View Vacancy - AUH/DXB - Head of Communications (HEO)

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Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Policy & Political roles)
Communications, Press and Media

The British Embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have a vacancy for Head of Communications, job grade Higher Executive Officer (HEO). This is for a fixed-term contract of three (3) years.

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced manager to head the British Embassy’s Communications Team. The jobholder will devlop and deliver the Embassy’s strategic communications strategy, working across all Embassy teams. The jobholder will lead the British Embassy’s engagement with Emirati and international print, radio, television, and social media to promote the policies of the Government of the United Kingdom in the UAE, and to support the work of the UK’s diplomatic network in the UAE.

 Duties and responsibilities

  • Developing and overseeing delivery of a wide-ranging communications strategy and tailored communications plans, incorporating all aspects of the UK’s objectives in the UAE.
  • Leading a high-performing team of two to deliver communications activity across our posts in Abu Dhabi and Delivering campaigns with local and international partners. This will include campaigns on all areas of UK priorities in the UAE. This could include everything from women’s empowerment to youth engagement, from consular communications campaigns around major events, to encouraging Emiratis to study in the UK
  • Shaping public messaging and providing real time advice on a daily basis on how to best convey UK policy to local audiences in the UAE.
  • Deliver communications campaigns to give high profile exposure for Embassy events 
  • Providing high quality communications advice, analysis, and insight to His Majesty’s Ambassador (HMA) in Abu Dhabi, His Majesty’s Consul General (HMCG) in Dubai and senior Embassy staff, liaising with internal and external communications stakeholders to ensure that core UK messages are heard.
  • Support communications for HMA and for visits to the UAE by UK ministers, royalty, and other VIPs, and similarly support communications around visits to the UK by high profile UAE stakeholders.
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with the full range of local, regional and international media outlets based in the UAE.
  • Drafting press releases, speeches and other communications products for the Ambassador and Consul General.
  • Support the Embassy’s response to any crises, in the role of Crisis Media Manger, to deliver communications advice and contribute to wider team working.

The above list is not exhaustive, and the jobholder will be required to be flexible and take on other ad hoc tasks as required, including Embassy emergency planning, and any response to a crisis affecting UK citizens.

Resources Managed

1 x Social media and Digital Officer (EO)

1 x Media Officer (EO)

Key behaviours required:

  • Seeing the Big Picture - Understand how your role fits with and supports organisational objectives. Recognise the wider Civil Service priorities and ensure work is in the national interest.
  • Communicating and Influencing - Communicate purpose and direction with clarity, integrity and enthusiasm. Respect the needs, responses and opinions of others.
  • Making Effective Decisions - Use evidence and knowledge to support accurate, expert decisions and advice. Carefully consider alternative options, implications and risks of decisions.
  • Delivering at Pace - Take responsibility for delivering timely and quality results with focus and drive.
  • Changing and Improving – Seek out opportunities to create effective change and suggest innovative ideas for improvement. Review ways of working, including seeking and providing feedback.
  • Working Together - Form effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.
  • At least five (5) years of professional communications experience, ideally in government or for a communications agency delivering impactful and wide-scale communications.
  • Top-level communications skills. Native speaker or mother tongue level of communication skills in English. Confidence to express ideas clearly and concisely, both orally and in written communication.
  • Ability to lead, advise and shape the tone of high-profile communication products.
  • Credibility and personal impact to engage with senior stakeholders.
  • Personal initiative, drive and ability to work both independently and as a part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a team player with willingness to work across boundaries.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with contacts and colleagues.
  • Strong attention to detail. Ability to prioritise own workload and meet deadlines, without compromising the quality of the work.
  • Flexibility and resilience to deliver results under pressure. Creative thinking skills.
  • Ability to build the capabilities of the team for media analysis and reporting and stakeholder management.
  • Holds at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  • Strong IT skills and literacy in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook).
  • An established network of media and/or cultural contacts in the UAE
  • Knowledge of media and social media landscape in the UAE.
  • Arabic language skills (ideally Modern Standard Arabic).
  • Experience of creating engaging content for social media platforms – ‘X’, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
  • Familiarity with the UK & international media based in the UAE and Emirati and International media in the UK.
  • Experience of working in an international context.
  • Experience of external communications, including media.
Changing and Improving, Communicating and Influencing, Delivering at Pace, Making Effective Decisions, Seeing the Big Picture, Working Together
7 November 2023
Higher Executive Officer (HEO)
Full-time, Fixed Term
36 months
Middle East & North Africa
United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi, Dubai
British Embassy
1 January 2023

Working hours and remuneration:

The Embassy aims to offer an attractive working environment and remuneration package for this role, which includes 25 days of leave per annum (calculated pro-rata).

Salary is at AED 24,911 per month 

There are no other allowances payable as part of this package. No accommodation nor relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position.

The Embassy is open from Monday to Friday, from 07:30 to 18:00. Normal weekly working hours are thirty-five (35) hours per week, net of breaks. Specific working hours for this role will be confirmed at a later time.

There may be occasional requirement to work outside office hours (evening/ weekend) to respond to high paced and evolving news stories.  Flexible working arrangements may be considered based on operational requirements and agreement with the line manager, and in line with FCDO and Embassy policies.

The successful candidate will be required to transfer their visa under the Embassy's sponsorship.


How to apply:

Interested candidates must attach the following in their online application form: 

  • an updated Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a covering letter/ motivation essay stating how you meet the requirements of the role
  • Specific examples in the relevant sections of the online application form of how you meet the key behaviours and skills required.

Applications that do not include this information will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is at 23:55 UAE local time on 7th November 2023.

Applications received after the stated deadline will not be considered.


Due to the large number of applications, we receive, only those shortlisted for the next step of the recruitment process will be contacted.

Appointable candidates who were unsuccessful at interview may be placed on a ‘reserve list’. If during the reserve period of six (6) months the same or a largely similar role becomes available, that role may be offered to the second or subsequent candidate.

The start date mentioned in the advert is a tentative start date and the successful candidate will be required to undergo security-vetting procedures. Any offer of employment will be subject to the candidate achieving suitable clearances and reference checks.

The recruitment process, including security clearance, is expected to take around 2-3 months. The security clearance process includes checks available in country and in the UK, dependant on the security level required for the role and the candidates profile and UK footprint. You may experience some delay in the progress of this recruitment campaign, and we are working hard to minimise any disruption. 

The British Embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are an equal opportunities employer, dedicated to inclusivity, a diverse workforce and valuing difference.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.