Retailers take on that European touch

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By  Colin Simpson  www.thenational.ae

DUBAI // Europeans are starting to appear behind the counters of shops in the UAE’s malls as the economic conditions of their countries remain in the doldrums.

Cakes and pastries on display at the Paul Bakery & Restaurant in Dubai Mall. Traditionally, UAE retail stores have been staffed by Asian shop assistants but now more are coming from Europe.
Cakes and pastries on display at the Paul Bakery & Restaurant in Dubai Mall. Traditionally, UAE retail stores have been staffed by Asian shop assistants but now more are coming from Europe.

Traditionally, these stores have been staffed by Asian shop assistants, from India and the Philippines in particular.

But some in the industry say jobseekers from Western Europe are beginning to turn their gaze towards the Emirates as a better alternative to the job situations at home.

Most of those who have made the move so far have come from Eastern European countries and former Soviet republics.

“People from Poland and Bulgaria are coming, which we never saw before in Dubai,” said Tony Haddad, the manager of the Virgin Megastore at Dubai’s Mercato Mall. “And we are receiving a lot of CVs from Western Europe. Some are from Spain.

“I expect we’ll start hiring them soon. We are organising interviews for them. Some have good backgrounds so we are trying to find something for them, but mostly they are seeking jobs in sales. It would be great. We’d be happy if we hired them.”

Mr Haddad said salaries for sales staff in Dubai were between Dh4,000 and Dh8,000, with most in the range of Dh5,000 to Dh7,000. Some companies offered less but had difficulty attracting candidates. More info