Dabble in Dubai? Network your way to a hospitality job

Dubai is one of the most sought-after locales in the world for adventurous wannabe expats who are looking to switch up their daily routines and experience more of the world. And, with so many expats already living there, Dubai must be doing something right.


After all, it has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world which means higher-than-average salaries, comfortable living standards for all who reside there, and an abundance of potential job opportunities.


If you are considering a move to Dubai or other regions of the UAE, then you may be wondering how on earth you are going to be able to obtain a job.


With so many people looking to move there, the standards that companies expect from job seekers are high, and a large number of applicants can make it difficult to stand out.


This is where networking comes into play. When looking for a job anywhere in the world, networking is essential; however, it is especially crucial in Dubai where many positions are filled through word of mouth and those who are already in the know.


Hospitality jobs in Dubai are some of the most sought-after jobs for those looking to move to this Emirate as many of the skills one already possesses can easily be transferred.


The ability to speak English is often a big help, as is prior experience in the service industry.


Obviously, if you have yet to develop your life in Dubai thoroughly, this can be seen as a hindrance. But remember, if there is a will there is a way. If you are looking to make your dreams of working in hospitality in Dubai a reality, read on for three tips for networking your way to the prize.


1. Understand what you have to offer and cultivate your networking strategy.


If you don’t know why you should get a specific job, then how are you going to be able to pitch yourself to a potential employer? Not only do you need to be confident in your abilities, but you also need to know how to present them to a stranger transparently and efficiently that also brings the wow factor.


Before you start your networking journey, spend some time thinking deeply about your skills and experiences and how they will relate to a job in the hospitality industry in Dubai. Consider all your life experiences, not just the obvious ones, and find ways for them to connect to the position.


All experiences have taught you something, so even if you haven’t ever worked in the hospitality industry, or have been out of it for a few years, you should still be able to find ways to utilize the skills and expertise you do have to show that you are prepared.


Once you know the reasons that you are going to present, then it is time to practice your pitch. Repeat it over and over again to yourself, and then your friends and family, so that you become comfortable promoting yourself in a manner that seems confident and natural.

2. Update your resume, business cards and online presence.

Just like in the golden olden days, resumes are still crucial, especially when it concerns applying for a position in a foreign country. These are still the gold standard by which firms judge applicants’ experience, capabilities and professionalism. For this reason, it is essential that you have your resume up to date.


Additionally, you want to have business cards — both the printed and the online version. Spread your business cards around liberally. Anyone you meet, give them your card. Networking is all about getting to know more and more people and having your name move around the right circles for the career you want. So, if you meet someone in a different industry but who works in Dubai, then you certainly want to give them your card.


Because you never know — they could be back in Dubai next week at a dinner party and hear a friend of a friend complain about how they can’t find anyone to fill a position, and BOOM, your business card is placed into their hand.


There is a very good chance that this may never happen; however, it certainly won’t if you don’t put yourself out there and network as though your life depends on it. (Your life may depend on it.) You have nothing to lose.


However, no matter how many people you talk to, give your business cards to, or meet online/offline, remember that being genuine is the most important characteristic that any human can have. So, while you are selling yourself, remember to stay humble and show interest by asking thoughtful questions and act in the same manner that you would should you be an employee of the said firm.


While you can’t overlook the old manner of doing things, you also shouldn’t forget about the new ways — social media, for instance. Generally, when you meet someone in person, you are able to solidify your relationship with them and convince them of your skills a lot quicker. However, if you are unable to meet anyone in person, then social media is a necessary middleman.

Through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you can start and encourage relationships with recruiters in a variety of companies that you are potentially interested in working in and for.

Social media can be used to start these relationships, as well as to maintain others, and to expand your network. You always want to be growing your network.

3. Attend in-person or online networking events.

As mentioned earlier, networking is still the predominant way that firms in Dubai hire recruits, which means you have to put yourself out there. If you honestly want to create this new life for yourself, then you need to be proactive. It certainly isn’t going to just fall into your lap.


Luckily, in 2018, you don’t necessarily have to attend in-person networking events (although those are always a great idea!). If you haven’t yet jumped ship to the area, then you can instead join online networking sites or job boards that can assist you in connecting with the appropriate people.


In these groups, you can work on building relationships with recruiters, firms, or other people in the industry through monthly meetings. Once again, make sure that you are a proactive member of the group because even if there isn’t a position open now,  you want someone to think of you when something opens up immediately.


When it comes to any of these methods of networking, just make sure that you are taking full advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. Make the time to attend all networking opportunities and always be working on expanding your network. You never know who is going to be able to present you with your dream position, what conversation may lead to a job offer, or where you may hear about the job you have been longing for all these years.


Networking is only powerful when you actually bring yourself to the table. It is a two-way street; the more you put out there, the more you are going to get back. If you are scared of promoting yourself, unsure about your capabilities, nervous about approaching someone, or insecure in your communication, then it isn’t going to work.


Have you ever considered moving to Dubai? Are you interested in finding a hospitality job there? What is stopping you from making it happen? Let us know your thoughts, hopes and fears regarding the matter in the comments below!



Daulet Zhumagulov is the Founder and CEO at WeHoteliers, a specialized online hospitality portal in the GCC region where prospective and experienced talents can explore career opportunities and be discovered by the top employers of the industry. The company’s mission is to provide an efficient and modern platform that will focus on the needs and interests of hospitality professionals.

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