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Joy for Mena’s jobseekers

Jobs ahead for MENA region

More than half of UAE companies are planning to hire new talent over the next quarter

August 20, 2013 2:00 by

Over the next three months, 32 per cent of companies in the Emirates say they will be “definitely hiring” – with 69 per cent of them expecting to fill up to ten vacancies. Across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), 30 per cent of companies claim to be definitely hiring, with an additional 25 per cent “probably hiring” within the same timeframe.

According to the recent Job Index survey by Middle East jobsite and research and consulting organisation YouGov, 54 per cent of participants believe that the UAE is the most attractive location to live and work, followed by Qatar (46 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (44 per cent). Banking, finance, construction, oil, gas and petrochemicals are ranked as the most attractive industries to work for in the Mena region.

The survey was based on the answers of approximately 3,500 respondents across the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan.

The country with the highest hiring expectancy in the next three months is Saudi Arabia, with a collective 65 per cent of companies ‘definitely’ (41 per cent) or ‘probably’ hiring (24 per cent). The country with the lowest hiring expectancy is Morocco, with only 17 per cent of companies ‘definitely’ hiring and 21 per cent ‘probably’ hiring.

Most of the jobs will come from the private sector, led by large local companies, multi-nationals and small to medium size local companies.

The study results also reveal the more desirable qualifications for job candidates in the Emirates to hold are those in engineering (27 per cent), business management (24 per cent) and commerce. Employers look for candidates with communication skills in both English and Arabic (51 per cent), who have good leadership skills (49 per cent) and who are team players (45 per cent).

Suhail Masri, vice president of sales at, says the fact that many of the jobs are coming from small- to medium-sized local companies is a sign of booming local economies in the region.

He adds: “This signals that smaller entrepreneurial ventures are more comfortable hiring than they were in the beginning of the year.”

The optimism reflected in the survey comes in the nick of time, as a recent Gallup Poll has revealed that the Mena region recorded the world’s highest unemployment rate in 2012. The ‘Payroll to Population (P2P)’ survey found that 19 per cent of the region’s residents are out of work, while 28 per cent of all citizens are ‘underemployed’. Last year, global unemployment stood at eight per cent – unchanged from 2011.

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