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Stop the press! No, really

Stop the press! No, really

Promising headlines about the UAE’s increased employment opportunities and salary hikes are growing rather tedious, complains Eva Fernandes.

February 8, 2011 1:31 by

Last I checked I haven’t received any increase in my salary last year and from the looks of it I am not likely to get one this year either. I don’t even need to do a quick survey, to find out from my friends in other companies to know that the situation is the same in their worlds, too. This bothers me. No, it doesn’t bother me that salaries are not increasing – we are, after all just climbing out of one of the worst recessions on record, for crying out loud. What bothers me is that newspapers and agencies love broadcasting optimistic and promising headlines like “Salaries to Increase” regardless of what the reality on ground is.

It reminds me of the various reports that companies in the UAE have started hiring. A flick through the archives of the local press will reveal in 2009: “UAE companies start hiring again: Recruitment agencies are back in business as firms begin hiring staff, says survey“; and, in 2010: “62% of UAE firms set to start hiring in Q2“. You won’t be surprised to find that in 2011, we’ve been told: “More than half of the country’s employers, 53 percent, plan to recruit over the next few months and 66 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).”

If the headlines are anything to go by UAE is hiring, hiring, hiring; why, then, does a quick chat with fresh graduates and job hunters suggest the exact opposite?

Promising headlines and impressive statistics are all very well, but until they actually translate into real action that we can all see with our own eyes, I am going to reserve my excitement for something more deserving – like an empty Metro carriage.

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