A Comprehensive Guide To Senior Hiring In The UAE

Author: TASC Outsourcing
Dec 11, 2023

When you think of hiring senior talent in the UAE, your strategies can’t be the same. You have to walk a different path in order to find and retain the top senior talent for your organisation.


You need to get in sync with the local culture, follow the rules, and do so while making sure your company's leadership needs are met.


The UAE – with its diverse population and booming economy – is a place full of opportunities and challenges for businesses.


If you're a business or a business owner in the UAE, you've probably noticed that hiring top-tier executives here is a bit different. But with the right approach in place, you will successfully be able to find the right senior executives who will drive your business towards success.


In today’s blog, we’re going to take a close look at senior hiring - the role the local culture and legal landscape play in the process to help you implement effective and practical strategies for filling vital leadership roles in your business.

What is the Corporate Landscape in the UAE Like?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now a global business arena, and the majority of the credit goes to its abundance of oil reserves, strategic location, and the government’s ambitious vision for economic growth.


We know that cities such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai are at the forefront of this transformation, wholeheartedly welcoming multinational corporations, young start-ups, and local business conglomerates to set up their branches there.


In order to grow in such a competitive landscape, experience becomes an invaluable asset – and that’s where the critical demand for strong senior leadership arises.


So, how do you onboard such experienced executives in your team? 


Before we can look into that, it’s essential to understand the cultural aspects associated with the UAE.

A Closer Look at the Cultural Nuances of UAE


If you want to excel at the corporate scene in the UAE, speaking Arabic isn’t enough. You should be able to understand and accept the Emirati way of life, which includes embracing the local traditions. The same qualities should be sought after while filling executive positions – individuals who demonstrate a blend of local understanding as well as international expertise.

Business Etiquette

In the UAE, the foundation of business is built upon trust and enduring relationships.


How does this value translate practically?


Well, it can be seen in the form of face-to-face meetings, having a keen awareness of the intricacies of communication (both verbal and non-verbal), or a profound respect for local customs.


For instance, punctuality is of paramount importance when doing business in the UAE. In addition, patience and reverence for the local way as virtues can also help enterprises to set themselves apart.

Laws & Regulations

When you consider senior hiring in the UAE, you can’t ignore the intricacies of the many regulatory considerations. The Emiratisation hiring initiative is a prime example that urges companies to include Emirati nationals in essential roles.


It’s important to be familiar with these programs and their associated quotas, as it helps you ensure that your hiring practices are compliant and, at the same time, contribute to your company's growth.


Furthermore, a comprehensive understanding of the specifics of employment contracts in the UAE is crucial, particularly for senior-level hires.


It would include knowledge of end-of-service benefits and the legal complexities that surround terminations. Staying up-to-date with these legal intricacies will ensure a harmonious employer-employee relationship – one that benefits both parties.

How To Find The Right Senior Executives In The UAE?

As you may already know, securing the right senior leadership talent in the UAE can be a bit of a pickle. The market is rife with opportunities, and in order to harness them correctly, you need the right match for your organisation.


If you want to find out how, let’s take a quick look at some of the strategies you can implement immediately.

Using the Digital Advantage

In today's digital age, platforms like LinkedIn have become indispensable tools for talent acquisition. While the digital scape is essential, it's equally important not to underestimate the power of local networks.


You must build and nurture connections within the UAE business community. They can often lead to personal referrals and introductions, leading you to exceptional talents, not found on traditional job boards.

Seeking Headhunting Firms

You can turn to headhunting firms specialising in the UAE market to look for senior talent. These experts have their fingers on the pulse of the local talent landscape. By leveraging their services, you’ll be able to uncover rare gems that can perfectly fit your senior leadership needs.

Assessing Cultural Fit

For senior roles, it's about more than just ticking off a checklist of skills because they are typically assumed at this level. Instead, it's about assessing cultural fit.


Will this individual seamlessly blend into your organizational culture? Do they share the same vision and values that drive your company?


These are the questions that matter most.

Involving Stakeholders

To gain a comprehensive understanding of a candidate's suitability, consider adopting a multi-tiered interview process. It would include different stakeholders, ranging from board members to potential subordinates.


In this way, you can obtain a 360-degree view of the candidate's compatibility with your organization's ethos and objectives.

Providing a Competitive Salary Package

The competitive nature of the UAE job market demands more than just a competitive salary. While a handsome remuneration is no doubt important, it's also essential to consider additional perks.


Think about offering assistance with housing, schooling for their children, annual flight allowances, and comprehensive health insurance. These added benefits can be the differentiators that attract and retain top senior talent.

Structuring the Onboarding Process

Once you've successfully secured your senior executive, the journey is far from over.


In fact, it's just beginning. A well-structured onboarding process is not limited to familiarizing the new hire with their role but also extends to integrating them into the Emirati way of life. Such a holistic approach will ensure a smoother transition and quicker assimilation into your organization.

Offering Mentorship & Continuous Support

Regular check-ins, mentorship programs, and continuous feedback loops are instrumental in making the new senior executive feel supported and valued. Such an ongoing commitment sets the stage for long-term success and fosters a sense of belonging.

TASC – Your Hiring Partner in the UAE

Senior hiring in the UAE isn’t just about filling a role. Instead, it is a quest for leaders who have the potential to steer an organization in the right direction in the fast-paced business environment of the UAE. This synergy of professional capability and cultural sensitivity is the essence of successful senior hiring in the UAE.


At TASC, we understand that the right people make all the difference in business. That's why we offer a range of recruitment services tailored to meet the unique needs of companies in the UAE.


Our extensive network and expertise in the local market enable us to connect businesses with exceptional talent.


Whether you need to fill a senior leadership role or expand your workforce, as your UAE national recruitment agency, TASC has the solutions to help your business thrive in the dynamic corporate landscape. Get in touch with our experts now.