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Come 2024, the UAE will see a surge in demand for employees in five major sectors – IT, banking and finance, real estate and construction, oil and gas and renewable energy, and tourism and hospitality, says Kasheef Akram, CEO for the Middle East, North Africa and Asia-Pacific of talent acquisition firm Caliberly.

"Information technology is a rapidly growing and dynamic sector in the UAE, with a strong focus on innovation," explains Akram. "The government is committed to developing the UAE into a regional hub for ICT and has invested heavily in infrastructure and education. This has created a strong demand for skilled IT professionals, particularly in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data science, and cybersecurity."

With several initiatives launched in the country to develop AI capabilities, the UAE AI market is expected to touch $1.9 billion (Dh6.97 billion) by 2026 growing at a compound annual rate of 36.2 per cent. “This growth will be driven by the adoption of AI solutions across a range of industries including healthcare, finance and retail, which will require a high number of AI professionals,” he says.

Kasheef Akram, CEO for the Middle East, North Africa and Asia-Pacific of talent acquisition firm Caliberly Image Credit: Supplied

Recruitment is on the rise in the banking and finance sector too. Supported by a robust regulatory framework and a diverse range of financial institutions, Akram says the UAE has consistently demonstrated resilience and adaptability in the global financial landscape, navigating through economic cycles and emerging stronger. “The UAE is at the forefront of adopting financial technologies, embracing digital transformation to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency. It is emerging as a global fintech hub, attracting start-ups and established players to develop innovative financial solutions. With the country exploring the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), it could revolutionise the financial landscape.”

Needless to say, the vibrant sector is seeing a strong demand for skilled professionals including financial and risk analysts, investment bankers, compliance officers, data scientists and fintech experts.

In fact, the demand for employees in all five sectors is high due to the robust growth they have witnessed over the past few years. While this augurs well for the sectors, keeping up with the demand for employees is proving to be a challenge.

“There is a shortage of qualified personnel,” admits Akram. “The UAE's economy has grown rapidly in recent years, creating a high demand for skilled professionals across various industries. This has led to increased competition for talent, particularly in specialised areas. There is also a mismatch between the skills of the available workforce and the requirements of the growing economy.”

The rapid pace of technological advancements and the evolving nature of industries have created a skills gap in the market. Companies are seeking candidates with specialised skills and knowledge, but such candidates are often in short supply.

The quality and diversity of the candidate pool also pose challenges for recruiters. Companies may find it difficult to get candidates with the right blend of technical skills, soft skills, and experience that align with their specific requirements. “They also look for excellent communication skills, problem-solving skills, and an adaptable go-getter attitude, along with energy and confidence,” he explains. “GCC regional work experience adds another feather to the jobseeker’s cap.”

But whether it is banking, information technology or oil and gas and renewable energy, the fact remains that companies struggle to fill vacancies as they seek candidates with the right criteria.

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Fortunately, with specialist tools and an experienced team, as well as expertise in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Levant, Caliberly is well positioned to find the right employee for companies. Caliberly’s AI-powered resume search tool has at its disposal a database of over one million active jobseekers from the UAE and the global market. Moreover, it maintains an impressive industry selection ratio of 3:1 for resumes, which is achieved through talent mapping and headhunting, connecting with the hiring manager and thorough validation of the candidates via an industry-relevant customised assessment process.

But Akram says what sets them apart is their commitment to client education and market intelligence. “We provide new employers and start-ups with insights into the ground realities of the UAE and the Saudi Arabian job market, including average salaries and time to hire. Offering market intelligence free of charge from the first engagement distinguishes us from competitors, eliminating the need for hefty retainer fees and facilitating swift operational expansion for companies.”

With 2024 expected to be a year of continued growth for many sectors, Caliberly's innovative recruitment process is set to allow companies to focus on their expansion while leaving the search for the right staff in its expert hands.

To learn more about Caliberly or get a free consultation, visit