Dubai: Whether you’re actively hunting for a job or happily employed, the latest job trends in the UAE may offer some good news. Payrolls in many companies have continued to expand over the last several months, providing evidence that the local economy is resilient enough to offer new career opportunities for the country’s workforce.
More than 60,000 people were hired across the country between June 2017 and June 2018, the UAE Central Bank stated in a new report. With the additional jobs, the pool of residents who are employed increased from 4.9 million in June 2017 to 5 million in June this year.
The hiring was fuelled mainly by construction, real estate and manufacturing activities.
Construction emerged as the biggest source of vacancies, having employed 1.7 million as of June 2018, followed by businesses in the services sector, with more than 1.1 million workers.
Rounding up the top five sources of jobs were real estate and manufacturing, with 604,000 and 469,700 workers, respectively. Total workers in other sectors were estimated to be around 778,000.
Hiring specialists said more job openings are cropping up in construction than in other sectors, as companies prepare for Dubai’s hosting of Expo 2020.
There has also been an increase in hiring in the services sector, food and beverage and logistics industries.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had recently revised the growth forecast for the UAE, citing that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will now grow 2.91 per cent in 2018 and 3.66 per cent next year. The estimates are higher than the previous forecasts of 1.96 per cent for 2018 and 3.04 per cent for 2019.
Where most jobs are
Total number of employed workers in UAE per industry as of June 2018:
Total number of workers: 1.1 million
Total number of workers: 469,700
Total number of workers: 604,000
Transport, storage and communication
Total number of workers: 359,600
Other sectors: 778,500
“We do see other sectors where hiring for replacement and new jobs is on the rise. Services, food and beverage, logistics are all experiencing a net increase in employment, with new players entering the market constantly in preparation for the Expo 2020 and other such major events in the near future,” Harisha Bhatia, regional director for products at Korn Ferry Middle East and North Africa, told Gulf News.
Bhatia said the UAE economy is still very diverse, with a constantly expanding wealthy population. “Recent decisions by the government on visa regulations will also drive longer-term commitment and planning by expatriate workforce that lives in the country.”
“This is good news for the business and economy where consumption will eventually increase impacting businesses in a positive way and also create more jobs in the economy to fill capacity and capability gaps.”
Hiring trends in construction
Michael Gilmore, managing partner of headhunting firm Jordan Forde, said that while there may be a decrease in hiring in “certain areas,” the employment rate in the construction market is still growing at a “modest rate.”
According to the Jordan Forde “UAE Employment Monitor Highlights,” the number of jobs in the construction market increased further by 2 per cent between June 2018 and September 2018. During the same period, the number of UAE professionals looking to move jobs also increased by 3 per cent.
Within the construction sector, many job openings, about 16 per cent, are for candidates who qualify for roles that fall in a higher category called “C level,” which includes executive officer, chief operations officer and chief development officer. There is also an increase in demand for director of sales and head of marketing candidates.
“We are also noticing that many construction companies are beginning to realise the importance of investing in training for their workforce, resulting in an increase in the demand for L&D (learning and development) professionals,” said Gilmore.
More jobs coming
Gilmore said he expects the employment situation to improve next year, adding that there will be more demand for skilled professionals, including designers, architects and engineers, among others.
“Expo 2020 will see more construction starts with the various country pavilions. There will be an uplift in demand for designers and architects/QS/ civil engineers,” said Gilmore.
“Demand will be for bilingual [Arabic and English] professionals with regional experience and accreditation – surveyors with chartered accreditation, FIDIC engineers, [among others].”
Dubai’s hosting of Expo 2020 is fast approaching and countries who are participating in the event have already started awarding contracts for the setting up of their own pavilions, which will serve as some of the highlights of the trade fair.
The Expo 2020 Bureau announced in September that it is also looking to hire 30,000 volunteers for the mega event.