UAE jobseekers: Good days ahead

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UAE jobseekers: Good days ahead
10,149 UAE-based jobs were posted only on in Q1 2017

Dubai - Recent data showed that 69% of employers in the UAE are planning to hire in a year's time.


Rohma Sadaqat

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Published: Tue 18 Apr 2017, 7:56 PM

Jobseekers in the UAE may have had a tough time last year due to a slowdown in hiring brought about by challenging economic conditions, however the outlook for 2017 looks fairly positive, experts have assured.
Suhail Masri, vice-president of employer solutions at, noted that employers in the Middle east were getting comfortable with the idea of hiring again, and that this has translated to a notable increase since the first quarter of 2017.

Citing's most recent Middle East Job Index survey, Masri said that at the start of 2017, nearly two thirds of employers in the Middle East were planning to hire in a year's time. In addition, recent data showed that 69 per cent of employers in the UAE are planning to hire in a year's time.
"During the first quarter of 2017, we have already seen these plans being translated to actual hiring. A total of 32,627 jobs were posted on in the Mena region, which is a 25 per cent increase when compared to the last quarter of 2016. Out of that number, 10,149 jobs were UAE-based jobs. This is not including the thousands of additional vacancies that are filled through's CV Search on a regular basis, without posting the job announcement," Masri said.
"In spite of the economic challenges in the Mena region, our research showed a sustained level of hiring potential, where two thirds of respondents said they are planning to hire in a year's time. We have also witnessed an increase in online hiring activity on during the first quarter of 2017, in comparison to the last quarter of 2016. In the UAE in particular, there are many initiatives and events that are taking place, which aim to boost career opportunities in the UAE job market, such as Careers UAE as well as the upcoming Expo 2020," he added.
Asked which fields had witnessed the most job postings in recent months, Masri pointed to sales, technology/IT, engineering, management, and accounting/banking/finance.
Also, speaking on which sectors in the UAE had performed well in terms of online job postings and hiring activity, Sanjay Modi, managing director of, for the Apac and Middle East region, said that the healthcare sector recorded the most growth, while the hospitality industry posted a dip in performance.
Modi explained that, according to the Monster Employment Index (MEI), the healthcare industry has been among the top performing industries in online hiring in the UAE with a peak in February 2016 when the year-on-year growth reached 76 per cent. Throughout the year, the industry had maintained an average year-on-year growth of almost 20 per cent.
He also noted that it was not surprising that the healthcare sector had performed well on the index, given the UAE government's plans to place the nation's healthcare system at a high priority, and the country's aim to have one of the strongest healthcare systems in the world by 2021. "There have been a number of developments in the field which may have contributed to the high demand in professionals in the healthcare industry including the mandatory health insurance requirements that have been put in place," said Modi.
Online hiring in the UAE hospitality industry, on the other hand, has been among the lowest performing industries in the MEI in 2016. With an average year-on-year decline of 25 per cent throughout the year, the UAE hospitality sector slowed down significantly in online hiring every month from February to December 2016. The latest MEI registered a 30 per cent decline in online hiring in the industry from the same period last year, which could be a result of the pressure faced by hotels to reduce rates amid macroeconomic challenges.
"The UAE hospitality industry, much like others around the world, has had a challenging year in 2016 with growing supply, weakened currencies including the rouble, euro and British pound, a stronger dollar to which the UAE dirham is pegged, and the lingering low oil prices. We are hopeful that with the sustained political security, more stable economic conditions and the growing number of world-class tourist attractions being launched in the country, the sector will see some improvement in the coming years," added Modi.

According to the 2017 Hays GCC Salary and Employment Report, 72 per cent of organisations plan to recruit additional headcount in 2017; while 55 per cent of employees will consider changing jobs in the next 12 months.
"Generally speaking, activity in the hiring market is looking positive," said Chris Greaves, MD of global recruiting group, Hays, for the Gulf Region.
"The GCC continues to be an attractive region for business, which sees ongoing and added investment from new market entrants, particularly SMEs locating themselves in free zones."
"Specific roles we have noticed to have increased in demand include: cyber security professionals, who can proactively guard against threats to company property; online payment experts, in order to get the region up to speed with other global economies already invested in this; C-suite executives, to fulfil business objectives; as well as marketing content specialists, to build brand awareness and reputation," he added.
Greaves also noted that bi-lingual candidates who speak both Arabic and English, as well as those with both local and international experience in their respective industries are always the highest in demand. However, he noted that it is critical that candidates are able to demonstrate the value that they can bring to an organisation in order to be considered for a role.

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