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United Arab Emirates – Professional jobs opportunities rise

16 August 2013

Professional job opportunities across the United Arab Emirates increased by +6% between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, according to a new survey by recruitment specialist Morgan McKinley. Recruitment activity in the professional jobs market increased by +2% between Q1 2013 and Q2 2013; there were 6,189 jobs recorded in Q1 and 6,310 in Q2. This represents a +6% rise compared to Q2 2012 when vacancy levels stood at 5,861.

Professionals looking for new positions in Q2 2013 totalled 32,760. This represents a +3% increase on the 31,898 that were seeking work in Q1, and a +18% rise on the 27,790 jobseekers who were searching for new job opportunities in Q2 2012.

As financial institutions begin to invest in infrastructure at levels last seen in 2008, the UAE’s ‘building boom’ is having a positive effect on employment levels within the construction sector, as well as the industries that supply it.

Trefor Murphy, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UAE commented: “As borrowing costs fall and international liquidity rushes back, Dubai in particular has witnessed the revival of development projects that were shelved during the financial crisis such as the expansion of the Business Bay Canal.”

“In fact, last year the UAE ousted Saudi Arabia as the biggest construction market in the Gulf with $16.2 billionn worth of contracts awarded in 2012, +4% more than the oil-rich kingdom. This has created demand for architects, surveyors, civil engineers, and project managers. And as demand for both commercial and domestic property continues to climb, I don’t anticipate this trend reversing,” he added.

‘Emiratisation’ is a nationalisation programme introduced by the UAE Government to ensure that companies recruit a specified quota of locals, which has had a direct impact on sourcing talent locally. Specifically, the initiative has led to opportunities arising for graduates who are UAE nationals.

Mr Murphy added: “Where roles do not require Arabic however, it can be more challenging for employers to factor this legislation into their hiring decisions. This is an area where we have been providing assistance to many of our clients.”

The increase in professionals open to moving job roles is a result of generally improved confidence across the region, with GDP growth at +4% and projected to rise to +6% in 2014.

Mr Murphy noted: “For professional jobs, the UAE remains an employers’ market. But for the first time in four or five years, hiring managers are looking externally to source the best talent and this positive outlook is certainly filtering down to jobseekers.”

“We don’t expect to see any significant fall in the number of available jobs over Q3, but the market is likely to become more steady, as business confidence and renewed investment continue to gradually climb,” he added.

To view the report’s infographic, please click below. 

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