Dubai 4


United Arab Emirates

  • 5:08pm

Market overview

Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), located within the Emirate sharing the same name. It is one of the seven Emirates which make up the region (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajiman, Um Al Qaiwan, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah)

Dubai is the main commercial hub we operate within due to multiple companies centralising their media activity  there. We do have work across the MENA region notably Qatar, Saudi Arabia and, the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi.

Attracting people from all over the World, all year round, it continues to lure digital specialists across digital media channels (PPC, SEO, Display, Ad Operations) to its bustling media environment. We have been fortunate to help many people make the move hassle free and to help clients attract the best talent to their growing companies. Whilst we are London based, frequently travel to the region means we are up to date on all local advancements and changes.


All clients organise and pay for the administration cost of a working visa in Dubai.  The minimal cost to you is to post and pay for documents to be legalised (around £50)

Degree Certificate 

You will need to find the original copy of your degree (not GNVQ certificate), if you don’t have a degree then a different visa needs to be applied for (this does not impact on the role you’ve been hired to do) although in some cases an Account Manager may need to be called an Executive for legal reasons. If you obtained your degree from outside the UK then it needs to be attested in that country by a legal institution.

Attested Degree Process

A local UK solicitor needs to “attest” (sign the document to prove it is genuine) after which this document can then be sent to Foreign Office so the remaining attestation process can be finalised under UK Law

UAE Attestation

Once the UK attestation has finalised, you then need a final stamp approval from the UAE embassy in Knightsbridge, London

The Market

Dubai is an exciting and vibrant place to work especially within digital media. Whilst the local market is still relatively small, it is growing rapidly and is the main hot spot for digital activity across the MENA regions. The digital industry is slightly less advanced compared with the UK but it is catching up which means any candidate looking to moving there will be challenged in terms of client management, budget responsibility. Paid search, programmatic and paid social are all growing channels.

Dubai Expo 20:20, encouraged by Dubai’s progressive ruler, Sheik Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is almost upon the Emirati community and is regarded as Dubai’s opportunity to present itself on the World stage as a major commercial destination.

The Lifestyle

With a total population of 2.8 million (including visitors), Dubai is a more sparsely populated compared with London. It measures 35 km in length and whilst construction has increased year on year offering multiple apartments, restaurants and shopping centres,  the growth inland means that the it still feels very un-cluttered.

Despite the inclement weather we are all used to here in the UK, your reason for moving to Dubai shouldn’t just be for the high temperatures and tax free salary.  It gets incredibly hot mid-summer and temperatures can reach 50+ degrees. Whilst your salary is tax free, Dubai is not a cheap place to live if you want to live the high life. Hotels add a daily 10% surcharge on your stay and restaurants also add a tax. In early 2018, a 5% VAT tax is also being introduced although this is a trial and may continue or be halted depending on its success or not.

Whilst new cultural centres are currently being built, Dubai lacks the museum, theatre, art gallery experience enjoyed in London and across Europe. Most residents enjoy visits to the local beaches, multiple golf courses, Uber Shopping Malls are in abundance (Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall) and excellent restaurants are aplenty. Many Hotels offer FridayBrunches which are famous and offer local residents and tourists a chance to sample an extensive choice of food and alcohol for a fixed daily fee (approx $100) with the use of the pool.

Most people choose apartments based near the Marina (adjacent to Media City) so commutes to work tend to be shorter. The Dubai Mono Rail connects the east and west side of Dubai and offers a cheaper form of travel across the City. Taxis are always available but a more expensive form of transport.

Multiple religious and public holidays (13 a year, 5 more than the UK)  means there are plenty of opportunities to travel outside of the region. In recent years, Dubai International Airport has overtaken Singapore as the World’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic.


Dubai salaries are quoted monthly (similar to APAC) but to assist non-UAE residents we have shown the annual package on this site. Simply divide by 12 to calculate correctly.

UAE companies offer employees a “remuneration package” which comprises salary, rental and mobile allowances (70%, 20%,10% respectively)

All earnings are exempt from income tax as a resident of the UAE.