Emirates Cabin Crew Recruitment – The Complete Guide And Step-By-Step Process 2023

Landing a job as cabin crew with Emirates is no easy feat – thousands of candidates from around the world submit their resumes to the Dubai-based airline every month.  Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of those aspiring cabin crew will ever receive the so-called ‘Golden Call’ inviting them to join the airline.

If you’re desperate for your application to stand the very best chance of success, you probably don’t want to encounter any nasty surprises in the recruitment process.  Luckily, with our vast experience, insider source information and real-world testing, we can tell you exactly what happens and what to expect.

Check out the following step-by-step guide to find out more about the updated Emirates Cabin Crew recruitment process.  We’ll keep this post updated with all the latest developments.

The Background

Just before the pandemic struck in early 2020, Emirates had been experimenting with several different recruitment methods. At one point, Emirates had hired a third-party recruitment agency to carry out some open days while the airline was also trying to streamline the online recruitment process with a new pre-recorded video interview.

In 2023, however, those experimental recruitment methods have been ditched, and Emirates has gone back to its roots with most new cabin crew being recruited at walk-in Open Days. The advantage of this method is, of course, that anyone can walk off the street to meet an Emirates recruiter and walk back out with a one-way ticket to Dubai.

Make your choice – Open Day or online application

There are two ways to submit your initial application to become Emirates cabin crew:

In some countries (such as Ukraine, Russia and Japan, for example), you may have to apply via an appointed third-party agency.  More details can be found here.

Due to the volume of applications that are submitted online, it may take some time before you hear back from the recruitment team.  In the past, Emirates said any application older than 6 weeks should be automatically regarded as unsuccessful, although with the sheer numbers of cabin crew that Emirates is now recruiting, it might take a little longer to hear back from the recruitment team.

In any case, if you aren’t shortlisted following an online application, the recruitment team might not formally record this on your application, and you won’t receive any feedback. Again, this is simply due to the fact that Emirates is inundated with applications, and it’s hard for the team to keep on top of all the admin work.

Photo Credit: Emirates

Minimum Requirements

  • At least 21 years old (at the time of joining the airline*)
  • Minimum height of 160 cm / 5’3″ (no maximum height limit)
  • Able to reach at least 212cm / 6’9″ – You are allowed to achieve this while stood on tiptoes (there is no minimum or maximum height requirement)
  • Fluent in both spoken and written English (Although fluency in other languages will be a definite advantage)
  • Educated to at least High School level
  • Physically fit and a confident swimmer
  • No visible tattoos or piercings while in Emirates uniform (Neck, arms, wrists, hands and legs from knee to foot)

*You must be at least 21 years old when you join Emirates, but because the recruitment process can be quite slow, recruiters will normally progress your application if you are two to three months away from turning 21.

Don’t be put off attending an Open Day if you haven’t yet reached 21 years old, as recruiters are very used to interviewing slightly younger candidates, and it won’t go against you.

As well as these minimum requirements, Emirates also says it looks for recruits who are “positive, confident, flexible, friendly and very keen to help others.”  We also know that recruiters place a lot of importance on empathy, anticipating the needs of passengers and going the extra mile.

You should prove that you are a responsible and professional team player who takes safety and security seriously.

Other Requirements

We’re often asked whether Emirates has other requirements that aren’t necessarily advertised, such as:

  • Maximum age
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • Language skills

While we’ve asked Emirates to clarify these points, perhaps unsurprisingly, these are closely guarded secrets, and no one at the airline is willing to go on record to confirm or deny these rumours. 

However, our sources say there are some minimum requirements that are never spoken of, including a maximum age limit and nationality restrictions. That being said, it’s really important to note that Emirates does not provide a definitive answer on these points, and therefore, the very best we can do is speculate.

For example, you might hear a rumour that Emirates doesn’t recruit anyone over the age of 31, but we know a number of people who were successful in their cabin crew application at an older age than this. Simply put, don’t let rumours put you off applying or working to improve your application if your first attempt isn’t successful.

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Photo Credit: Emirates

Current Opportunities

You can apply for the role online via the official Emirates Group Careers website or attend an Open Day in any available location.  The full list of current recruitment events can be found here.

You might be wondering whether it’s worth travelling to another country to attend an Open Day. There are various reasons why you might be considering this, although the most common is that the Emirates recruitment team rarely visit your home country, or you think there’s a better chance of getting shortlisted in one country compared to another.

Whatever your motivation behind travelling to another country to attend an Open Day, keep in mind that all the costs are down to you, and there’s no guarantee you’ll be picked.

Photo and Document Necessities

What you need

You’ll need the following items for your online application:

  • A copy of your updated resume in Microsoft Word or PDF document format.
  • One full-length photograph in full business attire
  • One passport-size photograph in full business attire
  • One full-length casual photograph
  • One half-length casual photograph

For an Open Day, you’ll need the following:

  • A copy of your updated resume
  • One photograph in professional business attire – either a passport copy or full-length

Photograph Standards

  • You should be wearing professional business attire (including a jacket and tie for men).
  • Stand facing straight on towards the camera, hands down by your side (not held together).
  • You should be smiling with a large but natural smile (ideally showing teeth).
  • To be taken against a white backdrop.
  • For the casual photos, you should wear a plain T-shirt or blouse that shows your arms and casual but smart trousers such as well-fitting jeans or chinos.

The full-length photograph should be sized: 6×4 inches (15×10 cm).  The passport-sized photograph should be sized: 45×35 mm (1.77×1.37 inches).  You can view the official Emirates photograph standards here:

The official Emirates photograph standards

Online Applications

Depending on where you live or other personal circumstances, there is an option to submit an online application via Emirates’ official recruitment website. If you choose this option, you might receive one of three possible responses:

  1. You are shortlisted to attend an Assessment Day
  2. A generic email is sent asking you to attend an Open Day
  3. You are asked to take part in a pre-recorded video interview as part of the initial selection process

Emirates has experimented with fully-automated video interviews on several occasions and not all candidates are asked to complete this stage. Further information about video interviews can be found here:

In some countries, you must submit an online application in order to be invited for an Open Day. Examples of countries where this is often the case include: Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Singapore and Thailand.

The Open Day

An Open Day is a way for you to find out more about the role of cabin crew and what working for Emirates is like.  The Open Day will start with a presentation where recruiters will introduce you to the company, explain what life is like in Dubai and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

Make sure you are comfortable. The presentation can go on for some time, and you should ensure you remain engaged throughout. There’s no requirement to ask a question but some candidates feel that this is a good opportunity to highlight themselves to the recruiters and show how confident they are.

In any case, the main opportunity for you to do this is when you submit your resume and the recruiter might then ask you some informal questions. If everyone tried to ask a question during the initial presentation, it would make for a very long day and an Open Day can be pretty long and tiring as it is.

Following the presentation, if you are still interested in going ahead with your application, you can then submit your resume to a recruiter. You’ll be expected to line up to see one of the recruiters and hand over your resume to be reviewed.

Once everyone has handed over their resume, you’ll be locked out of the conference room while the recruiters make a shortlist of the candidates they want to progress to the next stage. Depending on how many candidates have attended the Open Day, it could take an hour or more for the results to be made public.

Once the decision has been made, the recruiters will post a list of all the lucky candidates who have been shortlisted to take part in an Assessment Day and you’ll need to crowd around the posted piece of paper to see if your name has been highlighted.

Open Day or CV Drop-Off Event?

There are two types of Open Day currently being run by Emirates.  The first is a CV Drop Off Event where you can attend the Open Day venue at any time between 9 am – 4 pm and submit your resume and a photograph.

Depending on how busy the event is, you might be asked a few questions by the recruiter.  For example:

  • Why do you want to be cabin crew?
  • What do you know of Emirates?
  • What do you think the role of cabin crew is?
  • Tell me about yourself.

If successfully shortlisted, a recruiter will contact you – either by phone or email to inform you about when and where the Assessment Day will be held.

The second is a traditional Open Day, where you must attend the venue at the time shown.  These events typically start at 8 am or 9 am.  The results will be posted the same day, and the Assessment Day will typically take place on either the same day or the day after.

Think twice before travelling overseas

Travelling overseas is a risky strategy and the vast majority of people who do so don’t get shortlisted for the group games or final interview. Remember, the cost of attending an Open Day is entirely down to you, so make sure you are comfortable with spending however much it costs to attend a recruitment event in another country.

To make it more worthwhile, it might be worth combining your overseas trip with a holiday but factor in at least two days for the recruitment event. The Open Day could last all day, and the final interview might not be held on the same day. In most cases, the interview will be scheduled for the following day, although occasionally, you might be asked to come back at a later date or attend the final interview via video call.

When planning an overseas trip, consider some of the following points:

  • How busy will the Open Day be in different locations?
  • Are Emirates looking for specific language or cultural skills in certain locations?
  • Will an Open Day take place closer to home in the future?
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Photo Credit: Emirates

The Assessment Day

Choose a date and location

Emirates organises Assessment Days in locations where they have identified a need for a particular type of crew member – such as nationality or language skills. 

Remember that Assessment Days are ‘invite only’ events – these are not advertised widely, and you shouldn’t travel to one unless you’ve been specifically told to attend.

What happens at an assessment day?

Assessment days are a popular recruitment tool used to screen a large number of candidates in a short period of time.  The day will be made up of a number of interactive elements used to test your suitability for the role of cabin crew. 

During the course of the assessment day, there will be several checkpoints where recruiters will further shortlist candidates until they are eventually left with maybe just a handful of people who will be taken through to the final interview.

If you’ve made it through the assessment day following an open day, you’ll already be familiar with the other candidates, which should make you feel a little more at ease. You’ll be required to take part in some group activities, as well as one-on-one tasks. These activities can vary from assessment day to assessment day, but they are all quite similar and are used to test the same things.

Some of the most important things that recruiters are looking out for, include:

  • Confidence
  • Clear communication
  • Teamwork
  • Listening and comprehension ability

The key is to stand out without overpowering anyone else in the room. That might sound pretty daunting, but there are some really good ways to prepare for an Assessment Day and maximise your chances of success.

I highly recommend reading the following in-depth article to learn more about Assessment Days.  We’ve included lots of details about what to expect, the different elements involved and what the recruiters are looking for: How to Ace the Cabin Crew Assessment Day – Tips and Advice.

The Final Interview

Unfortunately, the majority of candidates who attend an Assessment Day won’t be invited to Final Interview.  The competition is extremely tough, so making it to this stage is a really big achievement.

The interview will normally last between 25-40 minutes. Depending on how long the Open Day and Assessment Day has taken, you might be invited to complete your Final Interview on the same day or invited back on a future date – which is nearly always the following day.

Remember, the Emirates recruiters are based in Dubai and travel from city to city for just a couple of days at a time so they need to rely on you being able to fit into their schedule. In some cases, however, the Final Interview takes place at a later date via video which provides a lot more flexibility for both the recruiters and you.

You’ll receive an email with a link to schedule an interview at a time that is most convenient for you.  The interview can be accessed on both mobile and tablet devices. You’ll need to treat the Online Video Interview as you would an in-person Final Interview.  Dress in full business attire and find an appropriate location that is quiet, well-lit, and clutter-free.

Competency-based interview

The interview will be made up of competency and behavioural-based questions.  You’ll need to have examples from your previous work experience that prove you possess the skills, qualities and competencies that the Emirates recruiter is looking for.

Gathering the evidence and becoming comfortable with your answers can take time, so you should go to an Open Day already prepared for the Final Interview. In fact, it’s never too early to start preparing for your Final Interview.

My tried and tested interview technique that keeps me on track is the SOAR method. Read out the following article to learn more about the SOAR method and make sure you check out our library of interview questions and sample answers: SOAR to Success at Your Cabin Crew Final Interview

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Photo Credit: Emirates

Personality Testing

Emirates uses a special online personality test for candidates who have reached the Final Interview.  The test should take about fifteen minutes to complete.  It’s designed to filter out unsuitable applicants and predict which candidates will perform best in the role.

How to prepare

The system used by Emirates isn’t like a traditional personality test such as the Predictive Index or Myers-Brigg assessment.  It’s specifically tailored to what Emirates is looking for in its future Cabin Crew.

Although you should be yourself and answer the questions truthfully, there are effective ways to best prepare for the test.  We developed an article, alongside input from cut-e, the company that supplies the Emirates personality test that will help you through this stage: How to Ace the Cabin Crew Online Personality Test

The Golden Call

What deciding factors are used?

The methods that the recruitment team uses after the Final Interview are a closely guarded secret.  However, we know that they’ll assess your performance throughout the whole recruitment journey to make their decision.

This includes the original resume you submitted, your performance at the Assessment Day and how you performed in the Final Interview.  Recruiters will also assess the photographs you submitted – as well as two ‘casual’ photographs that you’ll be asked to submit at this stage.

The call

The recruiters may also use a number of other criteria, such as language skills, nationality, gender and age.

These decisions are based on the needs of the airline at the time your file is submitted.  There are lots of rumours about this stage, but we’ve cleared up the top myths in this helpful article: True or False? The Cabin Crew Recruitment Rumours That Won’t Go Away

If the recruitment team in Dubai approve your application, you’ll receive a telephone call from a recruiter – known as the ‘Golden Call’.  If you’ve been unsuccessful, an autoresponder ‘regret’ email will be sent to you.

Medical Testing

Submit medical report

You’ll need to submit a medical report from your doctor based on a questionnaire supplied by Emirates.  You only need to do this once you’ve received the ‘Golden Call’.

Cabin Crew medical standards are governed by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the UAE.  However, the minimum medical requirements required for Emirates Cabin Crew surpass that of the GCAA.

If you have any concerns you should discuss this with your recruiter at the Final Interview.  We’re currently working on an article about GCAA medical Requirements.

Joining formalities in progress


If your medical results are satisfactory, you’ll receive final confirmation from the Emirates recruitment team.  Access will be granted to a special section of the Emirates Group Careers website.  In this section, you’ll find details about your course start dates, travel arrangements and allocated accommodation.

Mateusz Maszczynski

Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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