Dubai: The healthcare sector in the UAE, which has been steadily growing on the back of high population growth, rapid urbanisation and rising personal incomes has stepped up its recruitment drive, with a number of hospitals, clinics and other medical providers now looking to hire more nurses.

In a new survey conducted by a UAE-based job listing website, it was found that six in 10 healthcare companies (63 per cent) in the UAE are keen on hiring additional medical staff in the next three months to meet the growing demand for healthcare services.

A quick browse online would show that companies such as Burjeel Hospital, Al Bilal Medical Centre and Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah and MedClinic Middle East are looking to expand their payrolls or fill vacancies for nurses.

Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi has recently recruited 10 to 15 per cent more nurses this year and is looking to hire 15 per cent more in the coming months. The company is set to open new facilities within the year to meet the growing demand.

“The increasing demand for quality healthcare has a direct impact on medical staffing requirement. Also, Burjeel as a brand is growing so fast that new facilities are set to open in the months to come. These combined factors underline the necessity to hire more nurses in order to serve the healthcare needs of the community,” Celin Verma Walter, assistant director of nursing, Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News.

Colliers International said population growth is one of the key factors driving demand for healthcare in Dubai alone, with the city’s population forecast to reach 3.5 million by 2020. Dubai is also seeing an increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases and many companies are introducing compulsory healthcare insurance.

“[Dubai] has one of the fastest population growth rates in the world coupled with rising wealth levels. Due to rapid urbanization and unhealthy lifestyles of a large number of the population in Dubai, this has led to an increase in chronic diseases previously uncommon to the region,” said Mansoor Ahmed, director of healthcare, education at Colliers International.

With more medical facilities opening up and customers seeking healthcare, nurses are becoming in demand. The latest Monster Employment Index released on Tuesday showed healthcare practitioners belong to the “top growth occupations” in the UAE, with online vacancies in the medical field increasing by eight per cent in February 2015 from a year ago.

A Middle East Job Index survey showed that 63 per cent of companies in the healthcare industry intend to recruit new staff in the next three months. About three in 10 employers (35 per cent) are looking to fill junior-level positions.

Companies are looking for applicants with medical experience (56 per cent) and managerial ability (31 per cent). Jobseekers with good communication skills in both English and Arabic are being sought after by 62 per cent of healthcare employers, while 54 per cent prefer a team player and 51 per cent want an individual with good leadership skills.

“In general, there is a positive outlook for hiring in the UAE with 59 per cent of employers looking to hire in the next tree months, and 59 per cent looking to hire for either mid-level or junior-level roles,” said Suhail Masri, an expert.

“The UAE has always been a very attractive place to work and it attracts people from all over the world. With a myriad of expatriates migrating to the UAE, it is natural for the number of healthcare institutions to increase, “ said Masri. “The need and development of healthcare facilities in the UAE has led to the increase in demand for nurses as well.”