Salary, work environment and security are most important for UAE job-seekers

Employees also prefer companies that offer opportunities for long-term career development, survey finds

Job-seekers are also attracted to financially stable companies with good benefits, the and YouGov survey found. Getty
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Six in 10 job-seekers in the UAE believe that salary and compensation are the main factors that attract prospective employees, according to a survey by jobs portal and market research agency YouGov.

This was followed by 50 per cent of professionals who picked workplace environment and 46 per cent who cited long-term job security as the main factors attracting employees to organisations, according to the poll, which surveyed 3,478 people from countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan between October 14 and November 8.

Other factors are a company's reputation, additional benefits offered such as medical cover and the organisation’s financial stability.

Watch: Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

Some of the stats behind the UAE's hiring boom

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, FEB 24, 2016. Jason Leavy, MD of Edelman Dabo. Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National (Reporter: Frank Kane /Section: BZ) Job ID: 27616 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20160224_JASONLEAVY_004.JPG

However, the least important factors for job-seekers are the company’s aesthetics, such as the logo and website design, with only 13 per cent opting for it, while 12 per cent picked positive media presence as a factor driving loyalty, the survey found.

“Besides salary, a large number of surveyed employees longed for long-term career development opportunities as a major driver of loyalty towards a company,” said Ola Haddad, director of human resources at

“This signals how clear demands for heightened company culture that are on the rise can be closely linked to a desire for more genuine professional development.”

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

The Emirates, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has undertaken several economic, legal and social reforms over the years to strengthen its business environment, increase foreign direct investment, attract skilled workers with new visas and provide incentives to companies to set up or expand their operations.

In October, a separate study by and YouGov found that 86 per cent of working professionals in the UAE had a positive career outlook for 2023.

Employers in the UAE plan to increase salaries by an average of 4.4 per cent in 2023 and are considering benefits such as retention bonuses in an effort to retain employees and attract talent amid a tight labour market, according to a September report by global advisory company WTW.

Thirty-eight per cent of employees in the UAE picked opportunities for long-term career development as the most important driver of loyalty after being hired, the latest survey showed.

About 38 per cent also picked training and development opportunities while 33 per cent cited job security as a key factor driving loyalty.

Furthermore, seven in 10 employees in the UAE said they found an employer to be attractive if they followed good ethics and practices, while 60 per cent picked friendly company culture and 52 per cent went for corporate social responsibility, according to

“Overall, it seems that employees in the region are looking for more authentic experiences in the workplace,” said Zafar Shah, research director at YouGov.

“Now that the pandemic is nearly coming to a close, we foresee a bigger focus on employee loyalty in what has come to be known as the great age of resignation.”

About 27 per cent of those polled in the UAE said both social media and online company pages aimed at job-seekers were the most effective medium to promote an organisation’s culture, according to the survey.

While 59 per cent of those polled in the UAE have been working in their current organisation for more than two years, about six in 10 of the working population said they were happy in their current job while 65 per cent said they would recommend their current workplace to someone looking for a job, the survey found.

About seven in 10 professionals in the Emirates also said they would apply to the current organisation for their current role if they had to do it all over again, the poll showed.

Among those who said they would not choose their current employer again, 71 per cent attributed it to stagnant growth opportunities while 52 per cent said their expectations were different from the role offered.

Meanwhile, 71 per cent of employees in the UAE expect to change their company in the next six months, according to

The most common reasons cited are lack of opportunities for advancement, compensation that is not up to market standards and dissatisfaction with rewards or recognition, the survey showed.

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Updated: December 05, 2022, 10:13 AM