Many UAE Employees Maintain Second Jobs or Businesses

By Jack Simpson

May 25, 2024


In the United Arab Emirates’ private sector, having a side hustle in addition to a full-time job is not an unusual occurrence. Recruitment experts suggest that it's crucial for employees and potential job seekers to openly discuss this with prospective employers during their interview process. 
Kameron Hutchinson, recruitment director at Allsopp & Allsopp, encourages candidates to be transparent about their side jobs during interviews. He advises individuals seeking employment to thoroughly research prospective employers, and if they have strict policies requiring a complete commitment of time, then perhaps such companies are not the right fit. 
Hutchinson emphasizes that while pursuing other interests or income sources, it's critical that the primary job remain paramount. Honesty is key; if one can fulfill all employer requirements and still manage some extra activities on the side without compromising work quality or productivity levels, why not? 
He further comments on how common secondary income sources are among UAE employees. The trend is widespread as many corporations adjust their regulations, allowing employees to pursue other activities apart from their main jobs. He lauds Dubai’s dynamic nature, where one isn't limited by singular professional commitments. 
Drawing comparisons between his native UK and UAE mentalities towards work-life balance, Hutchinson points out how British society generally favors traditional 9-5 jobs with designated annual leaves, whereas those in the UAE tend more towards flexibility. 
Side hustles could range from managing social media brands earning through views or collaborations without full-time obligations to any passion project needing monetary support that comes from holding down a regular job. 
Hutchinson also stresses maintaining good rapport with employers so that when discussions around second jobs arise, provided you've proven your worth through consistent performance, your chances of acceptance increase significantly. 
Echoing similar sentiments, Nicki Wilson, owner-managing director at Genie Recruitment, notes increasing popularity for part-time gigs, especially amongst the younger Generation Z workforce, who wish to expand their skill sets across diverse fields rather than being confined to single roles. 
She urges employers to remain open-minded towards employees having secondary jobs, as they could be missing out on talented individuals otherwise. 
Wilson believes maintaining a second job requires significant balance and organizational skills. From her professional perspective, this trend can prove beneficial by allowing employees to develop additional skills and contacts that may enhance their primary role. 
She cites an example of one of her employees who runs a brownie business on the side, which helps maintain connections within the food and beverage industry, also served by Genie Recruitment. 
She firmly believes that unless the secondary job is significantly hindering performance or reducing hours in the main job, it should not pose any major issues. Progressive employers should accommodate such scenarios without hesitation. 
In conclusion, the UAE's private sector seems to embrace flexible work cultures where professionals are encouraged to explore diverse interests alongside their primary jobs, provided there's transparency and understanding between employer and employee regarding expectations and commitments from both ends.


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