Majority of UAE employers plan to hire more staff in 2023

In-demand roles include sales executives, accountants and administrative assistants, and YouGov survey finds

Forty-three per cent of companies in the Mena region will be mainly hiring entry-level staff, especially junior executives, next year, a new survey by and YouGov has found. Getty
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About 70 per cent of UAE companies plan to hire new employees next year, a survey by UAE jobs portal and market research agency YouGov has found.

Half of all companies surveyed plan to recruit a maximum of five new staff over the next three months, while 25 per cent will hire between six and 10 employees, and YouGov said.

“There is a tremendous need for skilled workers in the private sector as multinational companies continue to demonstrate a higher probability for hiring in the Mena region,” Zafar Shah, research director at YouGov, said on Monday.

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

“At the same time, employers are looking for skills such as communication, teamwork and ability to work under pressure in order to build the teams needed to successfully deal with the challenges and opportunities of today and those yet to come.”

The survey polled 889 people from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and other countries between June 9 and August 1 this year.

The UAE jobs market has made a strong recovery from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, helped by the government’s fiscal and monetary measures.

About 76 per cent of employers in the Arab world’s second-largest economy plan to expand their workforce in 2022, a separate survey in February by and YouGov found.

Nearly 90 per cent of UAE employees want to work either in a hybrid or fully remote working model in the future, a May survey by California-based technology company Cisco found.

Meanwhile, 63 per cent of large local companies and 63 per cent of multinational companies in the Mena region are among those that have the highest intention of hiring in the next three months, the and YouGov survey found.

Forty-three per cent of Mena companies will primarily employ entry-level staff, especially junior executives, which is the most hired position across the region.

About 20 per cent of UAE employers say they will hire sales executives over the next three months, followed by 18 per cent of companies planning to recruit accountants and 16 per cent searching for administrative assistants, the poll found.

About 35 per cent of companies in the advertising, marketing and public relations sector attract or retain top talent in the UAE. This ranks it as the best sector for talent retention, followed by 33 per cent in real estate, construction and property development, and 31 per cent in banking and finance.

The UAE’s real estate, construction and property development sector ranks first for hiring Emiratis, with 37 per cent of companies in this industry attracting national talent. Advertising, marketing and public relations attracts the most new graduates and female talent, the survey found.

Meanwhile, 84 per cent of companies in business consultancy, business management and management consulting plan to hire the most talent in the region next year. This is followed by 82 per cent of organisations in commerce, trade and retail and 81 per cent of employers in consumer goods and fast-moving consumer goods sectors, the and YouGov survey said.

About 51 per cent of employers in the UAE ranked good communication skills in Arabic and English as the top skill they look for in a candidate. This is followed by 42 per cent who said being a team player is a key skill, while 34 per cent cited good leadership and 33 per cent highlighted the ability to work under pressure, the survey found.

Twenty-two per cent of employers picked business management as the most sought-after academic qualification, followed by 22 per cent who chose engineering and 19 per cent who opted for commerce.

About 28 per cent of companies said they were looking for candidates with managerial experience, while 27 per cent are searching for talent with a sales and marketing background and 29 per cent want candidates with mid-level experience.

“A large majority of Mena employers are looking to expand their workforce through a human-led approach,” Ola Haddad, director of human resources at, said.

“While professionals need to focus on honing skills in demand such as communication and collaboration, companies need to provide access routes for those who lack skills, take steps to strengthen the capabilities of skilled employees, and commit to constant upskilling.”

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Updated: September 12, 2022, 10:18 AM