How to Get a Job in The Dubai Human Resources Sector

Dubai’s economy is forecast to grow by 4.5% this year according to an announcement by the chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee. This means that companies will be growing and hiring new staff. In fact, ‘93% of employers in the UAE anticipated increasing their head count in the first quarter of this year’. FMCG, Pharmaceutical and Construction sectors are expected to experience the most hiring activity during 2012.

This is great news for the HR profession as increased hiring activity and headcount will increase the demand for HR and Recruitment professionals within Dubai. This means it is an exciting time to start or develop your HR career in Dubai especially as the profile of HR in Dubai is growing as it gains real traction within corporations by showing how world class HR strategies can make deep impacts on the bottom line of Dubai businesses. The annual HR Summit and expo in Dubai now draws speakers from the world’s leading organizations, including Yahoo, Siemens, Ernst and Young, Pepsico, Johnson and Johnson and Friends Provident, which underlines how important HR in Dubai has become.

However, there is no question that HR is a niche profession and entering and progressing within HR requires a specific set of qualifications, skills and experiences. Below, I have provided some advice and tips on how to start and advance your career within the Dubai HR sector.


Most organizations in Dubai will require that candidates should possess a first degree in Human Resources or Management in order to be considered for the job. An MBA will also help as it shows that you can operate as a high level strategic business partner.

Certifications/Professional Memberships

Dubai employers will expect to see appropriate certification of your HR skills. Therefore, you will need to join and gain appropriate levels of certification in HR from one of the two main international HR professional bodies. These are:

1. The Chartered Institute of Development (CIPD) which is the world’s largest Chartered HR and development professional body. It is an internationally recognized brand with over 135,000 members across 120 countries.

2. The HR Certification Institute (HRCI) is an internationally recognized certifying organization for the human resource profession, with over 120,000 members across the world.

It can take anything from 1–3 years to become fully qualified.


Graduates should be aiming to get internship experience supporting an HR or recruitment department as this will increase their future employment chances in HR.

In terms of more experienced professionals; as the HR profession is asking its staff to become more commercially focused, HR professionals who have had some operational experience as a line or department manager are becoming increasingly attractive propositions as they are thought to have a better understanding of the needs of the business.

Industry Specialization

While HR roles are similar from company to company, the emphasis can shift dramatically between larger and smaller employers and between different industries. Employers like to hire HR or recruitment professionals with relevant industry experience, so when applying for jobs in Dubai, focus your application on companies within industry sectors that you have experience in.

Embracing Technology

The HR and Recruiting profession has been transformed by the onset on new technologies – such as cloud based HR information systems, social recruitment and mobile based recruitment technology – all of which  allow HR professionals to work in ways that they have never been able to before. Dubai employers have embraced technology and if you want to be seen as an attractive candidate for a HR role in Dubai, you must be able to demonstrate that you both understand and embrace modern HR technologies.

International Recruitment and HR Experience

As we have said before, Dubai’s population is growing at a rate of 7% a year with much of this growth being driven by expatriates. This means that a core requirement of Dubai based HR staff must be the capacity to source and hire staff internationally and to effectively manage an international workforce. If you want to maximize your chances of employment in Dubai you must be able to demonstrate your international HR experience.

Sources of Dubai HR Jobs and HR Networking Opportunities

Finally, here are some resources to get you started:

About the author

Kazim Ladimeji is the Director of—a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers. It includes a blog with career and small business advice articles. Kazim is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practising HR professional for 14 years.

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