Jobs in UAE: Demand set to outstrip supply for certain roles

The country's job market has seen exponential growth in the post-pandemic period due to strong growth in various non-oil sectors


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 20 Dec 2023, 5:38 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Dec 2023, 8:21 PM

The UAE’s job market is booming, as demand for talent in certain roles is likely to significantly outstrip supply in 2024.

According to 'Salary Guide UAE 2024' released by Cooper Fitch on Wednesday, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of companies expect a shortfall in available talent, while 73 per cent believe that there is available talent in the country to meet their hiring requirements for the next year.

The survey, which covered business leaders across more than 1,000 organisations in the Gulf region, revealed that management and leadership roles could see the most significant talent gaps, followed by sales.

The UAE job market has seen exponential growth in the post-pandemic period due to strong growth in various non-oil sectors such as real estate, travel and tourism, trade and logistics, and retail and aviation, among others. The UAE showed a massive growth rate of 7.9 per cent in 2022. The country bounced back strongly after the pandemic as a large number of investors, millionaires and professionals flocked to the emirate.

“That ‘management’, ‘leadership’ and ‘sales’ occupy the top three spots on this list [of roles where demand may outstrip supply] is ... worrying, as it suggests a dearth of qualified individuals with senior and revenue-generating experience,” the Cooper Fitch study said.

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New visas can help meet talent shortfall

Significant investment as well as a range of innovative approaches are expected as UAE-based organisations compete to attract the best candidates next year.

The recruitment and HR advisory company pointed out that several steps taken by the government, such as new residency permits, will help minimise the impact of this shortfall of skilled workforce.

The UAE has announced the retirement visa, freelance visa, job exploration visa and 10-year Golden Visas for a variety of professions in order to attract the best talent. It also announced Golden Visas for 100,000 coders in order to meet requirements for local market needs, as the country aims to create 1,000 digital companies as part of the National Programme for Coders.

“While there is no guarantee these steps will have the desired impact in the short-term, ‘job exploration’ and ‘study and training’ visas are likely to positively impact the talent acquisition efforts of Emirates-based employers over the coming years,” the study added.


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