Challenges Faced by Expatriates in Securing Jobs in Sharjah


Sharjah, a thriving emirate in the United Arab Emirates, attracts expatriates from around the world seeking employment opportunities and a high quality of life. However, amidst its allure, expatriates often encounter challenges in securing jobs in Sharjah. This article explores the hurdles faced by expatriates in their quest for employment in this vibrant city.

Visa Restrictions

One of the primary challenges faced by expatriates in securing jobs in Sharjah is navigating the complex visa regulations. Employers in Sharjah are often required to sponsor expatriates for work visas, which can be a time-consuming and bureaucratic process. Moreover, changes in visa policies and quotas can impact expatriates’ ability to secure employment opportunities in the emirate.

Language Barrier

While English is widely spoken in Sharjah, many job opportunities require proficiency in Arabic, particularly in sectors such as government, hospitality, and customer service. Expatriates who do not speak Arabic may face challenges in accessing specific job markets and communicating effectively with employers and colleagues.

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can also pose challenges for expatriates seeking employment in Sharjah. The Emirati work culture emphasizes hierarchy, respect for authority, and adherence to traditional values. Expatriates may need to adapt to these cultural norms, which can differ significantly from their home countries’ work environments.

Competition from Locals and Other Expatriates

Sharjah’s job market is highly competitive, with both local Emiratis and expatriates vying for limited job opportunities. Due to government initiatives aimed at increasing Emiratization, local Emiratis may receive preferential treatment in specific sectors. Additionally, expatriates face competition from other skilled professionals from around the world, further intensifying the job market competition.

Qualification Recognition

Expatriates often encounter challenges in having their qualifications recognized in Sharjah. Certain professions may require specific certifications or qualifications that local authorities or employers need to acknowledge readily. Expatriates may need to undergo additional assessments or certification processes to validate their qualifications, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Jobs in Sharjah

Salary Discrepancies

Expatriates in Sharjah may also face disparities in salary and benefits compared to their counterparts in other countries. While Sharjah offers tax-free income and competitive wages in specific industries, expatriates may find that their salaries do not align with the cost of living, particularly in terms of housing and healthcare expenses.

Limited Networking Opportunities

Networking plays a crucial role in securing job opportunities in Sharjah, as in many other cities around the world. However, expatriates may need help building professional networks due to cultural barriers, language differences, and limited access to networking events and platforms.


Despite its appeal as a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, expatriates in Sharjah need help to secure employment opportunities. From visa restrictions and language barriers to cultural differences and salary discrepancies, navigating the job market in Sharjah requires resilience, adaptability, and perseverance. By understanding and addressing these challenges, expatriates can enhance their prospects of finding meaningful employment and contributing to Sharjah’s dynamic workforce.

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