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Job market obsession in Dubai?

Eating money

One minute, we all have confidence in our fantastic roller coaster of a career and the next minute we’re pulling our hair out from the lack of opportunities.

December 10, 2012 11:51 by

Dubai is obsessed with amplifying any and all trends in the job market. And the frustrating bit is that a lot of it tends to be of a contradictory nature. One minute, recruiters worry about a talent deficit in the country – saying that the demand outweighs the supply by a long shot. The next minute, they say there is an abundance of talent and creativity, so much that some recruiters have said that what ‘Westerners’ have to offer is becoming redundant and that ‘they have no talent that Asian expatriates don’t already have’.

One minute, we all have confidence in our fantastic roller coaster of a career and the next minute we’re pulling our hair out from the lack of opportunities. In any case, Kipp thinks it boils down to specifics. There is such a thing as being too specific or to use the economic term, too micro. You hear about the UK falling into a double and triple (sounds like an ice cream order doesn’t it) recession. You never miss all the blame Obama gets for leaving America’s job market in the sewers but when it comes to Dubai, there is too much of a fear of missing out when it comes to settling down.

Sure, everyone wants to progress but this obsessive ‘oh, am I getting enough or am I too underpaid’ mentality can’t end well for anyone. In an interview with Lama Ataya from Bayt, Kipp was told many things that we often spot in daily headlines. We have the usual ‘In 2012, Dubai remains the most attractive spot in the region to live and work in’, the ‘clearly Dubai has recovered from its slump’ and *drum roll* ‘little seems to threaten the UAE’s recovery and standing as a favourite destination’.

In the latest news the trend has moved from the job market and into the area of financial remuneration – which is fancy talk for ‘money that we work for’. And bonuses.

Vijay Gandhi, regional director at Hay Group told The National in today’s report that performance-based pay is on the rise but that bonuses are becoming more modest. “Bonuses are back, but companies are being cautious not to increase the whole fixed package,” he said. What’s wrong with doing it with some humility this time? Reflecting back on ‘where luxurious company cars and lavish housing allowances’ were common practice in the work place, Kipp thinks that some humility will do us good.

What with today’s CBRE report that indicates a 24 percent increase in many rental areas in Dubai, we could see why many are holding their breath for that big work bonus. Still, as a Kipper pointed out below, telling everyone in the Emirate constantly that their salaries are increasing is nothing more than a green light for retailers, airlines and landlords to hike their prices.

Is Kipp just being grumpy as usual or is there too much of an obsession with job and salary trends here?


  1. ZeTallGerman on December 10, 2012 12:22 pm

    For the past 3 years, every Nov/Dec we read the headlines “salaries in Dubai expected to jump *insert random percentage here*”… you know what? Who are these lucky people? I’m still waiting (and so are most people I know) and I’ve been a loyal servant of the same company for over 10 years now. Couple this with “rents doubling” and “inflation” of basic commodities and “the boom is back” – great… just great. Tell the landlords that they can increase the rents. Tell the retailers that apparently we all don’t know what to do with all this spare cash our employers are throwing at us. Tell the airlines that they can increase ticket prices again. And let everyone increase their prices – while our salaries stay the exact same. It’s looking like a lean Christmas, Oliver. No, you may not have a little more…

  2. M. Aldalou on December 10, 2012 12:28 pm

    Wow, your comments never seem to disappoint do they! And here I was thinking that it was just my own rambling with no logic but you bring up great points. It is not just a matter of being positive and projecting percentages but projecting this image encourages inflation and as you said landlords and airlines will just take it as a green light.

  3. behrooz on December 10, 2012 5:38 pm

    The main problem of the job market in UAE is the job seekers them self. Indian/Pakistani nationals tend to be happy with much less salary than the western expats. Thats what makes the job market to be unbalanced. Either westerners should lower their expectations or asian nationals should higher their expectations. Some of them do great job and they deserve more. If they get the same salaries as westerners then, Recruiters only look at qualities of the job candidates rather than financial benefits of recruiting certain nationalities for the company. (This comment only represents my idea about this issue with no offence to any employer or employee – Any nationality or citizen of any country).

  4. M. Aldalou on December 11, 2012 9:33 am

    Thank you Behrooz for your respectful comment and I am sure nobody will take offence to it. After all, you are right there is a sincere imbalance in the job market in Dubai.


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