Where to Start

a. Use the Internet to look for prospective employers before you get to Dubai, the Dubai Yellow Pages http://www.yellowpages.ae/ as well as the various Free Zone websites https://jobsupportprogram.com/uae-2 contain listings of businesses.

b. First look at businesses which have a related internet site depicting their products or services, this will give you a good idea on the size, scope and nature of the company.

c. Some companies also have “Career” links embedded in their sites.

d. Once you have a short list of prospective companies run a Google search on them, see if they are featured in the local or international news. Local news sites as well as other related postings on the internet may give you other indicators as to the business. For example, is the company always in the press because of bad business or labour practices, is there good positive and independent press about the company, a lot of information can be gleaned about companies in this way; this may save you headaches at a later stage!

e. You can also check the validity of a company’s trading activities, contact details and licensing. The Dubai Department of Economic Development has on-line, the active trading licenses of all registered company’s trading within Dubai. This is a good measure of the “bona fides” of a company, especially if you have never heard of them before, or are perhaps hesitant regarding their activities or legal status. The site is searchable on the English name of the trading company, providing the license number of the company and last registered contact details of the company.http://www.dubaided.gov.ae/eServices/Pages/Anon/CompLookup.aspx If the site is maintained as it is advertised, any company not appearing on the list is not registered or not currently registered to trade legally in Dubai; this automatically excludes them from being able to provide employees with a legal labour card! I checked this against two old companies which I know are no longer paid-up licensed entities, and unfortunately it still lists them! I suppose in this instance it can still help in sifting out any fictitious company’s.

f. Avoid companies with Yahoo or Hotmail email addresses; there are however a number of legitimate companies in Dubai and surrounds that do actually use these!!! Personally, I feel that if a company can’t afford the 500 odd Dirhams to get a registered email address or web page, then you should be on the alert.

g. Do a reverse look-up of the contact details that the company provides you with. The Internet is a wonderful thing, for example if the company gives you an email address or a contact telephone number, then enter either of these as a search criteria into Google (or other). You’d be amazed at the amount of information you can glean from a search like this. You can see if the mail address or telephones number are being used in any other context, such as operating different businesses from the same number, the address details of the company, and a whole lot more..