How to Become a Flight Attendant With No Experience in the UAE
Could you ever imagine waking up in Abu Dhabi, having breakfast in Paris, lunch in Cyprus, and dinner in Singapore? That’s the life of a flight attendant – getting paid to travel the world!
A dream for many young spirits who want to see the world, discover new places, cultures, cuisines, and adventures. If being paid to travel from city to city, country to country sounds like total joy, I’m going to show you how to become a flight attendant with no experience.
While there are some other career options that allow you to travel, being a flight attendant has a charm of its own.
Have you ever wondered what the safest cities in the world are? As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi has been ranked as one of the safest cities. With its modern and cosmopolitan, plenty to explore with lots of new things to do.
Now imagine you are working as a flight attendant and get to live in the safest city in the world!
It is not impossible and in fact, you only need to prepare yourself to do a little bit of research about the airline and you will be surprised how easy this dream job will come to you.
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How to become a flight attendant with no experience
My name is Ainun Asmarani, I was a flight attendant for Middle East Airlines for almost 10 years. I was working for Gulf Air Bahrain for two years (2004-2006) and Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates for 8 years (2006-2012).
I was just a mountain girl from East Java, Indonesia who dreamed big and never gave up to make dreams came true, which was travelling the world as a flight attendant. I applied for jobs countlessly.
It was such a highly competitive job application in my home country and I never got in. When Gulf Air Bahrain had an assessment day in Jakarta in 2004, I got invited and that was the beginning of my career as a flight attendant in the Middle East. I had never heard about the country before, but I was so excited to start my journey and see the new world.
I eventually spent 17 years living in the United Arab Emirates. It was a place I proudly called home. I met my husband and had two beautiful children while living there. Based on my experiences, I would like to share with you how to become a flight attendant in the United Arab Emirates.
You will never regret giving it a go and trying yourself.
If you see yourself getting paid to travel the world, here is the complete guide that will give you all the information you need to know to pursue your dream of becoming a flight attendant. With a strong will, effort, and passion, you can do almost anything!
Learn about the airline
Check each airline website and learn about the airline, its destination, and cabin crew/ flight attendant career opportunities. Some of the airlines have an open day assessment worldwide that is always stated on each career website. Even during this pandemic, it’s still possible to get the dream job as a flight attendant.
Qualifications to become a flight attendant in the United Arab Emirates
In the United Arab Emirates, the requirement for a flight attendant is quite similar for most airlines, there are some qualities that make you stand out from others besides confident, friendly, positive, flexible, and very keen to help others.
Here are some other things the airline looks for their candidates; these examples are for Emirates and Etihad Airways Flight Attendants;
- At least 21 years of age at the time of joining.
- Arm reach of 212 cm while standing on tiptoes.
- Minimum height of 160 cm.
- High school graduate (Grade 12).
- Fluency in English (written and spoken).
- No visible tattoos while you’re in Emirates cabin crew uniform (cosmetic and bandage coverings aren’t allowed).
- Can adapt to new people, new places, and new situations.
- Physically fit for this demanding role with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).
- Comfortable to work irregular hours and on a roster.
- Passion for travel and adventure.
- Thrive in a fast-paced and changing environment.
- Ability to inspire customers through innovative hospitality.
- Share a collective passion for caring for others.
- Excellent personal presentation, style, and image.
- Ensure onboard safety and follow all procedures.
The selection/ recruitment process
Step 1: Research and check the careers page
Follow the above tips to research which airline you are interested in applying for. Learn about the requirements needed to prepare then check the career section to see if there are any open job opportunities. Submit an application.
Step 2: CV review and evaluation.
This is a very important step, as the first impression will define whether or not you will be invited to participate in the assessment day.
This step is conducted online by the recruitment team. If successful you will be notified by email to progress to the next step.
Make sure to submit a nice, polished CV with detailed information about your background and experiences relevant to the recruitment process. Ensure you have a good headshot photo with hair and makeup well groomed.
Keep the information on CV concise and relevant.
Step 3 : Assessment day
At Etihad Airways, if your CV meets the Cabin Crew requirement, you will be invited to participate in an assessment day. At Emirates airline, shortlisted candidates will have the opportunity to group assessment where you will perform teamwork skills, collaboration and communication.
An assessment day will include a reach safety check to ensure that safety standards are met, and an English test to evaluate the individual’s language proficiency as well as personality profiling. Make sure you follow the airline standard of assessment day dress code that listed on the airline’s career website.
Step 4: Final Interview
Win them over by preparing yourself with possible questions that will be asked. In the final interview, they will ask you questions elaborating on your experiences, skill and personality.
Like any other interview, you have to convince them you are the best candidate for the job. You need to prove you can deal with and solve problems.
Be friendly and enthusiastic. Make sure you answer all the questions full of confidence.
Once successful in the interview stage, you will be invited to join the training and development program (below).
Salary and benefits of being a flight attendant
As a flight attendant, travelling becomes more than part of the job, it becomes a lifestyle and a way of life.
The United Arab Emirates will be your home-base, it’s either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Being based in The United Arab Emirates will give flight attendants an opportunity to live in multicultural and international lifestyle.
The concessional staff travel ticket will make you easier to explore new cities and countries.
The benefits that airlines offer include:
- Tax-free salary and travel expenses
- Starting salary and flying pay around $2660 /month
- Meal allowance
- Hotel accommodation and free transport from and to the airport while on duty
- Furnished accommodation with free utility bills (water and electricity)
- Free uniform and dry cleaning
- 30 calendar days of leave per year with one firm free annual leave ticket to your country of origin.
Flight attendant training and development
Every airline has a slightly different system on how they train their flight attendants. In Emirates airline and Etihad Airways, the training takes approximately 6-8 weeks, which includes an induction week, safety and emergency procedures training, aviation security knowledge, hospitality and customer service and first aid medical training.
You have to pass all the tests during the training. The training will help you prepare for all the skills and knowledge to ensure you are qualified to do the job.
The training includes practical and theoretical aspects of safety, first aid and inflight service on the various aircraft types.
Pros and Cons to becoming a flight attendant in The UAE
Wide range of travel opportunities.
One of the biggest attractions as a flight attendant is the opportunity to travel.
When flight attendants are on duty, they will get a chance to see many domestic and international destinations. You get a chance to see people from different cultures and enjoy different cuisines from around the world.
A new place, new culture and environment.
The United Arab Emirates is a very modern and vibrant country. People from different parts of the world come, work and live here. Dubai and Abu Dhabi boast one of the highest living standards with world-class medical care.
English is widely spoken in offices, banks and shops although Arabic is the official language spoken in the country.
Use decency, as a rule, respect the country culture and regulations. As a flight attendant, you have to be able to adapt to new environments quickly and understand that people come from different backgrounds and cultures. Respect for each other is the key.
Physical and mental demand.
Being a flight attendant requires lots of stamina, during the flight, flight attendants spend a significant portion of time on their feet. Helping passengers with their luggage, serving meals, handling emergency situations either safety or medical.
Sometimes it is overwhelming, creates a lot of stress and demands a lot of energy. At the beginning of your career, you will be exhausted on long haul or ultra-long-haul flights from the flight itself and from jetlag. It will get better with times.
Career and Schedule uncertainty.
It’s definitely not 9 to 5 job. Flight attendants roster’s schedule out monthly with the list of destinations. Sometimes only on standby or on-call, so you have to be ready to fly anywhere at the last minute.
It is sometimes difficult to request certain flights or days off, so there is a big chance you will miss important dates, such as birthdays, New Years, Christmas, or any other personal events.
Applying for a flight attendant position in the UAE is free. You do not need to spend any money during the training.
You will get paid from the first day of the training. If you are recruited from other countries, once accepted, the airline company will arrange your ticket and visa to come to the United Arab Emirates.
Discover more benefits to being a flight attendant.
Sample flight attendant roster
The roster will be different every month. There’s maximum flight hours that can be done in a month. For example, a flight attendant can only do a maximum of 130 hours of total flying time.
The schedule will be different depending on which flight/destinations you have to do. There is short-haul flight ( 1-3 hours), medium-haul flight (3-6 hours), long haul flight (6-12 hours), and ultra long haul flight (12 hours and longer).
So the schedule usually combines a mixture of longer and shorter flights and day/night flights.
The days off will be in between the flights. They can be 1-4 days off, or sometimes 5-8 days off if you request longer periods.
The flight attendant schedule also includes standby, available and sick days. The flight also can be a turnaround or layover. It all depends on how the airline manages the roster.
My personal tips if you want to become a flight attendant
From my experience, before you apply for this job in another country, you should ask yourself in the beginning what is the ultimate goal of your career?
Will you be able to leave your family behind to pursue this career? After all, family is your home and it’s where your heart is.
Many of my fellow flight attendants made big decisions to join a Middle East airline with different reasons. Most of us started this job in our early 20’s and because we love this job, some of them stayed for years, some of them left with amazing memories about flying life.
Final words about how to become a flight attendant
With the complete tips above, you should feel more confident about applying for a flight attendant job in the United Arab Emirates.
Just follow this link if you are ready to take off and spread your wing to become a flight attendant in the United Arab Emirates! Best of luck!
Ainun Asmarani was a flight attendant in the United Arab Emirates for 10 years. She has been living in Abu Dhabi for almost 17 years. She moved to Gold Coast Australia with her family in August 2020. She has been active as a virtual assistant and is studying web developer WordPress Rockstar program. She holds a Master of Science in Global Consumer Marketing.