Dubai: Dubai has seen a 30 per cent drop in advertised vacancies, while the rest of the UAE has seen a drop of 23 per cent, according to a recruitment survey.
Gulf Talent, a recruitment agency that conducted the survey, said that "the economic downturn has slowed recruitment activity in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] region significantly, with Dubai in particular, though still retaining a sizeable share."
Previously, the company saw Dubai represent 43 per cent of all jobs in the GCC, but the share has dropped to 30 per cent in the first half of this year.
"There is very little hiring happening right now, in general," Debabrat Mishra, principal and consulting business leader for Middle East at Hewitt Associates, a human resource consultancy firm said.
However, recruiting strong and talented people from the market is "much easier now than it ever was it the market".
He said that head-hunting is equal to hiring right now. "People looking for opportunities because of redundancies in the past and experienced people might be open to switching right now because of lack of opportunities in the organisations that they are in."
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi has seen an increase in advertised vacancies, the numbers going up from 14 per cent of GCC jobs to 23 per cent.
"The UAE overall may have seen an increase in the outflow of expatriates, with 26 per cent of all job applications submitted by UAE residents targeting vacancies in other Gulf countries, compared to just 16 per cent the previous year. Despite the increase, the outward mobility of UAE-based expats remains the lowest in the region, with the majority preferring to remain in the country," it said.
Saudi Arabia has also seen jobs increase from 15 per cent in the first half of 2008 to 20 per cent in the first half of this year.
Across the region, demand for investment professionals, including private equity and portfolio management, fell by 48 per cent in the first half of the year against the same period last year. For administration skills, demand fell by 47 per cent while the demand for marketing skills slid by 46 per cent.
On the other hand, demand for infrastructure-related functions soared by 142 per cent, reflecting massive spending by GCC governments this year on road, railway and airport projects. Demand for audit professionals also increased by 25 per cent, the survey showed.