Jobs in Dubai Airport are lucrative and rewarding. Working in Dubai Airport is a challenge that requires tight attention to security and procedure, a fine eye for detail, and an enthusiasm that is unmatched by any other airport’s staff.
With Dubai Airport one of the major transport hubs of the world, jobs in Dubai Airport are in constant flux and demand. With lucrative retail shopping, dozens of airlines and their support staff, and catering to the millions of visitors that pour through the airport every year, employers are looking for the right staff to fill their positions, and they pay above-average wages to ensure they get the best.
Jobs advertised per month: 50-75
Recommended experience: 0 years for entry level positions, 3-5 for mid-level, 6+ for managerial
Qualifications: Security clearance compulsory for all employees, expertise in specialisations like baggage handling, ground staff, flight crews, check-in staff etc a bonus
Salaries (US$): $1500-$8000/month, plus bonuses and perks
Perks: Subsidised flights, cheap staff meals, subsidised accommodation, return airfares for contract workers, pay is tax-free.
Specialisations: Baggage handling, check-in staff, logistical coordinators, security, retail staff, food and beverage staff.
As you can imagine, Dubai Airport is a thriving job market. The UAE government has long-term plans to expand the airport to support additional flights in and out of it, as well as bolstering the infrastructure surrounding it to make stopping over in Dubai Airport more pleasant. The staff there are often the ‘first faces’ visitors see coming into Dubai, and companies are keen to have themselves represented as the pinnacle of customer service.
To this end, everything in Dubai Airport is dealt with with a scrupulous attention to detail. The interiors are kept cleaned and polished, the security guards are friendly but vigilant, and the retail stores are as neat and well-presented as anything on a boutique row in New York or London.
Jobs in Dubai Airport
Many jobs in the Dubai Airport are found by people working in similar industries and then making a sideways career move. For example, a regular security guard for a bank or a private firm may transition to managing security at the airport, or retail workers may get promoted to work in the Dubai Airport. Apart from ‘flagship’ stores, the Airport stores are often the most important stores in Dubai because of their high visibility and opportunity for brand impact. Therefore managers like to reward their staff by giving them the best jobs, often located at the Dubai Airport.
In addition, people heading through the airport are often the very wealthy or on holiday, both crowds have a larger than normal amount of discretionary spending capacity!
When it comes to finding a job in the Dubai Airport, there are a few things to consider. Normally Dubai is fairly strict when it comes to security checks, reference checking and the overall quality of their employees. However, at the airport this is carried to extremes. If you’re tempted to ‘fudge’ anything, anything, on your resume, then these are not the jobs to do it. Inconsistencies or vagueness can earn you black marks on your security vetting and that’s all it can take to stop you getting an otherwise fantastic job.
So your options are to perform well in your field of employment and then make a lateral move, or try and land a job directly at the Dubai Airport. Remember that as it’s such a stimulating, exciting place, the competition will be fierce. Apart from that proviso, though, getting a job at the Dubai Airport is much the same as anywhere else.
Airport Jobs in Dubai
Dubai is a country where the culture values long-lasting, warm relationships. It is not unusual to keep track of people you’ve known or worked with over a period of many years, and for those long-standing networks to come in handy years down the track. Genuine friendships and collegiality last for decades in Dubai, and the best way to take advantage of this is by being friendly, open, and fostering a sense of long-term friendship whenever you have the opportunity.
Negotiating Salaries for Jobs in Dubai Airport
The Dubai Airport and the smaller companies that operate within it have fairly standard ideas about what the salary ranges are for the jobs on offer. Most of the senior and executive staff at Dubai Airport are there for the long-haul, and most job opportunities are at the non-executive, non-management level, where turnover is higher. As such, there is less scope to negotiate a salary package than with many other Dubai employers. That said, there are still the standard Dubai expectations of bonuses, end-of-contract payments, and generous allowances as in other places.
That’s not to say there isn’t some scope in negotiating your starting salary. Negotiating is a fact of life in the Middle East and is well worth researching and practising. A few weekends of shopping will make you aware of more of the delicate aspects of negotiations, but any practise is good practice!
Consider a 10% variance from the opening offer to be roughly what to aim for, as long as you’ve got the background and experience to back up your claim. Haggling for more than that may be challenging and strike your employers as demanding, but as always go with your instinct.
Don’t forget that it’s pretty standard for foreign workers in Dubai to be paid a series of subsidisations and allowances on top of their standard salary. Make gentle enquiries about subsidised accommodation, staff meals, uniform and laundry assistance, etc. You may be expected to ‘bunk down’ in shared accommodation with other workers for the same company. This is a small price to pay for getting assistance with rent in Dubai, which is fairly expensive.
Visas and Paperwork for Dubai Airport Jobs
Make sure everything is in order. Everything. Be especially fastidious about this, because having the Evil Eye of the Government’s security forces fall upon you is a most unpleasant experience. Dubai enforces its laws strictly, and even foreign workers can’t rely on embassy influence if you’re out of line with your papers or wandering in the wrong area. Stick fastidiously to the straight and narrow path, or you’ll find yourself in hot water.