Emiratis throng to career fair in Dubai

Emiratis throng to career fair in Dubai
Emirati men and women wait for their turn at the registration counter.Photo by Rahul Gajjar

Dubai - "I want to have job stability, find career growth, and look for a higher salary," Mahmoud said.

By Angel Tesorero

Published: Tue 17 May 2016, 9:18 PM

Twenty-six year old Ahmed Al Mansoori went to Careers UAE, a job fair exclusive for UAE nationals, for the third year in a row. Two years ago, he declined some offers because of low salary and last year he did not receive a call from any company.
Mansoori, who finished the compulsory 12-month national military service, now passed the on-site hiring conducted by the Dubai Police and he was set to join the force.
Al Mansoori is one of the thousands of young Emiratis who thronged to the Dubai World Trade Centre on Monday seeking a suitable job. The 16th edition of the three-day event which concludes on Wednesday has attracted more than 110 public and private sector exhibitors to offer thousands of Emirati graduates and job-seekers employment and internship opportunities in various industries like automotive, aviation, banking, construction, energy, oil and gas, telecoms, healthcare, and real-estate amongst others.
"Careers UAE is a vital platform for aspiring Emirati job-seekers to pursue thousands of diverse opportunities that will empower the country's youth, build a sustainable future and drive the UAE's growth and development," said Asma Al Sharif, director of Exhibitions and Events at DWTC. "The fair provides local talent with opportunities to advance careers, as well as discover, learn, train and network with leading brands in more than 20 industries."
Speaking to Khaleej Times, aerospace IT engineer Ahmed Mahmoud said he went to the job fair to seek better employment opportunities, particularly in the government sector, despite being currently employed in an airline company.
"I want to have job stability, find career growth, and look for a higher salary," Mahmoud said.
For 18-year old Ayesha, who just finished high school, work experience is part of her education. She said she is looking for a customer service or call centre job to gain some experience before continuing her university education. "I believe I can learn more by joining the workforce then I will resume my studies."
Siblings Rabab, 25, and Maissa, 22, said they are not picky and willing to work either in the government or private sector as long as there are career development, good working environment and nice salary package.
But for 24-year Mona, who was accompanied by her husband, "working in the government is better because it means less working time and more time for the family".
She is particularly concerned of the extended maternity leave available in the government unlike in the private sector.
Hired in 10 minutes
Mohammad Nasser, who completed the national military service training, is one of the 14 young Emiratis who was hired in the first hour of the 10-minute on-site hiring conducted by the Dubai Police.
Brig-Gen Ahmad Mohammad Rafi, director of the HR Department at Dubai Police, told Khaleej Times that the quick process is targeted towards those who finished the national military service programme.
"The applicants were already trained and after being interviewed by the panel they will know if they are hired in less than 10 minutes. The job is secured after passing a medical examination."
Meanwhile, Abdul Rahim Al Hayyas, senior director HR Sourcing at Etisalat, said they are looking for around 200 fresh Emirati graduates who can fill various positons in IT, engineering, customer service and call centres across all emirates.
He added, the telecom has an academy where Emiratis can develop their careers.
"At present, 46 per cent of our work force are Emiratis and we are planning to increase this to 50 per cent in 2018," Al Hayyas told Khaleej Times. Etisalat recruited around 1,400 nationals in a span of five years, he added.
Another bright spot for Emirati job seekers is the announcement of Aida Hamza, senior vice-president business support at the Dubai Parks and Resorts, who said 1,000 jobs are open for Emiratis at the entertainment destination set to open in October.
HR perspective
Q&A with Hind Al Attar, Head of Human Resources, Noor Bank
On hiring the right talent
UAE nationals are our national assets but we do not hire Emiratis just because they are UAE nation-als. We hire potential talent who can adapt to our corporate culture and we have different kinds of asessment to match the job requirement.
On career development
We are trying to attract, develop and retain UAE nationals like fresh graduates who will take senior positions in corporate banking, treasury, credit management. At the moment, there are very few nationals in these critical areas. We have partnered with a business school in Virginia, USA, and we have been sending staff who will come to implement the best practices they've learned abroad.
On bank work
The banking sector is one of the leading industries in the country and I can say this sector offers a great opportunity for Emiratis to develop their career. In terms of salary, we are very competitive like in the government sector, and the more you specialise the more attractive your salary will be.
On senior-level Emirati talent
There will be a tug of war in the coming years because a lot of banks are keen on hiring senior-level Emiratis to earn more points in the emiratisation programme. The more senior people you have, the more points you get. Talent is all over the place. We are trying to target multiple segments
On Emirati vs expat talent
We learn from expats and we expect them to transfer their expertise and groom nationals. There should be no insecurity for expats and think that if they develop Emiratis their jobs will be threatened because they will also grow as they will go to the next level in the corporate ladder.
I can share this motto to those seeking employment: Good, better, best - never let it rest till your good is better and your better is best. I want them to always try their best.

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