Job Opportunities in UAE for International Students

Job Market for Foreign Students in the UAE

International students in Dubai, UAE may apply to part-time employment with more than 4,500 companies located in creative clusters in Dubai across a wide range of industry sectors. These sectors include outsourcing, design, ICT, energy & environment, higher education and human capital development, life sciences, media and entertainment.

The Dubai Development Authority (DDA) regulates a diverse Free Zone comprising nine clusters such as Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Production City, Dubai Design District (D3) and Dubai Internet City.

Native citizens in the UAE represent only around 20% of the total population of the country. The rest comprises foreigners, mostly from India, and then from Pakistan, Iran, the Philippines, East Asia and the West. Among many other reasons, this is a major reason  why international students look for part-time jobs in the UAE.

With the increasing tuition fees at international universities, working while studying has become a necessity for every international student. Be it for covering tuition fees, daily expenses or just to get industry exposure, a lot of international students wishing to study in the UAE look for part-time job opportunities. While money may be the driving force for working part-time, it is not the only thing an international student will gain in the UAE.


Can International Students Work on a UAE Student Visa?

Until recently, international students in the UAE were not allowed to work. In 2017, the UAE government announced that foreig students over the age of 18 may apply for work permits and engage in part-time work in the country. Prior to that, international students were allowed to work on campus.

For a part-time work permit, students must have a university sponsorship. The UAE student visa, however, does not allow international students to work full-time in the country.

International students enrolled at UAE universities are also offered internship opportunities as long as they fulfil the legal requirements and their respective university and job requirements. Some of the best universities in Dubai even have their own internship programs where they help students gain exposure through relevant placements.

Why Work Part-time in the UAE?

Many students wonder why they should work part-time in the UAE or would it be the ideal option for them given the distinctiveness of the country. To the contrary, the UAE serve as the one of the top countries to offer study-work opportunities to international students. Here are some of the reasons why an international student should consider applying for a part-time job in the UAE:

  • Working while studying lets students gain valuable professional experience and apply the same to classroom learning. It further leads one to make careful choices and opt for the right career path.

  • UAE, a country of various different cultures and traditions, paves the way for meaningful lifelong lessons and international exposure that employers across the world look for in an employee.

  • Studying in the UAE could be a pricey affair, which can be dialed down by part-time employment whether it is on campus or off campus. It can make a huge difference to the lifestyle of an international student in places like Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

  • The new regulation in the UAE also makes sure that international students opting for part-time work are legally protected. It provides clear guidelines for both the employers and the employees.

  • Working in the UAE will also help a student acquire business skills through first-hand workplace experience.

Student Eligibility Criteria to Work in Dubai, UAE

Here are the requirements that an international student wishing to work part-time in Dubai, UAE must meet:

  • You must be enrolled in one of 23 academic institutes in Dubai’s creative clusters.

  • You must be above 18 years of age.

  • You must be sponsored by your academic institution.

  • You must have a possession of a visa issued by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA).

  • You must have a good academic record, in line with the criteria set by the academic institution.

Those who meet the criteria should contact the Career Services Centre at the academic institution. The academic institute will then provide a Student Eligibility Confirmation application to be signed and submitted to KHDA for validation. If the same is successful, the student will be notified through email.

Student Part-time Employment Process in Dubai, UAE

Given below is the process that will be followed while missing a student part-time employment permit in Dubai, UAE:

  • The Career Services Centre at the university will contact the student with an available job opportunity with one of the 4,500 companies located in Dubai’s creative clusters.

  • Once the student has beens selected for the job, the employer will apply for a Student Part-time employment permit.

  • The international student will then be required to sign the Standards of the Student Part-time Employment form with the employer. The same will be submitted by the Employer along with the Permit application.

  • A notification will be sent to the student through email if the application is successful.

On-Campus Employment of International Students in the UAE

Many universities in the UAE offer on-campus job opportunities to international students. Most of them may be roles in libraries, department university departments or in the university administration as well.

One of such universities offering part-time employment opportunities include the American University of Sharjah for which students are paid wages ranging from AED 15 to AED 30 per hour. The students applying for on-campus jobs at the university must also fulfil criteria such as a minimum GPA of 2.2, good academic and social standing, completion of one semester, enrollment in a full-time undergraduate program.

The university allows international students to work up to 15 hours per week or 60 hours per month. During academic breaks or in the summer, students may work up to 40 hours a week or 160 hours per month.

Off-Campus Employment of International Students After Study in the UAE

To be able to work off-campus in the UAE, students must have a work permit. Once the student has completed his/her education programme from a UAE university and has received a job offer in the UAE, he/she may be issued a work permit.

Salary Range in the UAE for Part-time Jobs

Salaries offered to international students working alongside studying may range anywhere between AED 30000 to AED 80000. However, the smae may vary depending on various factors such as location, area of study, organisation, experience, expertise, etc.

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