One of the most fascinating aspects about flying with the Gulf carriers is how much diversity can be found in the cabin crew. The carriers often take pride in this as they, typically, announce how many countries are represented and how many languages are spoken by the crew when departing from an airport.
BY THE NUMBERS
There are a lot of job opportunities for foreigners with the Gulf carriers as they are looking for international talent.
Emirates is the largest airline in the Gulf region with more than 100,000 employees. However, only about 3,000 are Emiratis and many of those work in management positions (3000/100,000 = 3%)
For contrast, the airline has just over 23,000 cabin crew, and less than 50 of those are Emiratis (50/23,000 = .0002%)
THE BIG CHALLENGE
It was reported by Gulf News that Abdul Aziz Ali, Emirates’ VP of Human Resources, is working on hiring locals, however, there is a huge hurdle:
“Emiratis do not want to do jobs in the low-ranking grades. That is why we are inviting them to do jobs like cabin crew and also ground staff, with attractive packages and benefits.”
The “We’re Not Playing Around” Solution
Emirates has introduced an interesting solution to address the low percentages. They are offering cabin crew packages for Emiratis starting at Dh18,000 per month (~$4,900 USD). This package includes a monthly retention allowance ranging from Dh4000 to Dh5000 (~$1,090 – 1,360 USD). In addition, there are per diem allowances, free transportation, meals, and accommodation.
Note: If you’re curious…the base salary for newly hired Emirates, foreign flight attendants from outside the UAE is Dh4,260 (~$1,160 USD). It’s worth noting that the salaries Emirates pays foreigners are often attractive because it’s tax free, and transportation and accommodations are included in the package.
Given the high standard of living among Emirati nationals, it’s no surprise that they’ll have to pay more to employ locals.
Personally, I know a few people that have moved to Dubai for their Emirates dream job. You live in Dubai, the job has great pay / benefits and it allows you to see the world. Depending on your circumstances or country of origin, it can be difficult to argue with that decision.
However, from a management standpoint, I’m very curious to see how this plays out. For example, how does the staff feel knowing their salary from 3 months is equal to someone that just started and has the same job?
Additionally, does hiring a “local flight attendant” also mean they have more opportunity to become the purser (the cabin manager / chief flight attendant) or will it cause tension with the crew?
Anyone looking for a new career path? What do you think about Emirates’ proposal?