UAE job growth picks up
The UAE has witnessed a strong start to the year in terms of growth in the number of online job postings
As companies across the UAE prepare their workforce for a future that will increasingly be impacted by the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, experts have noted that investments in human capital will continue to grow, with the UAE continuing to lead the Middle East region.
The dedication to investing in talent and new technologies has also had a positive impact on job creation. Latest Monster Employment Index (MEI) showed that the UAE registered a 42 per cent year-on-year growth in online job postings in the first quarter of 2019 — the highest growth in the region. The Emirate has long been recognised as an attractive hub for both entrepreneurs and international investors, and the Business Registration and Licensing section at the Department of Economic Development in Dubai has disclosed that 2,459 new licences were issued in March alone and generated an additional 9,661 jobs in the UAE.
Dr Abdul Rahman Al Manan Al Awar, director-general of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), noted that keeping up with the rapid technological developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been a major challenge for many of the world's governments and institutions.
"We are indeed very fortunate in the UAE, as our wise leadership has given special attention to the rapid technological development and its importance since its emergence. It has also utilised this technology in the development of organisations and work cultures. Similarly, the UAE has invested a lot in upgrading the skills of individuals and talents while at the same time keeping a close watch on the latest developments and changes taking place in the job market. Owing to these factors, the UAE's job market currently serves as an ideal model for investment in human resources," he said.
Dr Abdul Salam Al Madani, chairman, Index Holding, added: "The UAE, in line with the vision of our wise leadership, has undertaken significant efforts towards the development, advancement and upgradation of skills of HR professionals as well as state entities and institutions in the industry that best serves our collective goals and aspirations through many new strategies and initiatives such as providing a supportive and stable work environment and offering decent living standards for everyone."
The results of the Michael Page Middle East Job Market Survey for first quarter of 2019 also painted a rosy picture of the ME job market. It found that 64 per cent of ME professionals are positive about the current job market situation, while 80 per cent feel that the future job market situation will get better in the next six months. In addition, 72 per cent of ME professionals said that they would like to ideally live and work in the Middle East for more than five years.
Leith Ramsay, managing director at Michael Page Middle East, noted that there is more talent on the ground committing their careers and long term future to the region than ever before, which is why a tax free salary is no longer enough to attract and retain the best people. "Whereas previously a salary increase when changing employers was expected to be around 10-15 per cent - sometimes more in certain sectors - candidates are now wanting more detail about career development plans and organisation culture, which also includes an approach to maintaining a flexible work environment."
Speaking on how the UAE has witnessed a strong start to the year in terms of the remarkable growth in the overall number of online job postings, Abhijeet Mukherjee, chief executive officer of Monster.com, APAC & Middle East region, noted that the growth is a direct result of the efforts to position the UAE as a global business hub and integrate more UAE citizens in the workforce.
"The government has put in place plans to make the private sector more appealing for national talent, including the consolidation of the public sector and private sector holidays; and with the recently announced plans to create 30,000 more jobs for Emiratis in the private sector this year, the recruitment market will be further stimulated. Such initiatives are a great way to ensure sustainable growth in the economy which is a key objective for the UAE. With these developments, there are exciting times ahead, especially for local talent in the UAE private sector."
In 2018, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation created 20,225 jobs for Emirati citizens compared to 6,862 the previous year, in line with the National Employment Agenda and Emiratisation Acceleration programs. Several organisations in the private sector have also played a pivotal role in Emiratization efforts by organising career fairs aimed at UAE nationals and offering exclusive career development programmes.
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