Jobs are back in Dubai after the recession of 2008 and if expert opinion is anything to go by, the city’s share of total jobs being created in the GCC is likely to go up.
“What goes up must come down (and then back up again?). Perhaps more than any other economy in the Gulf, the Dubai job market is more aligned to the fate of global markets than its regional cousins.
"The fallout from the global downturn was perhaps more felt in Dubai, but although the global outlook still remains sluggish we have seen some signs of life in the Dubai employment market.
"This is likely due to its hub status in the region as a whole benefiting its’ service sectors; the development of a burgeoning SME sector and confidence returning to the market as a whole post restructuring,” Toby Simpson, Managing Director, The Gulf Recruitment Group told Emirates 24|7.
According to recruitment analysts, Dubai continues to be an attractive destination for human talent and a preferred choice among the expat community.
“Dubai is still a very active market, and most companies need, one way or another, to have some presence here as well.
"Although the overall market is not very strong in general – since companies and markets keep a stand-by approach, waiting to see the reactions of the US and the European markets – Dubai has a good share in the human talent market,” Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase explained to this website.
Throwing light on future hiring plans in the city, a poll by Bayt.com reveals that majority of employers plan to increase their headcount, indicating an increase in the number of jobs.
“Our recent survey reveals that 63 per cent of UAE employers are planning to hire throughout the year,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales at Bayt.com.
According to Gulf Talent, Dubai’s share of regional recruitment activity has started to increase after two years of slowdown – due to a combination of jobs growth and staff turnover.
The data shows 37 per cent of the companies in the UAE increased their headcount in 2011 as compared to 22 per cent the year before but this was still lower than other countries in the Gulf.
“UAE had a significant rise in job creation, but it was still much lower than most Gulf countries,” as per Gulf Talent findings.
Almost all Gulf countries had higher rates of job creation compared to 2010, states Gulf Talent.
The data of Gulf Talent shows that Saudi Arabia had the highest rate of job creation due to its strong economic growth and high government spending. A good 62 per cent companies hired in 2011. In comparison, 55 per cent companies hired in 2010.
Oman saw a marginal decline in 2011 over 2010. Last year 57 per cent companies hired, one per cent below the previous year (56 per cent).
In Kuwait and Qatar, 51 per cent companies hired last year. Bahrain had almost no job creation in 2011. Only 8 per cent companies hired last year in comparison to 23 per cent in 2010.
Dubai job seekers take your pick
There’s a ray of hope for job seekers in the UAE, with recruitment agencies marking an optimistic forecast for 2012, based on a positive recording for the first quarter of the year.
And it’s the medical and financial sectors that are much in demand. “There’s still some way to go, but the first quarter of 2012 has seen the Dubai market pick up quite a lot, while Abu Dhabi has slowed down,” elaborated James Curtis, Director Charterhouse Partnership, a leading recruitment firm in the UAE.
In fact, he claimed there’s also a “push from the other emirates, increasingly from Fujairah, where a new mall opened recently”. Throwing light into which jobs are the most sought-after, an agent from the Career Jet employment site claimed that the “medical sector workers are currently in high demand”, and Curtis chipped in about how “finance has (become) one of the busiest sectors through the first quarter of 2012, while hospitality and retail are also in high demand”.
While the Career Jet official listed out “nurses, dentists, drivers, mechanics, airport workers, financial analysts, surveyors, aerospace supervisors/ inspectors/managers, accountants/auditors/logistics workers,” among the toppers in the job market today, Curtis catalogued, “interior design/fit-out, facilities management, finance (mid-level), professional support/administration, and claims management and technical sales” to his toppers’ list.
The most-sought-after sector gets further divided into what’s projected by the job-seekers and recruiters. Curtis picked management roles as the most popular among the candidates, “as it gives them enough opportunity for career progress”. The CareerJet official added “public sector - medical positions such as nurses, dentists; military and security positions; oil and gas industry positions; and construction and transportation sector workers such as drivers and mechanics” to the list. And, from the recruiters’ point, it’s the highly-qualified profiles like financial analysts, IT experts and engineers who are much in demand.
Commenting on the other sectors, Curtis added, “Construction is still slow, however on the flip side, the ever increasing real estate market means there are opportunities in facilities management. Professional support, sales & marketing have also shown good growth”. If there’s an industry that isn’t quite a topper, it’s the Oil and Gas, only because it’s a “specialised market. I wouldn’t say there are few-takers, however, there are absolute “prerequisites from clients for this and other highly technical areas,” he explained.
The salary, which ranges “greatly from anywhere 12K upwards”, couldn’t be singled out as the only factor that determined the popularity of these job titles.
“There’s a demand in the market for these jobs,” Curtis explained. Some experts even stressed that under the current economic climate “majority of advertised job positions do not stipulate the exact salary. Nowadays, companies negotiate it based on experience and qualification of the candidate”.