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UAE’s job market, job seekers and future of work

Are employment opportunities coming back in the UAE? Are UAE students ready for the future of work? We answer these questions and more here

Hiring in the UAE has briefly returned to pre-pandemic levels having seen a 9.5% year on year increase in October 72% of UAE students believe their education and personal attributes will enable them to get a job anywhere 41% increase in number of employees across EMEA who see remote working as a prerequisite rather than a perk

Are employment opportunities coming back in the UAE? Are UAE students ready for the future of work?

We answer these questions and more here. 

UAE Job market 

Data shows there are pockets of hiring growth, with 14 million jobs available on LinkedIn’s platform globally, particularly in healthcare and technology roles. 

Hiring in the UAE has briefly returned to pre-pandemic levels having seen a 9.5% year on year increase in October, according to the social site.  

The UAE has a range of growth industries including the energy sector, tax accountancy, finance, and real estate.

Sectors such as government utilities, businesses involved in IT services, and the FMCG sector have also increased their hiring.

According to a survey by Robert Half, the global recruitment consultancy, the sectors most affected by the pandemic are construction, retail sector, hotels, and restaurants, where 48,000 jobs are lost due to CVOID-19.

LinkedIn has identified 10 jobs that have experienced steady growth over the last several years and will continue to grow in demand by employers in the future, including Digital Marketer, Graphic Designer, and Data Analyst. LinkedIn data is forecasting that the technology sector will add 150 million jobs globally in the next five years.

To help people who are looking for new job opportunities, LinkedIn is rolling out the beta version of their Career Explorer tool globally that match jobs to people and their skills.  

LinkedIn’s #OpenToWork frame around job seekers’ photos has been downloaded by more than 3 million members globally and results have shown that these members receive on average 40% more InMails from recruiters.

Read: Is it ok for informal emojis to make their way into business and the workplace?

Job market confidence of UAE, regional students

Students in the UAE and wider region are confident that the skills they learn at university will help them compete in the global jobs market, according to a new study conducted by KPMG and The Talent Enterprise in collaboration with Dubai International Academic City.

72% believe their education and personal attributes will enable them to get a job anywhere in the world. The same percentage recommended that universities increase the provision of career guidance and professional support.

Nearly 8 in 10 young people are excited about what the future holds, with 88% believing the best is yet to come. 

However, as the research was concluded in March 2020, a follow-up study is underway to gauge how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected youth sentiment.

With the UAE set for more space missions, STEM-related careers across science, engineering, technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence are popular pathways, with 21% interested in these fields. 

Entrepreneurship is a popular choice for 1 in 10 youths and only 56% have a clear plan of what they are going to do when they graduate.    

Exclusive: Today’s UAE recruitment norms likely exclude tuition and/or housing allowance

The Future of the workplace

According to Savills, a leading global real estate advisor, office space has evolved from the ‘cubical’ set-up, to ‘open plan’ desk space, into the more ‘flexible’ and ‘co-working’ environment. 

Richard Paul, Head of Professional Services and Strategic Consultancy at Savills Middle East quoted a recent, EMEA wide, FiT survey from Savills showing 89% of respondents believing that physical office space will remain a necessity for companies to operate successfully. 

“The office won’t disappear, but it will likely change. A change that will look to instill a work-life balance, with a renewed focus on physical and mental health as well as productivity and efficiency,” Paul said.

Ketan Trehan, Associate Sales Head, Dubai, at The Executive Centre said: “Companies are demanding shorter and more flexible lease options … to mitigate risks in the short and medium-term, increase efficiencies and adapt quickly to the changing environment. Strategic location, amenities, and the quality of the development still play a part, but now employee well-being, collaboration spaces, and technology are playing an ever-increasing role in decision making.”

New research by VMware, a leading innovator in enterprise software, has revealed a 41% increase in the proportion of employees across EMEA who see remote working as a prerequisite rather than a perk, rising to 53% among Gen X workers.

64% see organizations as realizing the benefits of remote work but are concerned that company leadership and management are not offering their employees greater choice and flexibility.

Since working remotely, 76% of employees believe personal connections with colleagues have improved, 66% feel more empowered to speak up in video conference meetings, and 69% say their stress levels have improved. 

Employee morale (30%) and productivity (34%) have also seen an increase. 

“The future of work has arrived in the form of a distributed workforce, bringing with it, tangible business benefits, from productivity and employee morale to greater collaboration and enhanced recruitment opportunities,” said Kristine Dahl Steidel, vice president, EUC EMEA, VMware. 

41% of decision-makers worry their team won’t stay on task when working remotely. This indicates a need for a top-down shakeup of traditional management thinking and practices.

Organizations are moving more applications to the cloud which is driving new information silos. The anywhere organizations’ device mix is increasingly heterogeneous as they adopt more flexible BYOD arrangements. As a result, every new device connected to an enterprise network represents a possible attack vector for would-be hackers.