UAE: Why are 62% of professionals looking for new jobs in 2024?

The Emirates has emerged as one of the most resilient international markets when it comes to hiring


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 10:26 AM

The majority of the professionals – 62 per cent – in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are either actively looking for a new job, or plan to start looking for one soon in 2024, said a new survey.

According to LinkedIn’s latest study released on Wednesday, better salaries and the need for a better work-life balance are the top two reasons for professionals seeking a career move.

“In 2024, we are seeing UAE and Saudi professionals taking agency and moving to the driver's seat when it comes to their careers. This will give rise to a more competitive job market, so standing out from other candidates will be more important than ever,” said Ali Matar, EMEA growth markets leader and head of LinkedIn for Mena.

The majority of job seekers – 74 per cent – in the Gulf countries said flexible work arrangements, such as hybrid working, are essential.

Conducted by Censuswide, the survey covered 16,288 professionals across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, India, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil and the US. The data was collected between November 24, and December 15.

Interestingly, 73 per cent of professionals are considering finding new homes due to rising rent prices, underscoring the correlation of affordable housing with retaining talent within the region.

Skills not degrees

LinkedIn revealed that there is a growing understanding of the importance of skills in the UAE labour market instead of degrees when looking for a new job.

It said professionals are notably focused on upskilling, as 76 per cent of them said that they would take on more stretch projects at work to diversify their skills, and spend more time than usual doing online courses to boost their career progression.

Following the last few years of uncertainty in the workplace, 84 per cent of UAE professionals are keen to future-proof their careers by focusing on skilling.

UAE over EU, US

The survey found that the majority of the professionals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia – 82 per cent – prefer to work in the region rather than relocate to Europe and the US.

Around 46 per cent of them prefer to work in the region for a high standard of living, 35 per cent prefer it due to the attractive lifestyle this region provides, and 31 per cent attributed to the professional growth opportunities that are offered here in the Gulf region.

Importantly, the UAE also emerged as one of the most resilient international markets when it comes to hiring, with a 0.3 per cent annual increase in hiring, up by 30 per cent compared to pre-pandemic December 2019.


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