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Talking about the world’s best airlines to work for, Middle Eastern ones definitely have some of the best conditions to offer to their crew, out there.

Emirates, Etihad and Qatar ( click here to read about Qatar work conditions) are companies that hold open and assessment days globally. They are recruiting all over the world, and they hold selections very often, so even if you missed it in your country, don’t worry, as in a few months you will have another opportunity to attend one of their recruitment events.

When I applied for Emirates, it was my first attempt, and I haven’t really considered other companies. It just happened that at that moment Emirates came to Belgrade, Serbia, and that my friend invited me to go together and check it out.

I didn’t know where they fly to, I didn’t know that in time I will regret maybe not going for Etihad, as Etihad had a layover in my home city, where Emirates will probably never fly to.

I was always jealous of the girls from Etihad who get to spend a day in my hometown, and I usually get to see it from 11km above, flying over it on the way to some other European city.

As much as you don’t care about it now, in some time when you start missing your home, it will mean a lot if you can spend 24 hrs with your family, and go back to work.

When you try to get the job, of course attend as many open days for as many companies as possible, as it will give you higher chance of getting the job, but let’s make a small comparison of Emirates and Etihad PRO&CON:


ETIHAD flies to much less places. They fly to around 81 destinations. For example, in Italy they fly only to Rome and Milano.

EMIRATES has a much wider destinations network, to be exact 161 cities. Example from above, in Italy Emirates flies
to Rome, Milano, Bologna and Venice.


ETIHAD has better accommodation and very new, modern and stylish apartments. You don’t need to be very lucky to get a good one.

EMIRATES has very few new buildings, as there are around 20000 crew, and it is a matter of luck if you will get something good. Many buildings are far from Dubai center, and in a not so new condition.


ETIHAD basic salary is around 3640 dirhams (900 euro), flying hour around 44 dirhams (11 euro)

EMIRATES basic salary is around 4260 dirhams (1052 euro), flying hour around 61 dirhams (15 euro)
*data is from 2020. Note that as your career progresses, your salary grows as well.


ETIHAD has smaller planes like Airbus A320, A321, with one isle (the passage between the seats). Number of crew members is smaller. Sometimes even 6-8 people. More friendly and human atmosphere to work in.
They have bigger planes as well, like B777 and 787,and only 10 A380! Which is amazing, as A380 is not very crew friendly. The total number of air crafts in their fleet is much smaller, around 117 air crafts. Total number of crew around 6000.

EMIRATES has only huge B777 and A380, 2 isles planes, total of around 267 air crafts, out of which 111 crew unfriendly A 380. A lot of passengers (more than 500) and a very short crew rest (as there is so many crew who
needs to take turns in 3 shifts). They even have more huge A380s on order to come.
On Emirates, your crew will have from 15-27 crew members, and the team changes as well with every flight, you meet so many work styles, personalities, etc.

🌇HOME BASE DUBAI OR ABU DHABI: Winner – depends on your personal lifestyle choice, but I would say DUBAI!

ETIHAD based in United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi. City for those who like calm and normal life, family friendly. You can probably save more money
living here, as after the sun goes down, there are not too many places to spend your money at, and party like a rock star.

EMIRATES based in Dubai. City of lights, shopping, partying, you name it. Many things that will make you live a very active lifestyle, and party like crazy at least in first year or two.

😎There you go! The choice is on you, but I still recommend trying for both of them.

Then in time, if you wish to change, the options are there!


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