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Optimism high in UAE job market

Tawdheef job fair opens with many firms on the lookout for Emirati talent

  • Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research,acompanied by otheImage Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
  • Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty, Chief Operating Offier, Global, UAEExchange, talks to an Emirati job sekker, with otImage Credit: ABDUL RAHMAN/GULF NEWS
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: More than 60 per cent of organisations are looking to recruit over the next six months, and this optimism in the job market is set to grow, a representative of a leading recruitment portal said in the capital on Tuesday.

At present, there is great demand in the UAE for applicants with skill sets relevant to the telecommunication, engineering and marketing sectors, Peggy Chamoun, marketing director at told Gulf News.

“On average, we register about 9,000 new positions across the Middle East every day, and we have seen optimism in the job market increase every quarter after 2009. While employers still value skill and experience over other factors, more and more UAE firms are also looking to train and recruit Emiratis,” Peggy said.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the three-day Tawdheef Recruitment Show in Abu Dhabi, which was inaugurated on Tuesday by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The annual event, which is in its seventh edition, saw scores of residents meet employers with hopes of acquiring jobs or advancing their career prospects. This year, more than a hundred organisations are looking to fill nearly 2,500 vacancies.

With 2013 having been declared by the UAE government as the year of Emiratisation, many recruiters at Tawdheef 2013 are hoping to attract Emirati applicants. This includes Emirates Aluminium with 250 vacancies, Union National Bank with 201 vacancies and Abu Dhabi Airports Company Ershaad with 30 positions.

Public sector and semi-government organisations have a strong presence at the show this year, including the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation with 500 positions. Show organisers said however that more and more private companies have begun to look at Tawdheef as a channel for filling vacancies, especially those that call for Emirati applicants. For example, oilfield services provider Al Mansoori Specialised Engineering has 1,000 positions on offer.

On the first day, job applicants came from across the UAE with differing levels of education and professional experience.

Hind Hussain, a 19-year-old Emirati university student from Abu Dhabi, said she was hoping to be employed in a part-time position.

“I am most interested in the aviation sector, and would prefer a public sector position because these offer good salaries and excellent working conditions,” Hind said.

Indicating a positive trend for the labour market, many Emiratis were also avidly searching for positions within the private sector.

“I would like to be hired in the private sector, as this would help me gain experience and obtain the necessary work skills at present,” said Aliah Al Hantooby, a 32-year-old Emirati from Sharjah.

According to most applicants, skills appeared to be the most important criteria in being selected for a job.

“I retired from the military about five years ago, and have been applying to companies at Tawdheef since then. But I have not yet been offered a job. I have a diploma in electrical engineering, but perhaps my skills are outdated. So I am willing to take up any desk job where I can develop them,” said H.A.H, a 35-year-old Emirati from Abu Dhabi.

Employers also called for applicants to opt for university studies and professional training.

“Most of the applicants so far have been secondary school graduates. We are however looking for people with more experience and training,” said Abdullah Rohuma, a corporate human capital manager at Al Mansoori Specialised Engineering.