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UAE – Employment levels rising across region

13 September 2013

UAE recruitment levels are steadily increasing as employers look to grow their workforces. The country’s enduring image as a ‘safe haven’ has boosted employment numbers, according to the Gulf News.

Christopher Greaves, Managing Director at recruitment consultancy Hays, Gulf Region, reported to the Gulf News that he had seen an increase in hiring activity and hiring intentions throughout 2013. “In the first half to June we saw a healthy increase in job activity in the UAE.”

Mr Greaves also said that the increase had become a sustained trend in the first eight and a half months of 2013.

Despite a steady increase in recruitment levels compared to the same periods in 2012, Mr Greaves said that he was surprised by the slightly above-trend increase through July and August. Adding that this may have been due to this year’s timing of Ramadan.

Gareth Clayton, Director at recruitment consultancy Charterhouse Middle East, reported to the Gulf News that there had been strong recruitment trends and volumes throughout 2013. “Demand levels are strong and consistent, whilst showing a good improvement on the recessionary period of the past few years.”

Mr Clayton said the growth in recruitment demand appears to be driven by renewed investment confidence within property development boosted by Dubai’s “safe haven” status.

Mr Greaves said there was no doubt that recent “regional difficulties” had enhanced the perception of Dubai as a safe place to people.

Mr Greaves said no specific industry was experiencing a noticeable recruitment drive, and that there was “broad base” growth. “The construction sector was showing strong sides, while recruitment in healthcare was buoyant due to new facilities and demand for medical staff.”

Mr Greaves added that the drive to hire nationals, particularly in Abu Dhabi, had also boosted recruitment numbers. However, he continued, there had been a noticeable focus on hiring human resources staff. This was an indication of organisational growth due to an increase in staff headcount, he said.

Mr Clayton agreed with Mr Greaves, stating that demand appeared consistent across disciplines and functions that his company deals with. He said that growth was most apparent within areas of construction, supply chain, technology, and sales based recruitment. “Areas of retail, hospitality and logistics seem to be the very buoyant and confident with regards to growth.”

Mr Clayton said despite the property development sector rebounding the project pipeline hasn’t yet filtered through to the build and contracting phases of the recruitment lifecycle.

Mr Clayton said recruitment in the UAE is not back to the dizzy heights of 2007 and 2008, and Mr Greaves concurred. 

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