From an internship to a full-time job with the same organisation is starting to prove easier as UAE/Gulf entities rejig hiring practices. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Starting out as an intern with a UAE or GCC organisation? Then the chances are that you will be absorbed once the internship period runs its course. About 50 per cent of companies are looking to hire from the intern ranks this year while 77 per cent ‘always or sometimes’ have a full-time job to offer after the internship, according to a survey by

It’s the busy time for internship programmes across sectors, and with the added onus of creating opportunities for fresh national graduates. Digital marketing (24 per cent), technology (21 per cent) and customer service (18 per cent) are the top three categories hiring the highest number of interns, followed by HR (15 per cent), accounting, banking and finance (13 per cent) and graphic design (8 per cent).

“Whilst universities prepare the job-ready new talent and give them the skills they need to compete in an increasingly competitive market, companies have a key role in creating jobs, preparing interns for rewarding careers and driving prosperity and innovation across the region,” said Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at

According to the survey, 7 in 10 respondents agreed internships are widely available in the Middle East these days.

Skills needed

Key skills that employers look for when hiring interns are ‘communication and teamwork skills (60 per cent), creativity (13 per cent), research and analytical skills (12 per cent), and time management skills (10 per cent).

“These skills are essential for employment with MENA organizations hiring more interns and working harder to bring them back as employees,” the survey finds. “For organizations, the key benefits of hiring interns include identifying talent for future positions (78 per cent), completing less demanding projects at low cost (8 per cent), quickly filling temporary and seasonal positions (8 per cent), and having extra help for small teams or departments (7 per cent).

Internship roles
63% of potential interns in the survey said their university requires them to complete an internship or any type of practical training. For this reason, 50% would accept an unpaid internship while 50% would choose a paid opportunity only.

Universities also play a crucial role in procuring relevant internships for students by offering job search courses (36%), partnering companies to create more internship programs (36%), organizing on-campus job fairs (16%) and posting internship opportunities on online job sites (12%).