Emirati nationals at Tawdheef, a job fair open to UAE citizens only, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Silvia Razgova / The National
Emirati nationals at Tawdheef, a job fair open to UAE citizens only, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Silvia Razgova / The National

Low oil prices hit UAE job growth, new report shows

The signs of a slowing job market in the UAE because of falling oil prices have started to appear.

A report from the recruiting company Morgan McKinley yesterday showed that professional hirings fell by 1 per cent in the second quarter to 8,109 compared with 8,213 in the first three months of the year.

“The oil price went back up to $60 per barrel towards the end of the quarter, but it needs to go up by a further $5-$10 a barrel to make new drilling and exploration projects viable,” said Trefor Murphy, the managing director for the Middle East and North Africa at Morgan McKinley, in the report.

Brent oil price closed on Friday 2 per cent lower at US$52.21 per barrel, which is a more than 50 per cent drop since peaking at $115 in June last year. An oil supply glut, weaker demand in Asia and Europe and a strong dollar have pushed oil prices lower this year.

There was also a 6 per cent drop in the number of professional job seekers between the first two quarters. The slow summer months and the start of Ramadan in June also contributed to the slowdown in seekers and new hires over the period.

“The number of job seekers has decreased. This is quite worrying, as there are many other options available for them – if you look at the employment market in the United Kingdom, Ireland, America, Australia and Asia, there is no need to come to the UAE any more and yet two years ago everyone was looking to work in Dubai,” said Mr Murphy.

The professional recruitment market will generate 5 to 10 per cent growth per quarter for the remainder of the year, depending on the oil price level, the company’s report said.

Morgan McKinley is forecasting an increase in investments in the financial field, particularly in the financial free zones of Dubai International Financial Centre and the Abu Dhabi Global Market, which would aid the job market growth in the second half.

“There will also be big infrastructure, property, oil and gas projects as well as alternative energy ones,” said Mr Murphy.

The banking sector is one industry that is expected to grow, given the UAE banks’ international expansion plans into countries such as Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceutical, medical device, hospitality, airline and tourism sectors have also been active in terms of hiring.


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July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Water waste

In the UAE’s arid climate, small shrubs, bushes and flower beds usually require about six litres of water per square metre, daily. That increases to 12 litres per square metre a day for small trees, and 300 litres for palm trees.

Horticulturists suggest the best time for watering is before 8am or after 6pm, when water won't be dried up by the sun.

A global report published by the Water Resources Institute in August, ranked the UAE 10th out of 164 nations where water supplies are most stretched.

The Emirates is the world’s third largest per capita water consumer after the US and Canada.


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The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

We Weren’t Supposed to Survive But We Did

We weren’t supposed to survive but we did.      
We weren’t supposed to remember but we did.              
We weren’t supposed to write but we did.  
We weren’t supposed to fight but we did.              
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Amira Sakalla

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