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How to Write a CV for Jobs in Dubai?

Best Practices for Resumes

Dubai is one of the fastest-growing cities on the world map. It is also strategically located, serving as the gateway for the West and the East. The development of the Dubai International Airport, a booming real estate market, the presence of top educational institutions, and religious freedom make the city an attractive proposition for expatriates.

Besides, your earnings are tax-free, and the economy is stable. The city has world-class infrastructure and healthy lifestyle options. Many more such aspects create a win-win ambiance in the city for professionals from across the world.

There are many lucrative job openings in Dubai. While applying for such positions, you must ensure that your curriculum vitae, or the CV, is presented in the best manner. Your résumé or CV is the most powerful tool in your hands to create the first impression on a recruiter in Dubai. The highly competitive job sector in the UAE makes it even more crucial to pay attention while creating your curriculum vitae.

What Does a CV Mean in the New-Age World?

CV or résumé is a marketing document used for promoting your talent and skills to prospective employers. It is not just another document that speaks of what you have done or achieved so far. Today, it is treated like a brochure. Therefore, adequate attention must be given when preparing the résumé to the content, grammar, punctuation, language, font, and presentation. For a hard copy, even the quality of the paper matters a lot. The curriculum vitae has to be in its best form to impress a recruiter.

CV Format for Dubai

Your CV or biodata has to be appropriately structured to make it a winning document amongst hundreds of résumés that recruiters receive. Broadly, the key elements of the document should be:

Your Name & Contact

The first section is the most crucial of all. It should have your name clearly spelled out and can be aligned in the centre or towards the left.

Below your name, the next most important detail should be your contact details. This includes your mobile number, the international country code or your local number, your email address, and your local residence address in Dubai. Ensure your email address is not spam; get a professional-looking email id.

To make the curriculum vitae notice-worthy, include your LinkedIn profile and the link to your personal website.

Personal Details

This part typically should contain the following:

  • Gender: Many companies in the UAE mention clearly in their job posting that they wish to hire people from a specific gender. It is, therefore, recommended that you mention your gender clearly on the CV.
  • Date of Birth/Age: You can either mention your birth date consisting of the day, month, and year or simply write your age.
  • Nationality: Mention the country from where you are, and ensure it is the same as mentioned on your passport. If you have dual nationality, mention it too.
  • Marital Status: If you want your employer to sponsor your family members and dependents, you need to mention details of your marital status on the CV. A family visa for your loved ones enables them to join you in Dubai and enjoy benefits like accommodation, education, medical insurance, etc.
  • Driving License: If you are applying for sales or operations-related jobs requiring local travel, you must mention your driving license details.
  • Status of your Visa: It is a good practice to mention the UAE visa status on your CV.

Irrespective of where you come from, these details are vital if you target local companies in the UAE. It would be best if you did not omit them. However, if you send your CV to an MNC, you may leave out this section. As in the West, personal information like sex, nationality, age, etc., are usually not mentioned on the résumé anymore in the view of creating an inclusive workplace.

It may so happen that even a local Emirati company might not ask for personal attributes. In such a case, it is best to avoid mentioning this section. It would help if you thoroughly scanned the particulars mentioned for the job before customizing it for the particular role before applying.

A Brief About You

This is where you sum up your goals, aims, and ambitions. You convey to the recruiter what is special that differentiates you from others.

Professional Experiences & Skills

After a personal introduction, it is time to highlight your professional acumen and skills to the recruiter. In Dubai, the trend is to present the competency summary so the employer is convinced to read the entire document. One tip to make your CV interesting for your prospective employer is to curate it as per the need of the job role rather than mentioning every minute detail.

The first part of this segment should talk about your work experience. Here’s the format you need to follow:

Work Experience

The main focus of your curriculum vitae should be on the jobs you have done. Outline your experiences so that it is aligned with the job posting. The job experience should be in reverse chronological order. Your current role should be mentioned first. Each role should talk of the following aspects:

  • Dates of employment.
  • Name of the Organization and a brief overview. Employers in the UAE will prioritize your work experience in the UAE. Hence, an overview of the company is an essential aspect of your resume.
  • The job title is the next important thing to mention, and an overview of the job highlighting the role and responsibilities should be detailed. Ensure that you cover all aspects of each job role and mention the same using bullets. The more persuasive the content is, the more impressed the recruiters will be.

Educational Qualifications

The format for mentioning your academic background starts with your highest-most qualification. This sub-section should include the following details:

  • Name of the qualification and the acronym.
  • Name of the Institution/College/University. If the institute is UAE-based, simply mention the name. If it is from your home country, mention a concise description of the college.
  • Location.
  • Dates, especially the completion/graduation date.
  • Level of attainment if applicable.


This is where you need to showcase certifications from domestic and international bodies. In Dubai, certificates received from authoritative bodies based in the UK, the US, the UAE, and the Middle East are given higher preference. For example, medical professionals should be DHA-licensed. Project managers with PMP accreditation command respect, while HR professionals with a certificate from SHRM are held in good esteem.

Additional Details

This section should be added to the CV only if you have additional relevant details demonstrating that you are fit for the job. Things that can be included here are awards, recognition, language skills, technical proficiency, interests, etc. Your knowledge of English and Arabic is given the utmost priority. Remember to mention the same in this section if you are well-versed in these two languages.

How to Write a CV?

Now that you know what your CV should include in Dubai, you need to know how to write the perfect curriculum vitae. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Use British English as the language for your bio-data.
  2. Keep the CV brief, not long at any cost, but not too short so that the recruiter is left unimpressed. If you have an experience between 5 and 15 years, a two-page CV is ideally the best length to stick to.
  3. Get to the point straight. In Dubai, it matters a lot. Put the most relevant detail on the top.
  4. Do not include a photo until the job posting specifically asks for one. Many recruiters believe that a photographed CV means that the person is looking for a junior role. Senior positions usually do not require photographs.
  5. Your CV should be in English rather than Arabic, even though the latter is the official language in Dubai. A CV in only Arabic can limit your opportunities as a job seeker.
  6. Never compromise the content of the bio-data by choosing a design or theme that restricts you from mentioning key details.
  7. In the UAE, most recruiters use software systems called ATS or Application Tracking System to sort the CVs and filter them. Therefore, you should prepare a resume that is easily readable by the software systems. Graphic CVs with non-standard formats, fonts, sidebars, logos, infographics, etc., can make your CV look jumbled up when viewed using the software.
  8. Stick to the standard layout and format rather than trying to be innovative by experimenting with the layout. Anything difficult for recruiting software systems to read and interpret means that your CV will be washed out before it gets to the right people.
  9. Follow a top-to-bottom and right-to-left layout.
  10.  Design elements should be minimal and subtle.
  11.  Grammar and spelling should be flawlessly correct.
  12.  Tweak your CV for each specific job role you are applying for.
  13.  LinkedIn is highly trusted in Dubai. Recruiters check out profiles on LinkedIn. Hence, ensure that you are present on this social media platform. Secondly, ensure that all details mentioned on your CV match those mentioned on the platform.
  14. Your work experience and educational qualifications should be mentioned in reverse chronological order.
  15.  Only relevant personal details should be mentioned on your curriculum vitae.

Job Application CV Sample

Here is a reference sample to prepare your curriculum vitae.

Professional CV formats

Professional curriculum vitae will include all the key elements mentioned above in the CV Format for Dubai. Customizing your CV as per the requirements of the particular job posting is crucial.

Here are some additional tips to make your resume look even more appealing to recruiters.

  • Include a photo only if the posting asks for one. Local Dubai companies might want to see your photo, but MNCs will not. Also, if you are applying for a junior role, include your photo. For a senior post, a photo is not required. Ensure that it is a professional-looking picture in passport size.
  • Mentioning your nationality in Dubai is essential, especially for local companies.
  • Always describe the companies you have worked with in 2-3 lines.
  • Similarly, when mentioning your educational qualifications, briefly describe the institute/university.
  • Certifications, Licenses, Accreditations, Awards, and Recognition are equally important. For example, to work as a teacher in Dubai, a local license like CTS (Competent Teacher Status) marks you as a professional. If you have an international license like the QTS (Qualified Teacher Status), you have better chances of impressing the recruiter.
  • Visa status in Dubai should be clearly mentioned, and whether you have a UAE driving license should be highlighted too. A driving license in your home country can be otherwise mentioned.
  • The notice period or your availability is an essential criterion for many Dubai employers. If you are available for work immediately, mention the same on your CV.
  • Attachments in Dubai, along with your CV, are not the trend. It can be a big put-off for employers and recruiters. Until asked for, it’s best not to attach any other document except your resume.


Frequently Asked Questions on Writing a CV for Jobs in Dubai

I wish to join the real estate sector in Dubai. Which license should I hold to add value to my CV?

A local license from the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is advised. You can then join as a Real Estate Agency Manager in Dubai.

I am an architect and am ARB-certified. Can I work in Dubai as a professional architect?

Yes, you can, as a license from the Architect Registration Board (ARB), UK, is acknowledged and accepted in the UAE.

What is an acceptable UAE CV Format?

In the UAE, an acceptable resume format is brief. The length of your curriculum vitae depends on the number of years of experience you have. If you have an experience of 5-15 years, your resume should be about two pages long.