Despite hiring slowing down in some industries, the UAE economy still produced a number of vacancies, with job postings in February going up by more than 70 per cent in certain organisations.
Overall, demand for additional staff in the country went up by 45 per cent last month, according to the latest Monster Employment Index.
Organisations in the healthcare business continued to show a huge appetite for growth, with recruitment activity rising by 76 per cent year-on-year. This is thanks largely to continued investment into medical facilities and growth of medical tourists visiting the country.
In the education industry, hiring posted a 72 per cent increase, while information technology and Telecom/ISP registered a 58 per cent growth in recruitment activity.
“As the region continues to look for better talent, professionals with the right mix of expertise and skills are highly sought-after,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director for Monster.com (India, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong), which supplied the hiring figures.
Monster.com regularly tracks hiring activities by combing through tens of thousands of employer postings online,
Sanjay said the increase in hiring in the medical industry is a result of the government’s effort to establish Dubai as a top destination for people seeking medical treatment abroad. “[The] Dubai Healthcare Authority has in recent years been promoting the emirate as a medical tourism hub, and I expect more investment in this industry to further stimulate the job market,” said Modi.
“In 2015, 150,000 medical tourists used 1,400 of the emirate’s 2,900 healthcare facilities, coming from within the UAE, the GCC, Asia and Europe. The DHA expects this statistic to increase to 170,000 medical tourists in 2016, with revenues of about $300 million.”
Ibtesam Maraqa, an associate consultant at Morgan McKinley in the UAE, said that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are indeed some of the “strongest booming industries” today.
“[Information technology] IT has also seen an increase, so has education. The IT industry has seen increased demands especially in highly technical roles that are not easily found among IT professionals. Certain unique skills that require advanced certifications or niche skills [are in demand],” Maraqa toldGulf News.
“As an IT specialist, I have noticed requirements from our clients across all industries looking to hire qualified professionals with certain IT skills aiming to keep their business up to date with the latest trends and their data highly secured and safe.”
Aside from healthcare, pharmaceuticals, IT and education, there is also a high demand for talent across the logistics industry.
“I think that the UAE is aiming towards a diversified economy where its GDP isn’t heavily reliant on oil exports which is why I think there has been major investments in certain industries over the years and the result of that has led to a high demand for talent across logistics, healthcare, IT and education,” said Ebony Thomas, manager for manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, human resources and IT at Morgan McKinley.
She said the high level of focus and investment into the education sector from the UAE government, as well as the growing influx of international students into the country “play a key role as to why” there is also a high demand for new employees in the education sector.
However, competition for new jobs among hotel, creative and energy professionals could be tough. The hospitality industry alone posted a negative three per cent annual growth in hiring.
Those in the advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment posted a 4 per cent decline, while firms in the oil and gas industry registered an 8 per cent dip.
Online job listings had dropped considerably late last year as a result of declining oil prices and softening of Dubai’s real estate market.
The growth in hiring activity only indicates that despite the slowdown in the oil and gas industry, a number of employers remain positive about the business or economic conditions.
“The remarkable rise in job opportunities across a variety of non-oil sectors in the UAE shows that despite the falling oil prices, there is an underlying trend of optimism in the market, driving expectations for growth in 2016,” said Sanjay Modi, managing director, Monster.com.