18 Jun 2024

How to Get the Best Software Engineer Jobs in Dubai

How To Get Software Engineer Job In Dubai

Finding a job at a software development company in Dubai can be a challenge.

When we look on job portals such as LinkedIn and Indeed we see too many low quality jobs. This makes finding the best roles on these site impossible.

I created this guide to teach people like you how to find a good job in Dubai.

By the end of this article, you'll understand how to get a good job in Dubai at the best companies.

Furthermore, you'll learn the right approach for landing top jobs and how to apply for IT jobs in Dubai.

In this article: ๐Ÿ“

Buildings Representing Two Types of Company in Dubai

Two Types of Company In Dubai

We can divide software development services in the Middle East into two main types of companies.

Top Companies

The best software companies in Dubai use cutting-edge technologies to build high-cost products. They need skilled software developers and offer the best salaries to attract top talent from around the world.

The best software engineer companies in Dubai are global giants like Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon. They can also be leading local startups like Talabat, Careem, and Noon. Well-funded smaller companies in cutting-edge fields like cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence also fall into this category.

Budget Companies

Budget companies spend less on technology. They pay less for application development and rely on less experienced or less skilled labor.

In Dubai, budget companies typically include agencies, small-scale consultancies, and underfunded startups. We also see a lot of budget companies in industries not focused on software, such as construction and real estate.

Top Software Engineering Jobs Are at Top Companies

The best software developer jobs in Dubai are at top companies.

To land the best software roles you need to target the best software development companies in Dubai.

It sounds straightforward, but how exactly do you find a job in Dubai at a top company?

Group of Software Engineers Working at a Computer

How to Get a Job in Dubai at a Top Software Company

We have three ways to find the best software jobs in Dubai.

Zero Tax Jobs Search

If you're wondering how to search for a job in Dubai, my job search and company search pages are a great place to start.

I built this site, with a focus on listing only high quality tech jobs that are ideal for international talent.

I focus exclusively on job vacancies at top companies.

If it's on my site, you can be confident it's a company that's serious about software development.

You can find all kinds of tech jobs on the site, from software development to project management and even pre-sales engineering.

Visit my job search page specifically for software engineer jobs in Dubai to specifically see open programming jobs.

Use the companies page to see a list of all top companies with a local presence.

I also provide helpful tools, such as my Dubai Software Engineer Salary and Cost of Living Calculator, which help you understand the financial picture of living in Dubai.

Four Men at a Networking and Meetup Event

Networking & Meetup Events

Not all job openings in Dubai make it onto job boards. Many companies fill the best roles using referrals or their own candidate pools.

Networking with software developers who work in Dubai is a great way to learn about these opportunities.

You can meet other developers by attending tech groups and events designed for expats in Dubai:

Engage with the local Flutter community at regular meetups. They also keep a slack channel so you can connect online with other developers.

Hosted by the team at Haltia AI, this meetup focuses on AI, blockchain, and machine learning. Many top companies operate in these fields in Dubai.

Participating in hackathons allows you to showcase your skills, whilst meeting other engineers in Dubai.

This group includes founders, programmers, product managers, designers, and investors. You can interact with them online in their slack community here.

Remember attending these groups is about exchanging ideas and getting to know people. Contribute and share your skills without asking for anything in return. If you approach it like this, more opportunities will open for you in future.

A Recruiter Interviewing a Woman

Work With Recruitment Agencies

Some top companies in Dubai use recruitment companies to hire tech workers.

Recruiters can help job seekers find jobs that aren't advertised elsewhere.

They also set realistic expectations about what sort of software job you'll be able to land in Dubai.

Recruiters work with a select group of companies. They're unable to introduce you to companies that they don't have a relationship with. Talking to multiple software engineering recruiters is essential to get a wider view of job vacancies in Dubai.

Recruiters take payment for every job they fill. Unfortunately, this motivates some recruiters to push people into jobs that aren't right for them. When working with recruiters it's crucial to watch out for this and learn to say no to opportunities that aren't right for you.

Top Companies Want Top Skills

Top software development companies in Dubai are willing to pay because they want the best developers.

Each top company has specific needs. If you cannot satisfy those requirements, you shouldn't be applying.

Only shortlist jobs where your skillset clearly matches the job description.

We also need to be realistic about the skillset and the level of experience required to land top roles.

Top companies are often looking for software programmers who have:

  • A strong technical skillset

  • Led large projects from conception to deployment

  • Solved complex problems in a business environment

  • 5+ years of experience in a top company environment

You'll face an uphill struggle if you don't fit at least one of these criteria.

Keep in mind, it might also be difficult to obtain a visa as a software engineer in Dubai without one of the above.

A Group of Adults Discussing Things Around a Computer

Be Selective About Companies

Each top company in Dubai has a unique work culture. If their work culture isn't rightfor you, you should reconsider applying.

Only shortlist software development companies that suit your work style. Avoid compromising your values.

We can find plenty of dissatisfied devs in Dubai who made this mistake. Don't be one of them.

Take the time to really understand the company culture.

A general rule of thumb, is if you can't explain why the culture is a good fit with your work style, it's not for you.

A Woman Making A Shortlist in Front of a Computer

Create Your Shortlist

We can now draw up a list of 5 engineering opportunities in Dubai. Importantly, these jobs are a fit in both directions.

There should be no more than 5 opportunities. Hiring managers see people who apply to multiple roles as less serious about a role. For this reason each opportunity must be at a different company.

Tailor Your Job Application

You must tailor your job application to land a position as a programmer in Dubai.

Top Companies can receive thousands of applications for software engineers. With so many applicants, companies rely on AI systems to screen applications. The AI rejects applications that don't fit the job description.

Good news. We only shortlisted vacancies that were a good fit so tailoring our application is easy.

Read the job description again, noting any specific skills or experiences. For each keyword your resume must:

  • Mention the keyword

  • Demonstrate the keyword quantatively, with examples from your previous experiences

  • Highlight successful business outcomes

  • Mention any specific languages or tooling

Take this job description, "Machine learning expertise required, with experience in developing scalable models."

Simply stating, "2 years of machine learning experience", is a missed opportunity.

Instead we could say:

"Led a project at [Previous Company] where I developed a machine learning model that increased customer retention by 35% over 2 years. Utilized Python and TensorFlow to design and deploy scalable algorithms tailored for predictive analytics."

Much better. We have demonstrated leadership, technical skills, experience and our ability to affect business outcomes.

Crafting a Custom Cover Letter on a Laptop

Craft A Custom Cover Letter

Use the cover letter to explain why you and the company are a perfect match.

After passing the AI screening, hiring managers read your cover letter to get a sense of each candidate.

Hiring managers in Dubai only want programmers who are serious about working at their company.

You need to show you've done your research and are a serious applicant. Explaining why a company is a good fit for you and vice versa is the perfect way to do this.

Mention aspects of the companyโ€™s culture or projects that align with your skills and aspirations. Explain how your background makes you a great candidate to contribute to these areas.

If applying from outside Dubai, you also need to show you are serious about relocating. Mention any connections with Dubai, why Dubai appeals to you and your ability to adapt to the culture.

Two Women Working Patiently at a Laptop

Be Persistent and Patient

Finding a job in Dubai is never easy. Securing the right position takes time and effort.

If you don't succeed immediately don't be discouraged.

Instead, keep track of software and engineering job opportunites in Dubai. You can use our job alerts to get weekly emails about the latest tech jobs in Dubai.

Wait for the right opportunities, rather than applying for every position that comes along.

For each job, follow a tailored approach. When possible, get feedback and use it to continuously improve your approach to job applications.

In your spare time, make efforts to fill any gaps in your skillset. This will increase your chances of landing a top software engineer job in UAE.

A Man Looking Disheartened at His Laptop

Not Ready for a Top Company

You might not have the software engineering skillset or experience to land a top job in Dubai.

That's okay. Everyone has to start somewhere.

There are plenty of Budget Companies in Dubai that employ less experienced staff.

Taking a job at a budget company can be a smart way to build your CV and prepare for a Top Company role.

You still need to be selective though. Aim for companies that allow you to showcase and improve your skills as software engineer.

That means, roles with more responsibility and opportunities to learn and improve your skills.

A Man Celebrating in Front of His Laptop

A Top Software Development Career Awaits You in Dubai

If you are skilled dev, then a great software developer role awaits you in Dubai.

Approach your job hunt with care and effort and you can land a great software engineering position.

There is a wide range of jobs in Dubai. Be patient and find a role that is truly right for you, rather than rushing to relocate.

A developer job in Dubai is more than just a tax-free paycheck. The best jobs challenge you and align with your career goals. Find a position where you can thrive and grow. This is so important when considering how to get a software engineer job in Dubai.

We can find cautionary tales online from people who moved to the UAE. They didn't do their research and ended up in a team which wasn't right for them.

Invest time in researching employers and speaking to others in the industry. Do the groundwork and you'll avoid the bad jobs and find a role where you can make a difference.

When looking for a job, ask yourself if you would accept the same software engineering job in your home country? If you answer no, it's not the right move.

Hold out for a software development role in Dubai that excites you and meets your standards.

If you follow this guide, you'll be well on your way to an excellent software career in the United Arab Emirates.

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