Driver Jobs in Dubai can be reasonably easy to land and, if you find the right one, quite lucrative. With Dubai’s economy booming and an increasing standard of living and luxury among the middle and upper classes in Dubai, hiring private drivers for luxury or personal cars is on the increase. While standard driver jobs involve long hours and little recognition, with luck and networking you can get a job driving one of the very rich around; this often comes with amazing perks and generous bonuses as par for the course.
Driving Jobs in Dubai
The chief requirements for driving jobs in Dubai changes as you move up the echelons of driving. At lower levels of driving jobs in Dubai, like operating taxis or company cars, the main things to focus on are language skills, defensive driving, accreditation and attitude. Take the approach of the famous Japanese taxi drivers, who treat their taxis better than their homes: make yourself stand out!
A crisp uniform, smart and responsive attitude, appropriate fluency in English and Arabic will all stand you in good stead. Senior drivers in Dubai will often fulfil the role of mobile butler, making sure that private cars or limousines are well stocked with refreshments, maintained in top condition, and performing small but important functions for the upper-class, high net wealth individuals that command such attention.
A keen eye for detail is essential. If someone is paying a professional driver, then they want to feel like the luxury they have permitted themselves is justified Like many other hubs of the world, employers in Dubai are slowly coming out of the ‘shell-shocked’ withdrawal from personal luxuries of the Global Financial Crisis, and private drivers are on the increase throughout Dubai.
Finding Driving Jobs in Dubai
Driving jobs in Dubai are most easily found at the entry level. Get in contact with people who are already driving in Dubai and ask around. Drivers gossip like anyone else, and often get to know each other while waiting outside their employer’s private and professional functions. Being a professional driver in Dubai today is not unlike being a coachman in Victorian England; there’s plenty of time to chat while waiting on one’s ‘master’, inside at a ball or a meeting! Only now the ‘chariots’ on drives are usually stupendously expensive, luxury cars.
Once an entry level driving job opens up, the way to get promoted is by keeping your ears open and providing outstanding service. This should go without saying, but really, treating the car like a second home is vitally important. Especially with luxury cars, your job will be to guard it, wipe it down, prevent and check for damage, and keep it running in perfect condition.
While driving, even if the employer is not present, keep the vehicle under control, don’t change gears too rapidly, and generally drive with respect and caution. Unless it’s a rare occasion when your employer is running late for something and tells you to ‘step on it!’, drive with your employer’s comfort and convenience in mind. Excessive braking or blowing your horn will only annoy your employer and make them think worse of you as a driver.
Observe the road laws fastidiously. This can often prove difficult, as many drivers in Dubai tend to take a ‘creative’ approach to the road rules. However, nothing’s worse than attracting the attention of the road authorities while driving in Dubai, a blemish on your driving record can ruin your career and draw the wrath of your employers. While there are always openings in management and upper management, Indian employees will find themselves competing against a globalised workforce, and Dubai employers tend to go for people with management experience in bog, global employers, something which the average indian job-seeker may be lacking in.
Payment and Rewards for Driving Jobs in Dubai
Salaried and regular, non-executive driving positions are fairly straightforward. Like any job in Dubai, there is some scope for negotiating payments and subsidised accommodation. If you are looking after an executive then you will probably be provided with accommodation near theirs or even on a large property or company property, so you can be ready to transport our employer at short notice. If you work as a ‘live-in’ chauffeur then expect your basic living expenses to be covered along with other live-in staff.
The best and most sought-after jobs are definitely the ones looking after executives and high wealth individuals. You will be required to undergo security clearance checks and extensive scrutiny, but then the rewards of the lifestyle are excellent. Most executive employers are very generous to their employees in terms of payments and regular bonuses. This inspires loyalty and superb service; and with the executive payments and massive wealth in the upper echelons of Dubai society, most individuals would rather pay more for superlative standards than put up with less than perfect service.
Don’t forget that certain bonuses, like the end-of-contract payments, are standard in Dubai, and if your contract excludes them you are justified in politely querying why.
With lower level driving jobs in Dubai, your hands are more tied. There is always some scope in negotiating your starting salary. Aim for around a 10% variance from an opening offer, but make sure you’ve got the experience and attitude to back up your claims.
Part-time or on-demand driving jobs are less lucrative, even on a per-hour basis, than full-time jobs, for obvious reasons. It is also expected from Dubai employers that people working part-time will probably be juggling other commitments and they may have a preconception that you won’t be as attentive and dedicated to your job as other employees may be. As a foot in the door, part-time driving can be OK, but it’s a drain on one’s lifestyle and you should be striving hard to switch to full-time driving work.