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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have recently registered for this site and have been massively impressed with the wealth of information I have found so far. I am looking for a bit more information on the Construction industry if anyone could help?

I am planning to move to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Qatar after Christmas. I am hoping to gain employment in the construction industry in a site management/foreman or project management role. I have 4 and a half years experience managing UK construction sites ranging in value from £20m - £85m. I have a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management and I am a chartered member of the CIOB. I also have various health and safety qualifications that are required in the UK to manage construction sites. Is this the type of requirements employers are looking for or do I need more experience?

It has been an aim of mine to work in the Middle East since I was at University, but I am worried that it is no longer a viable option. I have read a number of articles on the state of the industry as a result of the global financial crisis. Can anyone give me some first hand accounts of what it is really like?

I have read that Qatar has been slightly less affected, is this the case and would I be better trying for work there than Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

I would also rather secure employment before I go over. Does anyone have experience of doing this or have any advice they could offer me.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Gary
 

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Hi mate, although jobs are scarce there are still some out there. Best advice would be to contact a few of the big recruitment firms and send them your CV, they'll be best placed to advise if anyone is currently recruiting. I'm in construction and came here with Maxim, you could also try Macdonald & Company, Hays International, BBT, BAC Middle East. Also have a look on Monster and Gulf Talent.

Good luck
 

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Hi,

I have recently registered for this site and have been massively impressed with the wealth of information I have found so far. I am looking for a bit more information on the Construction industry if anyone could help?

I am planning to move to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Qatar after Christmas. I am hoping to gain employment in the construction industry in a site management/foreman or project management role. I have 4 and a half years experience managing UK construction sites ranging in value from £20m - £85m. I have a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management and I am a chartered member of the CIOB. I also have various health and safety qualifications that are required in the UK to manage construction sites. Is this the type of requirements employers are looking for or do I need more experience?

It has been an aim of mine to work in the Middle East since I was at University, but I am worried that it is no longer a viable option. I have read a number of articles on the state of the industry as a result of the global financial crisis. Can anyone give me some first hand accounts of what it is really like?

I have read that Qatar has been slightly less affected, is this the case and would I be better trying for work there than Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

I would also rather secure employment before I go over. Does anyone have experience of doing this or have any advice they could offer me.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Gary
I work in construction and as you have rightly assumed, the construction industry took a battering last year, from which it is still recovering. Dubai is still practically a no-go area in terms of jobs (few jobs around but nothing major). Whilst the industry is slowly improving and there are a lot more jobs available as opposed to 6 months ago, most employers are looking for senior people who have 10+ years experience. 4.5 years experience in a healthy market is a lot but unfortunately, when the market turns, it's not really a lot and you will find yourself shoved aside by more experienced guys who are willing to work for the same money. As an example, my company is still recruiting except that they have now completely changed their recruitment process & introduced additional screening processes, in addition to targeting only people with 10+ years experience. I started working in construction in early 2005 and whilst this might seem a lot, I also happen to be the most junior member of my team!

Yes, Qatar's construction industry is probably healthier. Saying that, it is not impossible to get a job. The redundancies have reduced significantly & some consultants have started recruiting again (always a good sign)! You have to do the extra work with your CV to make sure that it stands out from the crowd and leaves the employer with no doubt that you are the right person for the job. You can try and approach employers directly, though you have to be aware that there is now an increased chance that your CV will be retained on file or you could find a few good recruitment agents who will push your CV forward. That might mean that you have to be on their case a lot, especially when you consider the volume of CVs that they receive each day.
One thing I told a friend who was looking for a job and who has now almost certainly missed out because of delays in getting a CV together, the employer will not wait for you. DO NOT state that you are available for an interview in 4 weeks time cause someone else might be available right now and that's your chance gone if the employer likes them. You can negotiate with start dates and employers are pretty flexible but when it comes to interview dates, 2-3 days is about the max that you can push it.

Personally, I would not come out here without a job. Last year, this gamble would have paid off; this year, you'll most likely end up going home disappointed and with your wallet considerably lighter. A few months ago, employers would not have given anyone from abroad even a first glance since there were many, like myself, who had been made redundant and who would have taken any salary. My company, for e.g, has now started advertising abroad and recruits from abroad (lovely people, they even fly you out at their cost). Try looking on the websites and in journals published by professional organisations such as ricsrecuit, etc.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a lot for getting back so quickly. You have confirmed what I thought about the amount of jobs going. I will continue to research over here and see how things are at the start of next year. I expect it will take some time for things to pick up again.

Do you think there would be any benefit in going over for a couple of weeks and handing out some CV’s or speaking to agencies/employers in person?
 

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Thanks a lot for getting back so quickly. You have confirmed what I thought about the amount of jobs going. I will continue to research over here and see how things are at the start of next year. I expect it will take some time for things to pick up again.

Do you think there would be any benefit in going over for a couple of weeks and handing out some CV’s or speaking to agencies/employers in person?
If you are planning a holiday out here, then by all means spare a day to talk to agencies and employers. Though, bear in mind you will have to set up all your meetings beforehand. It's ok to just turn up at an agency's office but this would not work with employers - you would need to know who to ask for and there is also the small issue that they might be busy, have no clue who you are and consequently tell security to get rid of you pronto.

Coming out here just for the sake of distributing a few CVs is a waste of time and money. Email is the way forward. Once you have some interest in your CV, then by all means start making a few phone calls and if needs be,consider a trip out here if this is required but do not waste your money in the hope that you can achieve miracles in a dead market. Last year, coming out here would have given you an advantage but as we've pointed out, it's a whole new ball game this year.

Keep in contact with recruitment agents. Oftentimes, employers fly out to other countries for recruitment days. These are not openly advertised, so by keeping in contact with agents and checking out professional journals and websites, you have a better chance of finding out when these events are taking place so that you get yourself there and market yourself, without the need to spend a ridiculous amount of money.

You are right; things will pick up but I would give it until next year. It takes a while for a country to recover after recession, so if you are patient and time it right, you can still come out here and work.
Sorry to sound so negative but I'd rather you find out the truth before you come out here. I've been the victim of redundancy out here and believe me, it ain't a pleasant experience, so I don't want people to come here with the same naive attitude I had and go through the same hell that I did.
 

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Sound advice from Maz.

I'm an MEP Project Manager, was working in Dubai, but now I join the multitude that make the journey to AD each day.

There are signs that Dubai is slowly starting to move again, but the emphasis is on slowly. Abu Dhabi does have some decent sized projects ongoing and about to start.

Qatar has a good deal of work, but I found Qatar approx 20% more expensive than Dubai.

Other options in the ME you may want to consider are Saudi, Lybia, Kuwait & Oman. There are numerous positions for these countries being advertised presently
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you are planning a holiday out here, then by all means spare a day to talk to agencies and employers. Though, bear in mind you will have to set up all your meetings beforehand. It's ok to just turn up at an agency's office but this would not work with employers - you would need to know who to ask for and there is also the small issue that they might be busy, have no clue who you are and consequently tell security to get rid of you pronto.

Coming out here just for the sake of distributing a few CVs is a waste of time and money. Email is the way forward. Once you have some interest in your CV, then by all means start making a few phone calls and if needs be,consider a trip out here if this is required but do not waste your money in the hope that you can achieve miracles in a dead market. Last year, coming out here would have given you an advantage but as we've pointed out, it's a whole new ball game this year.

Keep in contact with recruitment agents. Oftentimes, employers fly out to other countries for recruitment days. These are not openly advertised, so by keeping in contact with agents and checking out professional journals and websites, you have a better chance of finding out when these events are taking place so that you get yourself there and market yourself, without the need to spend a ridiculous amount of money.

You are right; things will pick up but I would give it until next year. It takes a while for a country to recover after recession, so if you are patient and time it right, you can still come out here and work.
Sorry to sound so negative but I'd rather you find out the truth before you come out here. I've been the victim of redundancy out here and believe me, it ain't a pleasant experience, so I don't want people to come here with the same naive attitude I had and go through the same hell that I did.
Thanks,

I really appreciate your honesty. This is exactly the kind of feedback I need. I will follow your advice and see how I get on.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sound advice from Maz.

I'm an MEP Project Manager, was working in Dubai, but now I join the multitude that make the journey to AD each day.

There are signs that Dubai is slowly starting to move again, but the emphasis is on slowly. Abu Dhabi does have some decent sized projects ongoing and about to start.

Qatar has a good deal of work, but I found Qatar approx 20% more expensive than Dubai.

Other options in the ME you may want to consider are Saudi, Lybia, Kuwait & Oman. There are numerous positions for these countries being advertised presently
Cheers,

A friend of mine is working in Saudi at the moment. He has put me off it slightly as he is finding it difficult to adjust to the strict rules they have there. Not that he wants to run riot at the weekends or anything, but he has said it is difficult not being able to socialise as much as he did here. He also finds it hard that his girlfriend is unable to visit him.

Are Libya, Kuwait and Oman similar to Saudi in that respect? I think I would feel the same as my friend if I was in his position.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi mate, although jobs are scarce there are still some out there. Best advice would be to contact a few of the big recruitment firms and send them your CV, they'll be best placed to advise if anyone is currently recruiting. I'm in construction and came here with Maxim, you could also try Macdonald & Company, Hays International, BBT, BAC Middle East. Also have a look on Monster and Gulf Talent.

Good luck
Cheers mate, I'll give those a try.
 

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I know someone who is looking for Project Managers in Construction in Abu Dhabi. If you want to post your email addy I will pass on details. Don't think private messaging is working???
 
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