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05 December 2023

Jobs in GCC: The Top 5 cities

By Shuchita Kapur

Looking for a job? Borrow a jumper - it's currently cold in Dubai!

According to experts, cities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the most vibrant places for employment opportunities in the Gulf. 

These may be far from the best of times, but they are no longer the worst. Overall hiring in the region may be a sluggish, but a number of cities in the region look a lot more promising than the rest when it comes to increasing headcount in companies, say experts.

“Usually this question is distorted by the preferences of people and not the needs of the markets," Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase told this news website.

"Thus, although the biggest opportunities exist in Saudi Arabia, that specific market proves to face challenges in attracting talent that prefers to reside in the UAE," she said.

“The UAE is on the top of the list of the GCC countries that people would prefer to look for a job.  Increasing Emiratisation plans though make it tougher, especially in the governmental and semi-governmental sectors that are the ones spending most at the moment,” Sakellariou added.

According to Shane Phillips, Mena Regional Practice Leader, Financial & Professional Services at Stanton Chase best cities for job hunting are Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha.

“If in general, [we see] across all sectors, then Saudi Arabia (Riyadh predominantly) following by Qatar [Doha] and Abu Dhabi,” said Peter Greaves, Executive Vice-President at DHR International.

Agrees Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates. Saudi, Qatar and Abu Dhabi are his picks too.

According to the latest Monster Employment Index, online job opportunities in the UAE saw a 36 per cent jump from December 2010.

This year-over-year growth (from December 2010 to December 2011) is robust and online recruitment activity in the country edged up 4 per cent between November and December of last year. 

Opportunities grew for five of the seven countries monitored by the Index.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (up 56 per cent) maintained its position charting the most significant annual growth among countries.

Kuwait registered a 39 per cent jump. Bahrain (up 13 per cent) registered its first positive month-on-month growth since July’11.

Qatar, on the other hand, saw a -1 per cent decline and Oman (down 12 per cent) recorded the most notable drop in online recruitment activity between December’10 and December’11, as per the figures released by Monster.

“Major economies like KSA, the UAE and Kuwait are exhibiting robust double digit annual growth.” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, Monster.com (India/Middle East/South East Asia).