UAE professionals upbeat about future of their work amid new technologies: Survey

Issac John /Dubai Filed on September 12, 2021
Photo: Reuters

Creative thinking, computer skills, and strategic vision top skills expected to be more important in 10 years, the study finds

A large majority of professionals in the UAE are “confident and excited” about the future of their work despite the drastic changes in the nature of work being brought about by new generation technology, according to and YouGov Survey.

According to the survey, over seven in 10 respondents in the UAE believe that technological factors such as digital transformation, automation, artificial intelligence, etc., are most likely to change the nature of work in the future.

At the same time, 85 per cent feel either confident about the future of work and believe they will be successful, or they feel excited and see a world full of possibilities, the global online market research agency said in its survey report.

Another finding is that the UAE companies favour employees with both emotional and technical skills. Results show that while soft skills such as time management (99 per cent) and communication (98 per cent) are considered important today, over half the respondents believe that both technical and soft skills will be equally important 10 years from now. On the other hand, 37 per cent of respondents believe that only technical skills will be more important, while nine per cent believe that only soft skills will be more important.

The report noted that organisations in the UAE are focusing on strategically recruiting and retaining for a skilled workforce. According to respondents, creative thinking (92 per cent), technology/ computer skills (90 per cent), strategic vision (88 per cent), and communication (87 per cent) are the top skills that are expected to be more important in 10 years.

From a hiring perspective, previous job experience (87 per cent) and CV presentation and cover letter (83 per cent) are considered as the most important factors today. Cultural fit (75 per cent), diversity (74 per cent), and degree of specialisation of the candidate (72 per cent) also play a major role in hiring decisions.

Previous job experience (77 per cent) continues to be the top factor that will be needed much more than it is needed right now. This is followed by the degree of specialisation of the candidate (73 per cent) and diversity (70 per cent).

“Our latest survey maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change based on experiences from professionals across the Mena region,” said Ola Haddad, director of Human Resources at “This year, we aim to shed light on the effect of pandemic-related disruptions placed in the broader context of longer-term technology trends. The future of work will bring technology and people together to drive experiences and intelligence in the hiring process.”

As technology is augmenting and enhancing jobs in the UAE, over seven in 10 respondents believe that technological factors will play a role in the future change in nature of work.

Respondents believe that the demand for biomedical engineers (81 per cent) and doctors/ physicians (75 per cent) is likely to increase in the future, along with demand for business operations managers (73 per cent) and architects (73 per cent).

Zafar Shah, research director, Data Services at YouGov, said throughout the Mena region, organisations are increasingly trying to ensure that professionals gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential in their careers. “From a recruitment perspective, companies are adapting to emerging needs accelerated by the pandemic by employing new technologies, methods and skills that will vastly improve the job quality and productivity of professionals in the future.”


Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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