Thank you for your email.
To reply to all your questions, without knowing the actual qualifications and skills of the individual, would be difficult. The reason is that positions available, salaries and growth opportunities really depend on that. Some industries and job roles are more in demand than others in Dubai just as anywhere else.
As a general overview, though, my personal thoughts are as follows:
- Work availability: There are thousands of jobs available - depending on role/experience/etc.
- Work Timings: Really vary by company. By law, no employee should work over 48 hours a week. Standard Office timings are 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (ie. 40 hours, ranging from a 7am to 3:30pm to the more frequent 9am to 6 pm). Retail Stores can be much higher, upto and sometimes exceeding 48 hours a week.
- Work conditions: Again can vary depending on job, company, etc. There are some companies who treat their employees extremely well, with a whole heap of benefits which are over and beyond the basic required by law. Then, there are companies who only promise and don't deliver, sometimes even what the law requires. Most 'Multi-nationals' tend to fall into the first category because they value their image, but there are no guarantees.
- Unemployment: This is normally a figure calculated only on the local or Permanent resident population, (in Dubai - approx 10 to 12% of the population). I don't know what these figures are but they are not really relevant to foreign expats (the other 88 to 90%) who are considered temporary workers (on 3 year renewable employment visas). In this category, the employment is almost 100% simply because you cannot have an employment visa unless you are employed (except if you are a woman on husband's or father's sponsorship)! So, if you have no job, you cannot stay unless you can afford to life as a tourist.
- Work opportunities for young graduates: This can depend on three main components - is it a first or a second degree, what profession and what work experience the individual has.
First degree with no experience - unless it is a profession in serious demand, very unlikely to get a good job.
Second degree with no experience - again, unless it is a profession in serious demand, difficult to get a job, although easier than with just one degree.
First degree with some experience - good chances, but compensation will depend on profession, level of experience and luck in locating a good employer willing to invest in the person.
Second degree with experience - the easiest category, but again dependent on the profession.
More information can be found by signing up to some of the most used recruitment websites such as: monster.com and bayt.com
I would recommend that you research the subject carefully, maybe even do a fact-finding trip to Dubai (no less than 2 weeks including meetings with at least 2 to 3 good recruiting agencies, real-estate agencies, etc.). It is imperative to understand the potential income for your role and level of experience, etc., and the cost of living. The current cost of living is quite high and increasing rapidly at over 14% (latest inflation figures announced unofficially - which are very conservative) per annum. Generally, a two-income couple will find it much easier than a single-income individual or a family.
In addition, set-up costs to get started, can be quite dramatic as rents have to be paid in advance (sometimes upto a year), furniture can be expensive, you may need to rent a car until a car loan can be arranged (after visa formalities are over - about 1 month after joining), etc. Family costs are much higher.
With the right employer and the right job, life in Dubai can be wonderful, but in the wrong company and the wrong job, it can be a very difficult life. My recommendation would be to start looking for work and have a signed offer in hand before relocating - visiting just for interviews and fact-finding in the meantime.
I hope this answers your questions. I would be happy to give you more specific information if you let me know something of your education and other qualifications, as I am an HR Consultant working in the UAE, Middle East and Europe.