Dubai jobs: Most tech workforce from Mena, India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe

Some of the most successful technology companies in the emirate have taken a proactive approach by instituting internal recruitment functions


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 15 Oct 2023, 4:10 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Oct 2023, 9:35 PM

LinkedIn and employee referrals emerged as the most dominant sources of talent hunting for Dubai-based technology companies as demand for specialised technology individuals in Dubai will exceed supply, according to a new report released on Sunday.

"This trend is not only indicative of the platform's efficacy in attracting potential candidates but also underscores the power of personal recommendations within the close-knit technology community," said the "Tech Talent in Dubai 2023" report released on the first day of the Expand North Star.

According to the report, key markets for sourcing tech talent include Mena, India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Turkey.

"In an ever-evolving global economic landscape, the UAE understands that talent will be a cornerstone of our progress and a key form of competitive advantage, particularly in the fields of technology and innovation. Our economic agenda is successfully establishing the UAE as an attractive hub for global talent, a place where exceptional individuals can progress their careers or launch new businesses – and make a lasting contribution to the nation's success on the world stage as they do so," said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for International Trade of UAE.

"A notable consensus among founders is the imperative to establish stronger ties with local universities. This sentiment stems from the recognition that these institutions harbour a pool of emerging talent that can contribute to the city's burgeoning tech landscape. In particular, companies operating within deep tech domains have underscored the Mena region's universities as a primary source of junior talent," the report said.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi

The Dubai-based consulting agency Integra Seven and Wamda, an entrepreneurship empowerment platform, released the "Tech Talent in Dubai 2023" report at the Expand North Star, revealing the strategies used by technology companies to attract and retain talent, as well as offering insights into policy enhancements for the technology sector in the Emirate.

More than 1,400 startups from across the globe are taking part in the exhibition at the Dubai Harbour. The exhibition, which began on October 15 will run till October 18.

In addition, the study found that some of the most successful technology companies in Dubai have taken a proactive approach by instituting internal recruitment functions.

It identified that less than 10 per cent of technology companies keep all teams in the UAE only, while 90 per cent have tech talent dispersed across 2-4 countries.

Two-thirds of developers open to new jobs

According to report findings, two-thirds of employed technology developers in Dubai are open to new job opportunities due to ownership opportunities, citizenship prospects, lifestyle benefits, and, most importantly, the chance to work with the latest technologies and learn new skills.

The report also found that the attrition rate in Dubai's technology sector stands at 8.75 per cent, higher than the national average but lower than mature technology ecosystems like the US.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said the UAE's talent attraction and retention strategy is a multifaceted approach that extends beyond visas and residency programmes. "The introduction of green visas and golden visas, while significant components, is part of a broader vision to create a sustainable ecosystem for talent from around the world," he added.

Natalia Sycheva
Natalia Sycheva

Natalia Sycheva, managing director of Integra Seven, said Dubai's success as Mena's top technology ecosystem stems from collaboration among policymakers, venture builders, and talent.


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