People gather to apply for jobs at the 16th UAE Career Fair at DWTC (File photo) Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Opportunities for jobseekers in the UAE are likely to improve in the coming New Year, with companies expected to increase their headcounts over the next few months.

According to the recently released Cooper Fitch 2019 Salary Guide, hiring in the UAE will likely increase by 10 to 15 per cent in 2019.

However, those who are hoping for an increase in monthly incomes could end up disappointed. “We are not expecting any significant increase in salary ranges in 2019,” noted Trefor Murphy of Cooper Fitch.

He said that oil prices are likely to remain steady in 2019 and that the gross domestic product (GDP) will be approximately 4 per cent, although there are expectations that the figure could go as high as five to six per cent.

Murphy said they do foresee an improvement in employment positions for next year compared to the previous years, which have seen significant restructuring in many organisations, particularly in the banking sector.

“With the continual drive to the Emirates’ Vision 2021, we see the need for improvements in economic reforms,” said Murphy.

“At the moment, oil contributes to around 35 per cent of the UAE government revenues. As 2021 approaches, we see the Emirates focusing on human capital to support its diversification and generate better revenue.”

“Also, as part of its vision, the introduction of VAT in 2018 has brought diversity to the country’s economic revenue streams and also encouraged transparency for businesses.”

Other analysts had earlier said that business conditions in Dubai have already shown signs of improvement, with some companies already expanding their payrolls.

The latest Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index showed that firms in the non-oil private sector improved strongly in November after a slump a month earlier.

According to Michael Gilmore, managing partner of headhunting firm Jordan Forde, companies in the construction industry registered an increase in hiring in recent months.

“Expo 2020 is creating an increasing demand for construction professionals on the delivery side, as we are entering the build stage of 2020,” Gilmore said.

“2018 has been the most competitive year that we have seen in over a decade. Hence, the huge demand for sales and marketing candidates. Companies cannot sell without a good marketing strategy and cannot increase revenue without a good sales team.”