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Over 100 employers are offering placements at the three-day event at Dubai World Trade Centre until Thursday Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Many Emirati school and university graduates at the ongoing ‘Ru’ya, Careers UAE Redefined’ job fair in Dubai say they are seeking financial independence and higher qualifications without taking a gap year.

Hamda Al Shamsi, 22, a graduate in Integrated Strategic Communication from Zayed University, wants to start working as soon as possible. “I’m looking for a job that will offer stability – be it in the government or private sector. I want a job that offers a great working environment where I can grow in my career. My aim is also to attain a Master’s degree that will make me completely financially independent.”

Hamda has applied for a number of “interesting” job profiles at the three-day fair, which ends on Thursday at Dubai World Trade Centre. Once she is on her career track, she also wants to pursue her passion and take it to the next level for the benefit of the larger community.

Her friend Meera Jassim, 21, who just completed her graduation in graphic designing, also from Zayed University, has similar aspirations. “I think the career fair has opened doors to many fresh graduates like us. I cannot wait to start working and put my education into good practice. My family and the UAE leaders encourage each and every one of us to be independent and this is my personal goal as well,” she said.

Aligning studies with job market

High school graduates and friends Mohammed Al Nassri, 19, and Ahmed Al Baloochi, 21, are on the threshold of enrolling into university for higher studies.

Al Nassri said the career fair has been very encouraging. “We got a first-hand feel of the job market in the UAE for Emiratis. We hear about things but to come down here and meet employers has been very informative,” he added.

Al Baloochi said meeting potential employers also helped him to decide on his university studies. “Now that I am seeing the jobs that interest me, I would like to upscale my skill set by pursuing my higher studies along those lines,” he added.

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This year's theme for the annual job fair for UAE citizens is 'The Future of Work' Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Moodi Marzook, 22, and her friend, Ayesha Ahli, 22, who have both studied Information Security Systems from the University of Dubai, said they met several potential employers at the fair on Wednesday. “We have a niche specialisation and we are so glad to come to the fair to meet potential job providers. This is crucial as we are enthusiastic to make a positive difference to our nation. We are proud to be led by great leaders who support and encourage us to be educated and be independent. I cannot wait to start working,” said Moodi.

Over 100 employers are offering placements at the fair, being held under the theme ‘The Future of Work’.

After a successful first day at Sheikh Saeed Halls 1, 2 and 3 – including the announcement that Emirates Group has 500 vacancies to be filled by Emiratis – day two of the event saw thousands more Emirati youths benefit from the varied networking opportunities and advice platforms.

Student contest

With more inspirational talks from talented Emiratis, the second day’s agenda also saw the sustainability-focussed competition ‘Upcycle and Design’ get underway.

With sustainability a key theme for this year’s edition, the competition, in partnership with Al-Futtaim IKEA, is challenging students to upcycle a piece of IKEA furniture. A total of 20 students from four schools in the UAE are now working on their creations, which will be put to a judging panel on the final day of the event.

With prizes for first, second and third place, the winning students will also have their designs showcased at IKEA and the chance to visit the company’s head office to understand more about a role within the company. The judging panel will include key representatives from Al-Futtaim IKEA, including Carla Klumpenaar, GM Marketing, Communication, Interior Design at IKEA UAE, Qatar, Oman and Egypt.

Emiratisation strategy

Asma Alsharif, AVP, Sustainable Development, Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “Following an incredibly successful first day, we were blown away by the continued support of our exhibiting partners and attendees. As we collectively look to enhance our efforts towards the UAE Government’s Emiratisation strategy, it was brilliant to see thousands more curious Emirati youths join us at Ru’ya, Careers UAE Redefined 2022. We hope they received valuable advice and learnt more about the career paths available to them, helping to shape their successful futures and inspire them to turn their passions into careers.”

With the exhibitors set to return for the final day on Thursday, job seekers can expect more sessions and talks under the ‘Be’ theme, from “talented Emiratis who took a bold approach to their employment opportunities”. The winners of the ‘The Next You’ entrepreneurship competition, ‘Upcycle & Design’ competition and ‘Top-coder’ best video game will also be announced.