Mr Ali lives in a shared room in the hotel staff accommodation block but he wants to find a job that would offer a housing allowance

“My salary is Dh2,500 and I can’t afford renting an apartment as it’s very expensive. My dream is to bring my family here,” he said.

Like may other Emirati graduates on the east coast, Halah Al Qadi, 24, is struggling to find a job after qualifying as a radiographer.

“It’s really frustrating as most of the employers ask for a minimum of one to two years of experience,” said Ms Al Qadi.

“I applied for many hospitals and medical centres in Fujairah but no one hired me until now, and it’s not only me - six of my friends are facing the same issue.

“I have done many training hours in various hospitals during college but they don’t take them as experience.

“I might start applying for jobs in Abu Dhabi, although it’s going to be hard leaving my family. That would be my last solution.”