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Find A Construction Job In The Middle East

Can Maxim Recruitment Help Me to Find the Best Construction Job in the Middle East?

The best way to establish whether Maxim Recruitment can offer the right type of overseas construction job for your needs is to search the Maxim website for a suitable vacancy. Apply for the vacancy that you are most suitably qualified and experienced to perform, and the job that you would be most willing to seriously consider accepting if offered. Maxim will then get in touch to discuss the job application and short listing process further.

There are however basic requirements that most Dubai, United Arab Emirates and other Middle East based clients usually demand regarding the amount and type of previous experience for each of the expatriate job applicants they wish to review.

Previous overseas job experience is not essential for many Middle East construction jobs. What is required is stable long-term experience on your CV with a limited number of well-regarded companies that can be regarded as leaders in their field of expertise. In addition, hands-on-experience is highly regarded, as is genuine management input into complex or large projects of international standing.

The experience gained from having worked on large, famous or highly complex construction jobs is usually regarded by Dubai and Middle East based construction employers as advantageous and a good preparation for the challenging projects that they are seeking expatriates to come over to help with.

Typical Construction Employers and Who They Recruit

In this section you can read summary profiles of each of the main types of Middle East construction employers and a summary of the main types of employees that they are seeking,  To look at specific live job descriptions, take a look at the live job vacancies that we regularly update.

  1. Building Contractors
  2. Civil Engineering Contractors
  3. Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) Contractors
  4. Cost & Project Management Consultants
  5. Client Project Management Organisations
  6. Property Developers
  7. Consulting Engineers

Building Contractors

Building contractors in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Middle East vary enormously in size and focus but typically could;

  • Have a 2.5BN DHS turnover
  • Be involved in a number of DHS1Billion jobs at one time
  • Be in business for over 35 years and growing in size faster than in the past
  • Be involved in a number of massive joint ventures with other building, civil engineering or MEP contractors to mitigate risk on large or ‘mega’ projects
  • Will employ Indian, Sri Lankan or other third country nationals for a range of junior and middle management roles
  • Will typically employ their own labour rather than subcontract
  • Will typically use own plant from within the contracting group
  • Will expect a 5 ½ or 6 day week from their expatriate staff
  • May be reluctant to issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for staff to leave to work for a competitor in the same country

Building Contractors generally look for construction professionals with the following experience:

  • Quantity Surveyor (5 years’ experience+)
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor / Project Quantity Surveyor (10 years' experience+)
  • Chartered Quantity Surveyor
  • Site Commercial Manager (15 years’ experience +)
  • Senior QS/Contracts Administrator (10 years’ experience+)


Civil Engineering Contractors

Civil Engineering contractors in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Middle East vary enormously in size and focus but typically could:

  • Have a 1.5BN DHS turnover
  • Have average projects of 100M DHS
  • Employ 700 staff of which 40 might be expatriates
  • Be in business for over 35 years and growing in size faster than in the past
  • Be involved in a number of massive joint ventures with other building, civil engineering or MEP contractors to mitigate risk on large or ‘mega’ projects
  • Will employ Indian, Sri Lankan or other third country nationals for a range of junior and middle management roles
  • Will typically employ their own labour rather than subcontract
  • Will typically use own plant from within the contracting group
  • Will expect a 5 ½ or 6 day week from their expatriate staff
  • May be reluctant to issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for staff to leave to work for a competitor in the same country

Civil Engineering Contractors generally look for construction professionals with the following experience:

  • Quantity Surveyor (5 years’ experience+)
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor / Project Quantity Surveyor (10 years’ experience+)
  • Chartered Quantity Surveyor
  • Site Commercial Manager (15 years’ experience+)
  • Senior QS/Contracts Administrator (10 years’ experience+)
  • Contracts Advisor (5 years’ experience+)
  • Senior Contracts Advisor (10 years’ experience+)

Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) Contractors

MEP contractors in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Middle East vary enormously in size and focus but typically:

  • May be a subsidiary or separate operating division of a larger contracting group that has been in business for 35 years+
  • May be engaged on discreet DHS150M projects
  • May run up to 6 significant sized projects at one time
  • Be involved in a number of massive joint ventures with other building, civil engineering or MEP contractors to mitigate risk on large or ‘mega’ projects
  • Will employ Indian, Sri Lankan or other third country nationals for a range of junior and middle management roles
  • Will typically employ their own labour rather than subcontract
  • Will typically use own plant from within the contracting group
  • Will expect a 5 ½ or 6 day week from their expatriate staff
  • May be reluctant to issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for staff to leave to work for a competitor in the same country

Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing (MEP) Contractors generally look for construction professionals with the following experience:

  • MEP Quantity Surveyor (5 years’ experience+ of M&E/MEP)
  • Senior MEP Quantity Surveyor (10 years’ experience+ of M&E/MEP)

Cost and Project Management Consultants

Cost and Project Management Consultants in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Middle East vary enormously in size and focus but typically:

  • May be an established player in Dubai or the Middle East for 30 years, or be a recognised international ‘top 20’ player seeking to grow exponentially or develop new business in the region from a standing start
  • Likely to have won or be expecting to win a section of works on US$4BN and similar sized projects both awarded & awaiting contract award
  • Likely to have mostly mixed use new building construction work
  • May offer site based post contract service to building contracting clients
  • May have private sector or public sector work or a combination of both
  • May be involved in claims work for contractors
  • Desire to train & offer professional development & advancement to new staff varies widely
  • Some companies specialise in claims preparation, management and defence; this required a rounded knowledge of different forms of construction contracts
  • Unless a highly specialist role, legal qualifications appear less highly valued than in the UK
  • Will share staff between Middle East offices & second from UK and other worldwide offices
  • Likely to delegate taking off and other basic PQS/pre-contract duties to overseas offices in the Far East or run an in house office of third country nationals (TCNs)
  • Expatriate roles will be hands on management roles requiring highly developed management, judgement & decision making skills

Cost & Project Management Consultants generally look for construction professionals with the following experience:

  • Quantity Surveyor (5 years’ experience+ of client side)
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor (10 years’+ experience of client side)
  • Commercial Manager (15 years’ experience+ of client side)
  • Associate (achieved or close to achieving associate role in the UK)
  • Assistant Project Manager (5-10 years’ experience of client side)
  • Project Manager (10-15+ years’ experience of client side)
  • Senior Project Manager (15 years’ experience+)
  • Project Management Directors (15-25 years’ experience+)
  • Project Planners/Schedulers (5 years’ experience++)
  • Senior Planners/Schedulers (10-20+ years’ experience)

Client Project Management Organisations

Client Project Management organisations in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Middle East vary enormously in size and focus but typically could:

  • Be a local or international Project Management consultant and representative that has gained credibility and extensive work scope with one of the large Dubai or Middle East based property developers.
  • Likely to have won or be expecting to win a section of works on US$4BN and similar sized projects both awarded & awaiting contract award in the future
  • Likely to have mostly mixed use new building construction project management work
  • Has the capability to train their employees and offer professional development & advancement to new staff 
  • Will share staff between Middle East offices & second existing staff resources from UK or head office country
  • Likely to be able to offer posting to future projects in other international locations
  • Expatriate roles will be hands on management and strategic roles requiring highly developed management, judgement & decision making skills

Client Project Management Organisations generally look for construction professionals with the following experience:

  • Quantity Surveyor (5 years’ experience+ of client side project work)
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor (10 years’+ experience of client side project work)
  • Commercial Manager (15 years’ experience+ of client side project work)
  • Associate (achieved or close to achieving Associate level role in the UK)
  • Assistant Project Manager (5-10 years’ experience of client side)
  • Project Manager (10-15+ years’ experience of client side)
  • Project Management Directors (15-25 years’ experience+)
  • Senior Project Manager (15 years’ experience+)
  • Project Planners/Schedulers (5 years’ experience++)
  • Senior Planners/Schedulers (10-20+ years’ experience)
  • Design Managers (10 years’ exp+)


Property Developers

Property Developers in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Middle East vary enormously in size and focus but typically could:

  • Be demanding and occasionally unpredictable employers that compensate their staff very well financially
  • Are effectively the client and strategic decision maker of some of the biggest construction projects ongoing in the world today
  • Some observers comment that procurement and claims avoidance are areas that developers are seeking to improve significantly from the intake of the very best professionals onto their permanent staff
  • Often engage cost management and project management organisations for sections/aspects of work that require particular expertise, or at particular periods during the project construction cycle
  • Property Development companies are expected to be busy and actively employing staff in the Dubai and Middle East region for the foreseeable future
  • Other less developed countries in the Middle East are learning from the experience Dubai property developers have gained & are seeking to emulate their best practice

Property Developers generally look for construction professionals with the following experience:

  • Quantity Surveyor (5 years’ experience+ of client side)
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor (10 years’+ experience of client side)
  • Commercial Manager (15 years’ experience+ of client side)
  • Associate (achieved or close to achieving associate role in the UK)
  • Assistant Project Manager (5-10 years’ experience of client side)
  • Project Manager (10-15+ years’ experience of client side)
  • Senior Project Manager (15 years’ experience+)
  • Project Management Directors (15-25 years’ experience+)
  • Project Planners/Schedulers (5 years’ experience++)
  • Senior Planners/Schedulers (10-20+ years’ experience)
  • Design Managers (10 years’ exp+)


Consulting Engineers

The largest international consulting engineers, most of whom have operated here for decades, have a commanding position in the Dubai & Middle East construction consulting market.

  • The ubiquity of mixed-use developments means that most international consultants operating in the region are proficient in the provision of expertise for major mixed commercial, residential & retail projects 
  • Most consulting engineers are able to offer their clients an integrated project management service marrying architecture, design, contractor supervision and the overall management of cost and time issues.
  • Third country national (TCN) staff are used for much of the CAD and design work and increasingly in many other job roles.
  • Consulting engineering companies will share internal staff between Middle East offices and other worldwide offices where appropriate.
  • Expatriate roles will be hands on management and strategic roles requiring highly developed management, technical & decision making skills.

Consulting Engineers generally look for construction professionals with the following experience:

  • Design Engineer (5+ years’ relevant experience)
  • Design Manager (10+ years’ relevant experience)
  • Structural Engineer (5-10+ years’ relevant experience)
  • Senior Structural Engineer (10-15+ years’ relevant experience)
  • Design & Construct Engineers (15+ years’ relevant experience)
  • Project Manager (15+ years’ relevant experience)
  • Senior Project Manager (15++ years’ relevant experience)

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