Dubai jobs: Demand for software developers skyrockets


Dubai - The increased demand has created a short supply of talented developers.


Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 12 Jul 2021, 4:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 12 Jul 2021, 4:49 PM

The demand for coders, or software developers, in Dubai has rocketed in recent years.

This is due to the emergence of many technology startups and an inflow in big tech firms who want to make Dubai their headquarters. There is also a strong push by the UAE for new-age technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, automation, and e-commerce.

Senior executives of recruitment and management consultants in Dubai say that businesses in Dubai are increasingly hiring coders, shifting away from their previous practice of outsourcing the roles of coders or computer programmers.

However, smaller firms find it challenging to recruit coders and thus hire them on a project basis.

The career map for coders usually starts as a junior developer, senior developer, specialist developer/lead architect before going into management roles.

Earlier this week, Dubai announced that it had teamed up with the world’s top technology giants such as IBM, Cisco, Google, HP, LinkedIn, Nvidia, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft to train and attract 100,000 programmers to set up 1,000 major digital companies within five years.

The emirate will also grant Golden Visas to 100,000 entrepreneurs, owners of enterprises, and startups specialised in coding.

“There has been a growing demand for coders in Dubai with the changing business landscape. The top coding jobs in the UAE tend to be web developer, computer systems analyst, computer engineer, mobile app developer, software engineer, data scientist and technical software writer,” said Vijay Gandhi, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Korn Ferry, a global management consulting firm.

He said it is common for firms to outsource projects to build their IT infrastructure, but with increasing cybersecurity and data privacy needs, companies are increasingly hiring internally to develop and maintain their software architecture.

Ruwise Sheriff, consultant for technology at Michael Page Middle East, said the demand for strong technical software development professionals is steadily increasing, with many companies in the UAE digitalising as many processes as they can.

“The increased demand has created a short supply of talented developers, and this has become a major concern for businesses and teams looking to scale up,” he said.

According to Sheriff, coders are predominantly full-time employees in most organisations in the UAE, but “we are seeing a slow shift in candidates becoming independent freelancers.”

Deepa Sud, CEO, Plum Jobs, said many coders work as freelancers from established and emerging tech countries such as India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, and the Philippines.

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