Dubai: After a prolonged slump, recruitment activity in the UAE started to pick up in the last quarter of the year, further strengthening expectations of a rebound in the job market in 2017.

Recent online job postings show that the demand for new staff has increased across various industries.  Companies that are posting increases in hiring are those that invest in  information technology, banking and marketing, with applicants in demand ranging from IT developers to research and data analysts and marketing and communication professionals.

“The jobs [being offered] are leaning towards technology. This is a result of the increase in public reliance on technology and application-based products,” said Adham Saleh, CEO of EZHeights, which released the latest hiring trends.

“Also, as Dubai is fast becoming a smart city, with many technology companies, it makes sense that these sectors are increasing in employee demand.”

American tech giant Apple has recently opened new vacancies for applicants in UAE. Newly opened positions include managers, service specialists and inventory specialists, among many others.

EZHeights noted that demand for employees across different industries in UAE increased by 30 per cent in the fourth quarter of the year compared to the same period last year. “[We have] been seeing a steady increase in the number of posts from employers since late 2016 and is expected to continue into 2017,” added Saleh.

The UAE job market had been sluggish in the past year, as companies reduced payroll numbers to cope with the impact of low oil prices.

Hiring by organisations invested in engineering, construction, real estate, IT and chemicals witnessed a negative growth in 2016. According to the Morgan McKinley UAE Employment monitor,  the number of jobs on offer in UAE dropped by 9 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

However, recent reports have highlighted a positive outlook for the labour market next year. According to Emirates NBD, jobs growth accelerated to a four-month high in November, as several companies are requiring extra manpower to cater to new projects.

More job openings are expected in the UAE next year, considering the number of projects, including those related to Expo 2020, that are slated to open soon. Future vacancies  will most likely fall under hospitality, aviation and telecommunications sectors, according to EZHeights.

LinkedIn’s separate analysis, however, showed that the highest priority roles next year will be pertaining to operations, sales and engineering.

“The demand for operations, sales and engineering talent is so prevalent that recruiting teams in [the region] have to start thinking more strategically about how to find and recruit these talent pools,” said Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn talent solutions for growth markets, southern Europe, Middle East and North Africa.