My Journey Finding a Job in Dubai as an Accountant

Did you quit CA or took a break from your exams and wondering if you can apply for a job in Dubai?

In fact: In today's article, we have Kapil Jain sharing with us 'how he found a job in Dubai as a semi-qualified Chartered Accountant from ICAI'. 

Presently Kapil is working in Dubai as an Accountant. He is also studying for his CA Final exams from ICAI. 

My Journey from Mumbai to Dubai

My Name is Kapil Jain and I belong to a small village Khaniwade in Virar, Mumbai (India).

I did my studies from a vernacular medium government school Pratibha Vidhya Mandir with limited facilities and lack of personal development skills. Those from India know that Government schools offer very basic education with no fancy facilities.

My Father has a small grocery store and while still in school I used to look after the shop in the evenings.

After class 10 I took up Commerce as most of my friends opted for this stream. I had no clear career vision and no guidance from anyone. Also, my village had no internet facility making it difficult for me to even find out the various opportunities in the commerce stream.

After class 12 most of my friends decided to pursue Chartered Accountancy from ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India). That is how I enrolled for the CA course while still graduating.

The CA course from ICAI has 3 levels - CPT, IPCC and CA Final along with compulsory 3 years of articleship.

I cleared CPT and IPCC in my first attempt. I was excited so was my family. This was an accomplishment against all odds. Imagine a boy from a government school with no great command over English passing the exams in the first attempt. This was a great achievement for me and my family.

I started with my articleship at K.S. Aiyar & Co. Once I started my articles I enjoyed Auditing, Accounting, and Taxation. My articleship took me to different cities and states within India giving me great exposure.

In order to become a qualified Chartered Accountant from ICAI, I just had to clear one more level - CA Final exams.

Around the time of my exam, I had a major surgery. It was a very difficult time for me. I appeared for the exam but could not clear. I kept appearing and kept failing but I still did not want to give up.

Around the same time, my best friend Bharat Chandan moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE. He kept telling me to come to the UAE to look out for a job.

Moving to Dubai sounded exciting but I was still not a qualified Chartered Accountant. 

Would I find a job?

I had so many questions - will a semi-qualified accountant find a job in Dubai, where would I stay, how will I manage without a job in Dubai, etc. I was also not very confident about my English speaking skills.

But, with all the encouragement and persuasion of my friend, I finally decided to come to Dubai to find a job. I was lucky to have a friend like Bharat who was guiding me through the entire process.

I took a break from my CA Final exams and decided to move to Dubai to find a job.

How I Found a Job Opportunity in Dubai

I arrived in Dubai on Dec 15, 2017 on a 3- month visit visa.

Before coming to Dubai I found a bed space (sharing Accommodation) with a few other Indians in Bur Dubai.

You can find details of such sharing accommodation on Dubbizle / Facebook groups. I used FB groups like Gujarati in Dubai however you can also check FB group Emmanuel.

The day I arrived my friend guided me about traffic laws in Dubai. He taught me how to commute by metro. In Dubai traveling by metro is way cheaper than taxis.  To travel by metro one needs a Nol Card or a metro card. My friend got me my Nol card and Sim card.

That very same day he gave me a list of email ID's and websites where I could apply for finance jobs.

Since I came to Dubai in mid-December it was year ending so everyone was in a Christmasy and New Year mood hence I hardly got any interview calls.

I got my first interview call after 5 days of arriving in Dubai. This interview was at Business Bay, Dubai. I attended the interview but was not selected.

I got a few more interview calls but either their budget was really low or they were not selecting me.

I was feeling really low and wanted to go back to India.

Also, Dubai is very expensive when you are not earning in Dhirams. However, my friend kept motivating me and told me to be patient.

So instead of being negative, I decided to have a positive attitude.

On a daily basis, I would practice a list of questions which could possibly be asked during the interview starting from 'tell me about yourself to all general questions'.

I would watch youtube videos and speak to others around me. I would practice interview questions with roommates and in front of the mirror. Initially, I was not very confident during interviews but after giving more and more interviews I got very confident.

I also studied VAT, IFRS, and other relevant Accounting Processes for the purpose of interviews.

I joined various WhatsApp groups and kept myself updated about various job opportunities.

Now even though I was getting rejected at various interviews I got very confident about giving interviews. I kept applying for interviews through various job portals, references and LinkedIn.

After a lot of patience, I finally got a job opportunity in Dubai after two months through LinkedIn.

I had seen this job post on LinkedIn and applied for the same.

I got a call for an interview. I did complete research about the company before attending the interview. The interview went on for more than 2 hours. Finally, they told me that I was selected. It felt so amazing and so relieving. All my persistence paid off.

So, all I want to say to those looking for a job in the UAE is - Do not stress. You will not get a job opportunity overnight. However, if you have the required skills with a great persistent attitude you will surely find a job to start with.

Keep preparing for the interview and keep circulating your CV.

Also, do not be in a hurry to accept any job offer. Enquire about the company and do all the groundwork before accepting the offer. Do not be very fussy about the salary when you are starting off but also do not accept a salary which is very low as living in Dubai can be expensive. And since you will be on a work visa job hopping is not very easy.

Thanks to God I have a good Friend who guided me before coming to Dubai. The reason to come to Dubai was just to earn money but now my thought process has changed. My goal now is to earn money along with improving my skills, gain international experience and bring out the best in me.

So friends, if I can do it so can you. Do not give up and keep looking for the right opportunity.

Is moving to Dubai without a job a good idea?

A lot of people ask me should I find a job in Dubai and then move? No, as it’s not always easy to get a job offer in Dubai without a face-to-face interview.

But, that doesn’t mean that you just pack your bags and take the first ticket expecting that you will get a job offer the next day you land.

Here’s the deal: You can move to any place in the world to work, but in common sense, you need to have an idea about the jobs there and whether your expertise is required in the market.

A better solution? Make your simple check about the job roles required in Dubai and understand the nature of jobs and where you fit in any.

Also, connect to people in Dubai before moving there and seek for guidance.

How to apply for a job in the UAE?

The best way to find a job is by advertising yourself in every possible manner.

Here are a few tips:

1. Personal Interaction
  • Personal interaction will play a very important role in finding a job in the UAE.
  • If you are attending any interview interact with other people coming for the interview. It helped me a lot to get more information about current openings.
  • Sometimes I went personally to drop my CV at various companies.
2. LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn is one of the best sources to find a job in the UAE. I was lucky that I found my current job through a LinkedIn job post itself.
  • I added many connections in my field and also added HR's who were hiring in the finance domain. It helped me a lot to get quick information about openings in various companies.
  • I generally avoid sending personal messages for a job unless I see a job post by them.
3. Job Portals
  • In the UAE there are many job portals like Bayt, Gulf Salary, Indeed, etc. I got a good response from all these sites especially
  • Some websites also provide a Premium option (gulf Salary charges some fees$24 I guess) where they will share your CVs directly to Companies if there is a vacancy. If you opt for this scheme be prepared to have a CV with a proper format.
  • Gulf Salary ( Paid Version is good, but personally I did not take the premium version because of the time constraint. They take 2/3 months to send resumes to companies)
4. Have a well-formatted CV
  • Most important of all your CV. It is your first step to get a call from the Interviewer.
  • Prepare your CV in good Format. Many templates are available on Google as well.
  • Add your recent photo in a professional look on your CV.
  • Please do not put anything on the CV that you do not know because the interviewer mainly starts questioning you on the basis of what is mentioned on your CV. So be careful about what you mention on your CV.
5. Email Database
  • I also started searching Jobs through Emails database, from Job portals, LinkedIn, through Contacts of my friends, posting CV on various websites, etc.
6. Documents to take with you before moving to Dubai
  • Before coming to Dubai or the UAE get all your documents attested.
  • It is compulsory to get your documents attested.
  • If you have not got them attested in your home country you can do the same in Dubai as well. It might just cost you a little more here (AED 500).

Save money for 3 months stay

Initially, when you first move to the UAE especially Dubai you will find it expensive. I would keep converting Dhirams to Rupees and would be surprised by how expensive are.

So all I can say is if you are coming to Dubai on a 3-months visit visa you need a good backup of money before you get a job. I would suggest carrying at least 2,200 Dhs for per month.

There is no time limit to find a job in the UAE. You can find a job within a week or 2 months also. So be prepared financially.

To Conclude

  • Attestation of documents – the attestation of documents is compulsory once you get selected. Please start the process before coming to Dubai.
  • It is advisable to take a 3-month visit visa instead of a one-month visit visa when you are coming to the UAE to look out for a job.
  • Get your CV made professionally or use a format which is acceptable in the UAE. It should be professional and to the point.
  • Have confidence and prepare well for Interviews.
  • Accommodation. Choose the right people when deciding on your accommodation. If you go for very cheap accommodation where everyone in that place is either struggling to find a job or is in a negative state of mind you might also end up like them. So choose to stay with people who are either in the same field as you, who are working and are positive.
  • Have a positive attitude. If you are low in confidence, you might lose a chance to get placed. Attitude is everything.

                                                  Now It's Your Turn


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