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More than half of GCC workers surveyed are considering leaving their current employer in 2017
Thousands of new jobs will be created and available for jobseekers in Dubai this year, reckon Dubai-based recruitment consultants. Specifically, firms in IT, telecom, aviation, healthcare and education will continue to hire in coming months as the UAE’s efforts to diversify the economy bear fruit.

“We can expect more recruitment activity in 2017,” says Sanjay Modi, managing director, Monster.com, APAC & Middle East, an employment website. He maintains that there have been substantial investments in various sectors over the past couple of years including IT, healthcare, education and infrastructure in efforts to diversify the UAE economy, leading to new opportunities for UAE jobseekers.

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“We noted a 10 per cent increase in IT sector hiring in 2016. Education and healthcare have seen steady growth in the past year, and are expected to grow at a considerable pace this year,” adds Abbas Ali, vice-president, TASC Outsourcing. He foresees a growing demand for sales personnel, engineers and contact-centre professionals in telecom, a sector that recorded five per cent growth in hiring in 2016.

“The Mena region is very diverse when it comes to the factors that affect the overall quality of living in each city. Our recent studies [show] that the UAE’s job market continues to thrive,” says Suhail Masri, vice-president of Employer Solutions at Bayt.com, an online recruitment specialist.

“Looking ahead, 2017 has already shown to be busy in the first few days of the year. Companies, both local and foreign, are making sounds about growing teams and adding to their existing skillset, says Kate Watson, managing director, Blueprint, a recruitment agency,

Where are the jobs?

Even as the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI) shows a year-on-year decline in terms of the availability of new online job opportunities, the fact remains that the UAE is ahead of other GCC countries in regards to economic diversification, and there remain key non-oil sectors that are leading the jobs growth.

Among the ones to witness a growth are occupations related to purchase, logistics, and supply chain, which registered a year-on-year growth of 19 per cent in the November Monster Index. While all sectors registered a year-on-year decline in online hiring in November, the education industry registered the least decline at -1 per cent, reflecting the government’s commitment to advancing education in the UAE.

“I believe that education will certainly see a rise in headcount as more than 500 educational projects at an estimated investment worth $50 billion are under various stages of development across the GCC to meet the growing demand for education,” says Ali of TASC.

“The communications sector has continued to grow and diversify in the past year. This trend is set to continue in 2017, with employers demanding more relevant skills and candidates realising that changing roles purely for a higher financial package may not be tolerated,” adds Blueprint’s Watson.

“With ecommerce and telecom sectors poised for growth in the region, hiring in these sectors is slated to increase too. As the region strategises to make the economy less oil dependent, verticals such as IT, telecom, aviation, healthcare and education are likely to see an increase in the headcount,” maintains Ali.

What will help you land a job

According to recent research, more than half of GCC workers surveyed are considering leaving their current employer in 2017 while 14 per cent of UAE employers claim they do not have the talent needed to achieve next year’s objectives. A separate study shows that over two-thirds of surveyed employers are looking to expand workforce in the coming 12 months.

“Competition will increase this year, with many talented people leaving their jobs to seek other opportunities and employers having clearly defined requirements of candidates. This means it is important for jobseekers to stand out as much as possible with updated skills and advanced presence in the market,” says Modi of Monster.com.

“Both Dubai and the UAE have ranked at the top when it comes to job availability, compensation, and career growth. Even in regards to factors such as labour rights, entrepreneurship support, and other socio-economic conditions, the UAE has secured a strong position in the region that is likely to carry over in the new year,” said Masri of Bayt.com.

In addition, the UAE is witnessing a growing trend in the recruitment of women in the workspace. There has been major focus by the government on empowering women in the workspace, which is clearly showing results in the recent years. “We anticipate that this trend will continue to see momentum in the coming months,” said Ali.