UAE recruiters seeing strong hiring demand into summer months

Outside travel and tourism, sectors like transport, real estate and renewable energy are likely to create new jobs, an expert writes

The UAE's technology sector is recording higher demand for talent compared to the same time last year. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

There has been positive news about the UAE economy and a rise in employment so far this year, but certain sectors have been hiring more aggressively than others.

Emirates airline said in January that it plans to hire 5,000 cabin crew this year. At the end of April, the airline said it would continue to ramp up the hiring of pilots and increase their salaries.

With 65 new aircraft on order (delivery expected from the middle of next year), it’s a great sign from one of the UAE’s leading employers.

Hotel occupancy also shows no sign of slowing down, with many more properties opening across the Emirates and plenty of demand to fill inventory.

The travel and tourism industries are clearly benefiting from market conditions, so what does this mean for other sectors?

As a recruiter in the technology sector, I am witnessing a higher demand for talent in comparison to the same time last year, and a larger volume of new jobs coming in now than at the beginning of this year.

It has not been a slow start to the year, but many recruitment processes can take a while, especially when there are visa applications, security clearances and relocations involved.

In real terms, we are seeing new candidates placed in jobs now after hiring managers requested for candidates in December and January.

The good news is that with higher demand now than three months ago, we will continue to see more new jobs created well into the third quarter.

With Ramadan and Eid behind us, there is every reason to believe that the rest of this year will continue to be a busy one.

The biggest demand from our UAE clients is for tech professionals with niche skill sets in cyber and telecoms.

There is also a surge in demand from technology vendors looking to grow their sales teams.

Outside the UAE, we are also seeing demand in Saudi Arabia grow across all sectors.

The Emirates has ambitious growth targets and is seeking to double its gross domestic product to $800 billion by 2030, from $442.1 billion in 2022.

There is a long way to reach this number, but there seem to be no signs of a slowdown.

The government has also diversified its revenue sources, with oil accounting for less than 30 per cent of revenue in 2022.

Outside the tourism industry, there is huge investment in transportation, real estate, public safety and renewable energy, among others. As these sectors grow, so will the number of available job opportunities.

So, are we seeing a recruitment boom? I would say no, but we are seeing much more measured, sustainable growth based on a strong economy and healthy market conditions.

Periods of boom and bust are never good for the long term; being able to plan and forecast any business with steady growth is a far better strategy.

I have said earlier that companies over-hired post-Covid and this led to a downturn six to 12 months later. Fortunately, it seems like business leaders are reluctant to commit the same mistakes.

Of course, there may be more periods of decline in the future, but I doubt these will be as dramatic as seen in previous times.

We learn from lessons of the past, and as an emerging market like the UAE continues to grow into a more mature one, the outlook will continue to be better.

This region continues to be a very attractive proposition to both businesses and families from abroad seeking a better life owing to a great climate, quality of life, no taxes and family safety. These conditions are not likely to change any time soon.

John Armstrong is the founder and managing director of JCA Associates

Updated: May 14, 2024, 6:18 AM