Working abroad is the dream of many professionals – there’s something exotic and attractive about pursuing or advancing your career in a distant, faraway land (or a bordering country).
If you love the sun and have a thing for high-rise buildings and shopping malls the size of football stadiums, then moving to the United Arab Emirates is the way to go.
Once there, though, you’ll need to find a job – one that pays really well – which is why we’ve put together this list of the 10 highest paying jobs in the UAE for some inspiration.
What they do: Actuaries work with companies and government departments, and are tasked with the job of forecasting long-term financial costs and investment risks.
What they earn: The average annual salary for actuaries is AED 660,000 (£139,134).
How to become one: You’ll generally need a minimum of an undergraduate degree to enter this career. You’ll also need to possess excellent research, problem-solving, data interpretation and Math skills.
9. Merchandising director
What they do: Merchandising directors are typically employed by retail outlets, wholesale businesses, fashion stores and entertainment establishments, and are responsible for promoting a company’s products and services through a variety of events and activities.
What they earn: Money-wise, merchandising directors earn about AED 660,000 (£139,134) on an annual basis.
How to become one: You’ll generally need to hold a degree in a relevant subject like business studies, marketing or retail management.
8. IT director
What they do: IT directors oversee the use of technology throughout an organisation, including its development and implementation. They work in all sectors and may be employed by law firms, charitable organisations, finance companies and local or national government.
What they earn: A career in IT would be an excellent move, considering that it’s one of the fastest growing industries and professionals are in constant demand. The average annual salary for IT directors is AED 720,000 (£151,782).
How to become one: A bachelor’s degree in IT or computer science is essential, as is a minimum of 10 to 12 years’ experience in the field.
7. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing director
What they do: MEP directors are tasked with the job of overseeing all mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations in construction projects.
What they earn: MEP directors are the top earners in the engineering industry, making an average AED 744,000 (£156,825) a year.
How to become one: A mechanical or electrical engineering degree is the minimum prerequisite. You also need to have at least 20 years’ experience in the field, having started as a mechanical engineer and working their way up.
6. Senior banker
What they do: Senior bankers include vice presidents for corporate banking, branch network and retail banking. They are responsible for their bank’s relations with its major accounts, and are the main point of contact between the bank and its clients.
What they earn: Senior bankers are typically paid AED 840,000 (£177,007).
How to become one: You’ll usually need to start in an entry-level position and work your way up the ranks. A relevant finance or banking degree is essential.
What they earn: In the UAE, doctors earn an average AED 881,520 (£185,756) per year. Salaries of AED 2,160,000 (£464,213) have also been reported in the country, but these likely include commissions.
How to become one: To become a doctor here, you’ll need to undergo extensive training and education. You’ll also need to complete the registration and licensing process from the respective state council of health.
4. Chief financial officer
What they do: Chief financial officers are responsible for driving their company’s financial planning, deciding on investment strategies and performing risk management. Their duties also include managing vendor relationships, supervising all finance personnel and ensuring compliance with the law and the company’s policies.
What they earn: Money-wise, CFOs make about AED 900,000 (£189,667) a year.
How to become one: As with all C-suite roles, you’ll need to begin in an entry-level position and work your way up the ranks. You’ll typically need a relevant finance or business degree, as well as extensive experience in a managerial role.
What they do: Lawyers are tasked with the job of representing clients in criminal and civil litigation and other court proceedings, as well as managing or advising clients on legal transactions and drawing up legal documents. They may specialise in a specific area, like copyright or maritime law, or practice broadly in various areas of law.
What they earn: In the UAE, lawyers earn, on average, AED 924,000 (£194,725) per year.
How to become one: A law degree is essential to pursue this career. You’ll also need to pass the Bar examination.
2. Chief marketing officer
What they do: Chief marketing officers are responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of their company’s marketing and advertising initiatives. They report directly to the chief executive officer and it is their job to generate revenue through successful marketing.
What they earn: CMOs are one of only two professions on the list to earn over the 200k mark. On average, they make about AED 1,140,000 (£240,245) per year.
How to become one: To enter this profession, you’ll typically need at least an undergraduate degree in marketing, sales or similar, as well as extensive experience in a managerial role.
1. Chief executive officer
What they do: A chief executive officer is the highest-ranking executive manager in a company. The job varies according to their company’s mission, products and goals, but at the end of the day, CEOs have the ultimate responsibility for their company and its overall success.
What they earn: CEOs earn the most money in the UAE. Their annual salaries average AED 1,200,000 (£252,875).
How to become one: The minimum prerequisite for CEOs is an undergraduate degree related to their chosen field, though some companies may prefer a postgraduate degree. A strong background in finance, meanwhile, is essential, as is extensive experience in a managerial role.
Do any of these jobs take your fancy? Let us know in the comments section below!
Salary information is based on data compiled and published by GulfNews.com. Monthly wages were multiplied by 12 months to calculate annual salaries. United Arab Emirates dirham – Pound sterling conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 8 June 2017.
This article was originally published in October 2015.