How to become an Emirates Cabin Crew

I will write several tips and tricks to help you achieve your goal of being paid to travel around the world. Most of my clients applied once and secured the job but I do accept that not everyone can be that fortunate given it is only 3 to 4% who attend the Open day that lands the job. But don’t be deterred, if you don’t make it the first time, wait 6 months (Emirates rule) and try again. Use that interval to prepare well for the next attempt. Like everything else in life, planning is key to success at the Emirates Open Day.

Before you read on, make sure that you have ALL these requirements. Recruitment is strict and if you don’t meet these requirements you will not be considered:

  • 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)

1: Tailoring Your CV

I cannot emphasise enough that your CV is so very important when applying for the Emirates cabin crew role and should be tailored to reflect the role of a typical Emirates crew on board. Please do not be tempted to lie and say you have done this in your current job but explain your previous roles clearly and in a concise manner that sounds similar to daily crew life responsibilities. If you are currently a waiter/waitress what were your responsibilities in terms of customer care. Mention if you have a role that was safety focused or were you the receptionist of your place of work where you were the first face seen and representing the brand? It’s all about the way you describe your current and previous employment so that you don’t sound like you’ve had no customer service experience. Being cabin crew is primarily about customer safety and security, however day to day life involves making that passenger experience an exceptional one!

Additionally, if you have lived/worked abroad, highlight this. You will be making your new home in Dubai, leaving behind family and friends and experiencing a whole new culture and lifestyle. If the recruiters see that this is something you’ve done before they’ll have an idea that you’re more easily adaptable to new people and surroundings. Remember, you never get a second chance at a first impression.

2: Submitting The Right Photographs
These are also super important, the Emirates cabin crew recruiters get their first impression of you and your appearance. You need to submit four pictures in total. 1 full length formal photo, 1 identical passport sized photos and 2 smart/sophisticated photos.

Formal Pictures
For these pictures you’re ideally wanting to make yourself look like Emirates Cabin Crew without actually wearing the uniform. They are specific with what they want you to wear in these pictures so make sure you follow these guidelines.


Closed fitted jacket
Knee length skirt
High heels (closed toed / no ankle straps)
Skin colour stockings
No neck scarves, no jewellery
No glasses, no colour contact lenses
No watches


Closed jacket
Suit, shirt and tie
No piercings visible
No glasses
No colour contact lenses
No watches

For females, you definitely will need to style yourself as an Emirates Crew Member. Image and uniform standards are very strict at Emirates so pay careful attention to the photo guidelines here.

You have to have your hair in a bun for the photograph. Emirates female cabin crew have to wear their bun low so that the hat can sit on our head without being knocked out by your hair. Whether you choose to pull your hair all back or place it in a parting is completely up to you. However, your hair must be slick with no hairs out of place. Secure fringes with hairspray/pins where you can. If you have hair that is shorter than your collar bone, make sure it is neatly styled (ie: Straightened) and clipped back away from your face. This is the only exception where you can have your hair down.

If you dye/colour your hair make sure you don’t have roots showing or  an obvious difference in colour. Remember it costs a fortune to dye your hair every three weeks or so in Dubai. If you can’t get to a salon etc, use some root touch up products to help mask the colour difference, but be aware this is something you’ll have to constantly attend to when in Dubai. As long as there is no obvious colour difference between the top of your head and your bun this is fine. For example, make sure you can conceal the colour difference within the bun.

The next essential thing is having good makeup. A good coverage is required for work so please get a good foundation to cover your face. Blush is recommended but not required. Mascara is a must and you can use eyeliner/eyeshadow. Eyeshadow colours must be neutral. One way of looking at it is, think “Costa coffee” so a nice selection of browns are acceptable. Some of us add a little sparkle into the eyeshadow. Eyeliner can be worn both on the top and bottom of your lid. Bronzer and highlights are always a good thing, it brings out the best of your facial looks and enhances that all important smile.

Most important of all is the red lipstick. Find a colour that is true to your skin tone. What looks good on one person might not look as good and vice versa. Emirates recommends Ruby Woo by Mac and shade 1 in the Sephora Lip Stain.

For males, grooming must be impeccable and you must be clean shaven. You cannot have a beard at work, so please ensure you make time for daily shaving.

Tips for this as posted by the recruitment team are:

  • BIG happy smile (I cannot stress this enough)

  • Full length (the top of your head & your shoes must be visible)

  • Hands straight by side with both legs together. Stand up straight.

  • You must be directly facing the camera

  • Photo cannot be altered / photo shopped

  • Good lighting – no shadows

  • Sharp and in focus

Smart And Sophisticated Photos
Next thing are your smart and sophisticated photos. These are to show what you look like “naturally”. You will need 1x full length (standing, photo from head to toe) and 1x close up (standing, photo from head to waist) casual photos. Your attire and surroundings should be conservative and reflect your professional image. You must be standing up, straight, facing the camera, hands flat by your side with you hair behind the ears and shoulders.

Things to remember, Emirates is a muslim airline so clothing and image must be conservative. Shoulders and knees must be covered. Ensure your make up is nice and neat. Red lipstick is NOT needed here, so remove this, they want to see you with and without this.

3: Assessment Day (Invitation Only)

Emirates conduct both assessment and open days. At Open days, anyone could show up, it is more of a CV/photo drop and so the recruiters could link this up with your online application. In some cities such as Dubai due to excessive volume of applications, they only have invite only assessment days.

The recruitment process is intense, but so is the job! So it’s all in good preparation.

Throughout the day you will go through different stages with different group based tasks. One included being given a completely random item and in your group discussing and presenting how you could use this on board.

As we progressed through the day, after each task we were given a short 10/15 minute break before we would come back and see if our name was still on the door. If it was, you were through to the next task, if not, your journey was over.

For those whose first language wasn’t English, they were given a language exam to which they had to be competent. So if English isn’t your first language, make sure you are able to speak, read and write to a decent level.

At the end of the day, we were told we had been successful and you do the online psychometric test and you will be advised of the final interview which is now often done by video using Hirevue.

4: Final Interview

Be prepared to answer questions about everything you have ever experienced in a customer service based role. You will be asked to give examples of when you have done certain things in past jobs, how you are able to adapt to new cultures and work with people of all different backgrounds, nationalities and cultures. They want to know that you will be able to blend in well at work and not be caught up in work conflict or causing them. When working at Emirates, you will work with new people you have never met before and people from all over the world. This might be just be a quick 45 minute flight to Muscat where you barely have a chance to even remember your colleagues’ names, or it could be an eight day multisector trip to Australia where you will know everyones name and  also their life story. There is no routine with the Emirates job or “work colleagues” so the recruiters want to find out if you have done something similar before.

Remember it is very acceptable to take 5 to 10 seconds to think about the question, don’t rush straight into it without thinking. This is where you’ll go wrong and go off on a tangent. Breathe, and impress them with the experience you have got to share and don’t forget to let that personality of yours shine through.

As an Emirates cabin crew, you have to abide by five service personalities: Personal, Thorough, Considerate, Pioneering, Cosmopolitan. Let this be seen, its what they want to see at work!

5: The Golden Call

After all this, you’ll be waiting for that all important golden call. You will be told that you’ve been successful and when your date of joining will be, if that is suitable for you. So there was a long time in between and most of us become obsessed with status not being updated while the rest of those in the same batch as yours have already received theirs. Don’t worry about this, selection here is totally random.

You still have a lot to do in between this time. Dental, medical, visas, passport etc. You’ll be given your accommodation, your flights that you’ll be joining on and you’ll be able to start finding people you’re going to be joining with etc.

If you want help from us to either review and rewrite a CV that matches the Emirates requirements and ace the interview, let us know. I have included the Learn More button here so you can see and order the services we offer.


Let us help you today with improving your CV, matching your experience to what they require, and helping to calm your nerves at the interview.