UAE jobs: Why do 73% of employees want to stay longer in the country?

More than 73% of the employees want to stay in the UAE for the next five years or more


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 23 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 7:42 AM

More than two-thirds of the employees in the UAE will stay in the country for the next five years or more, according to a survey report released on Monday.

For more than 73 per cent of employees, the region’s second-largest economy remains a highly attractive market, the 2024 UAE Salary Guide released by Michael Page said. Career prospects, safety, living conditions, salary, economic context, geographical situation and cost of living are the main reasons that employees choose to stay and work in the UAE for a longer period.

“Candidates are now looking to move and work in the country more long-term, viewing the location as an opportunity for further career development as organisations develop what they offer as a package and progression than ever before,” the global HR and recruitment consultancy said in its annual study.

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Recent measures taken by the UAE government such as the introduction of golden visas, retirement visas, freelance visas and others have attracted a large number of professionals to the country. These visas have encouraged expatriate professionals to stay in the country for longer periods due to economic stability, career and business opportunities, healthcare and education facilities and other factors.

Jon Ede, regional director for UAE at Michael Page, said the UAE’s attractiveness as a place to work continues to play an essential role in attracting and retaining high-quality candidates from across the world.

Around 74 per cent of UAE employees are positive about the current market while even higher – 79 per cent – are positive about the future job market.


The survey found that 53.6 per cent of workers are satisfied with company culture, 44.5 per cent with their salary and 36.4 per cent with opportunity for promotions.

“Previously, we saw work/life balance as a leading factor for candidates moving jobs. However, we’ve seen this decline compared to previous years, with salary returning as the main driving force for candidates switching roles. This is an unsurprising shift, given the economic changes we face with the increase in cost of living,” Michael Page said.

Why do employees look for new opportunities?

Moreover, 80 per cent of candidates remain confident that they will secure a role within three months.

The survey found that the majority are looking for a new career opportunity. Search for a better salary package, lack of career development, need for more responsibility and look for a better work/life balance, more recognition and a different company culture are among the reasons.

Ede said recruitment in the UAE remained strong throughout 2023, led by non-oil-based sectors. “Organisations continue to demonstrate constant enthusiasm for attracting and retaining high-quality talent to support their strategies for 2024 and beyond.”

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