More and more people are looking to the airline Emirates to sate their wanderlust as a member of the airline’s cabin crew. I spoke to a member of the Emirates cabin crew to find out if life in the skies really is as glamorous as its looks. All Emirates employees are based in Dubai, one of the largest cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) renowned for its hyper-luxury lifestyles and world-beating architecture.
So what’s it like living in Dubai?
Dubai is a fast moving city with many cultures living together. I enjoy living here, but there are huge inequalities between classes and cultures here where most of the service and construction workers live in sub-par conditions and are paid very little
What does your role include on a daily basis?
My role varies, sometimes I need to be there for the safety and security of the passengers and my colleagues. This involves thorough safety and security checks of the entire cabin. Other times I am there as a service to the passengers serving meals and drinks and dealing with issues and complaints.
How many flights a week?
We work an average of around 90 flying hours per month, which is normally broken into 6/8 flights depending on the length of the flight.
How long do you usually get to spend in the places you visit?
Usually we spend 24hrs in a city but if we fly for a long time 12+ hrs we then normally have 48 hrs
Dubai is known for its tax-free salary, expenses paid etc., what is your salary like?
The salary is close to what I was getting back at home in Dublin. I can live comfortably. The company pay for our rent bills and provide transport which is great so you come out with more at the end of the month. Also, we get a FACE card when we join which gives us tonnes of discounts across the city.
Do Emirates pay for your hotel etc. when you have a stop off in the country?
Yes, they bring us to the hotel pay for it normally a 4* hotel like the Hilton or the Marriott. We also get an allowance for food and other necessities the amount depends on the location for example in Dublin the allowance is €65.
For those who are interested in all the above, The Emirates Cabin Crew recruitment team conducts regular assessments and interviews in numerous countries worldwide, including an open day in Dublin this October.
But what does our interviewee say about the whole process…
Can you take me through the training / interview process?
The interview lasts three days. The first day you submit your CV and photos. Information is given about the job role and life in Dubai. The first cut is made after this. I do not know for certain but I am told that this cut is done primarily on the photos submitted. The next day is broken into various group activities with cuts made after each activity. The main criteria for candidates is a reach test of 212cm.
What skills are need to be cabin crew?
To be a cabin crew you must be outgoing and confident. For Emirates in particular, there is a certain look or image they go for. This is never confirmed by the company, but is something just accepted amongst the crew. Willingness to move to the U.A.E for the duration of the contract. Interest in working closely with other cultures. Provide excellent customer service skills in a highly intense environment.
What’s it like being away from home?
As I have been living away from home since the age of 18 I am very used to it. Though Dubai is the farthest I’ve been and the most culturally different. I do enjoy being here and experiencing new things and places every day.
What has been the difference from your first few month’s vs how you feel now?
I feel really comfortable now.It took about 8 months to really settle in.
But now I am ready to progress in the company into business class. This normally takes about one and a half to two years to happen.
What’s the best part of the job?
Obviously, the best part is the travelling. I have seen so much of the world in the past year than I could imagine.
And the worst?
The hardest part is the long hours at the God-forsaken hours. I don’t think I will ever get used to waking up at 1am to start work at 3am for a 12+ hour flight.