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UAE jobs: Hiring to pick up in 2017

Published: 09:08 October 25, 2016

Dubai: Job hiring in the UAE remained generally weak, with vacancies posted online registering a significant decline in September compared to a year earlier, the latest employment index showed.

However, recruitment specialists forecast an increase in hiring outlook next year. They said that a number of projects currently in the pipeline, including those slated for Expo 2020, will soon open up opportunities for jobseekers in the UAE.

As of September, hiring by companies in engineering, construction and real estate; hospitality; oil and gas; information and technology, telecommunications and chemicals posted negative growth.

Among the professionals seeing a reduction in job postings are those with background and qualifications in finance and accounting; human resources and administration; customer service; software, hardware and telecommunications, as well as marketing and communications.

“Jobseekers in the UAE have been facing difficulty finding relevant employment opportunities online over the past few months, as companies reduce their hiring activity in light of the current economic difficulties being faced,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director at Monster.com Asia Pacific and Middle East.

Recruitment activity also declined in other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, with Qatar posting a drop of 25 per cent, Kuwait 22 per cent, and Saudi Arabia 5 per cent. Oman and Bahrain are the only two states in the GCC that have shown an increase in online hiring at 4 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

Among the businesses monitored in the UAE, only those in consumer goods, food, home appliance, textiles, leather, gems and jewellery recorded an increase in online recruitment.

The hospitality industry registered the biggest drop in hiring at 42 per cent, followed by the engineering, construction and real estate sector at 33 per cent, oil and gas at 31 per cent, IT and telecom/ISP at 9 per cent and chemicals, plastics, rubber, paints and fertilizer/pesticides industries at 4 per cent.

Finance and accounting professionals witnessed the biggest drop in hiring at 52 per cent, while job offers also declined by 33 per cent among HR and administration professionals. Postings for customer service positions dropped by 30 per cent and for software, hardware and telecom roles by 29 per cent.

Openings for engineering and production jobs went down by 17 per cent, while hiring for marketing and communications/arts/creative roles dropped by 16 per cent.

Modi, however, said that the situation will improve next year, especially since the UAE is “ahead of other GCC countries in regards to the nation’s economic diversification efforts.” “It is less reliant on its oil economy and will be less affected by its price.”

The Capital Economics second quarter 2016 Middle East outlook noted that the UAE economy is expected to grow at 2 per cent in 2017 as the country slowly recovers from low oil prices.

“With a positive outlook for the UAE in 2017, and with many projects in the pipeline gearing up to Expo 2020 and 2021 visions, we expect the UAE employment market to steadily improve across sectors as companies become more confident in the UAE economy and plans start to materialize,” Said Modi.

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