UAE sees rise in tech jobs as Covid pandemic recovery gathers pace

Hundreds of new roles being created with technology sector leading the way

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Hundreds of jobs are opening up across the UAE as the labour market continues its resurgence from a pandemic downturn, recruiters have said.

Roles in the technology, e-commerce and healthcare sectors are particularly in demand.

Career opportunities in the industrial sector are also on the rise thanks to the easing of visa and travel restrictions.

Dr Ahmad Khamis, chief executive of Bloovo – an artificial intelligence-led recruitment company – said “things are returning to normal in the UAE”.

“From what we've seen over the past couple of months, the activity has picked up actually drastically post-Covid-19 and things are returning back to normal,” he said.

'Data is new oil' as technology sector grows

“We can see from the applicant tracking system that we have with a couple of clients that hundreds of new jobs have been added to the labour market.

“These jobs are mainly coming from the technology sector. In addition, demand in the healthcare sector has skyrocketed. E-commerce is also on the rise again because investments have been made in this sector. Accordingly, hundreds of new jobs are being created in the UAE.”

Dr Khamis said “data is the new oil” and that the technology sector would continue to grow, opening up employment opportunities for numerous people in the field.

Salaries for entry-level positions in data science and artificial intelligence engineering start at Dh15,000 ($4,083) and can go up to Dh35,000 for midlevel careers.

“Going forward there will be a new class of jobs that will start appearing on the surface, such as data science, machine learning, big data and cloud solution services, because this is the new trend today with the adoption of artificial intelligence as a theme for modern economies,” Dr Khamis said.

Recruiters look to remote workers

David Mackenzie, group managing director at recruiters Mackenzie Jones, said many roles that were meant to be filled in 2020 are now being taken on, but new positions were also being made available by employers as part of future planning.

He said there was a heavy demand in the technology sector, particularly FinTech, data science and tech specialists, but there was not enough talent to fill those roles.

“There's been a very swift return to job numbers in terms of roles coming on to the marketplace,” he said.

“At the moment, we're doing work in FinTech and start-ups, health care and we do a lot of work in financial services. So, all of those markets seem to be quite booming now.

“We have a FinTech division and there’s so much going on in that space. The problem is there is a real shortage globally of data scientists and tech specialists.

“What we’re doing is recruiting people as far away as Georgia and Australia that can work remotely.”

UAE sets out plans to attract global talent

The UAE has launched several initiatives to attract global talent to the country.

It was announced this year that the Emirates would provide 100,000 golden visas – a 10-year residency visa – to the best computer-programming talent in the UAE and across the globe.

As part of the initiative, tech giants including Google, Facebook and Amazon would train young people in computer programming.

More recently, the UAE launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network, which aims to promote the adoption of advanced technologies in the industrial sector.

Mr Mackenzie said the labour market is generally performing well and there are also jobs opening in other sectors.

However, he said that the recruiting process could take up to several months.

“We've recruited in insurance, health care, legal and food. The market generally is very good, but there is a slight caveat to that. Many jobs out there are on LinkedIn are what we term as phishing jobs,” he said.

“There are clients looking for people, but they're not sure what they want. So, they may just look at people and decide not to fill that role in the end anyway. The times to hire are really long – three to four months.

“I think clients procrastinate an awful lot at the moment. They put people through so many different interview processes and they always think that there's another good person out there.

“Clients will often want to see a minimum three to four people before they make a decision these days.”

Top 7 UAE jobs offering best starting salaries:

  • Artificial intelligence – entry level, Dh15,000/midlevel, Dh20,000
  • Data scientist – entry level, Dh15,000/midlevel, Dh25,000
  • User interface design or user interface engineering – entry level, Dh10,000/midlevel, Dh20,000
  • Digital marketing – entry level, Dh8,000/midlevel, Dh17,000
  • Supply chain analyst – entry level, Dh7,000/midlevel, Dh18,000
  • Space scientist/researcher – entry level, Dh10,000/midlevel Dh20,000
  • Blockchain specialist – entry level, Dh14,000/midlevel, Dh23,000

(List is compiled using data from Future Tense HR, based in Dubai)

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Updated: September 08, 2021, 6:11 AM