Complex Made Simple

Dubai doing its best not to miss out on $15bn in talent revenues

The UAE has fewer than 2 million Emirati citizens along with about 8 million expatriates and it’s no secret Dubai’s eagerness to attract more professionals.

But according to the global research company Korn Ferry Institute, the UAE faces a talent shortage of high-skilled workers. Left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion, worldwide in unrealized annual revenues, according to a new Korn Ferry report, with the UAE itself missing out on more than $15 billion.

The UAE government hopes the new visa rules can attract more talented foreigners to close the gap, where foreigners are now allowed to own 100% of businesses in the emirates.

The country also reformed its visa process, giving foreigners up to 10 years of permanent residency.

The question is where does Dubai rank compared to other cities or countries with attracting talent?

Read: Businesses prioritize finding and keeping talent in 2018

Attracting pros

The Reason Why Berlin site referred to a report called Decoding Global Talent 2018 by the Boston Consulting Group which found a decline in the desire to work abroad. Of the 50 most populous countries in the survey, only 7 show a significantly greater interest in mobility now versus 2014. The number of respondents showing a willingness to emigrate to another country dropped from 64% in 2014 to 57% today.

BCG advises companies to take a closer look at where people want to work, what they want in a job, and where to find talent possessing the skills they need.

Dubai ranks 6th globally as a top city for professionals, according to Statista, sourcing BCG.

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IMD world Talent Ranking

The IMD World Talent Ranking 2018 has ranked the UAE 26th globally and 2nd in the Middle East region, as published by UAE daily Gulf News.

IMD is an independent business school.

UAE’s performance this year saw an increase in 12 different indicators and sub-indicators according to the fifth edition of the report.

Globally, Switzerland maintained its number one position for the fifth consecutive year, closely followed by Denmark and Norway, Austria and the Netherlands respectively.

The UAE ranks 4th globally in the availability of skills and competencies in the talent pool. Additionally, the country ranks 5th worldwide in the Appeal index, which measures the extent to which a country taps into the overseas talent pool.

“The UAE’s performance saw an improvement in a number of indicators of the World Competitiveness Talent Ranking 2018. This is a clear indication to the fact that the UAE is increasingly attracting talent and skills from around the world,” said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

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Attracting global investors

Dubai remains a magnet for global foreign investors, especially in new age sectors such as e-commerce, AI, blockchain and fintech as the emirate recorded 26% increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of 2018, reaching $4.8bn, according to Khaleej Times.

The number of FDI projects surged 40% year-on-year to 248 during H1 2018, and the emirate ranked 3rd globally in the number of greenfield FDI projects, according to the Financial Times, accounting for 64%t of total FDI projects in the first half of 2018.

Most of the foreign direct investment came from the US, India, Thailand, Spain and the UK.

Dubai’s Land Department (DLD’s) latest report covering the period from the beginning of 2018 to 31st August said 1000 investors in real estate housing projects poured in through 900 transactions, a total value of over $3.2bn.

In the 2017 Global Power City Index, which rates nearly 50 cities according to their “magnetism” or power to attract enterprises and human capital from around the world, Dubai was ranked the most powerful city in the Middle East and 23rd place globally, ahead of some popular destinations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.