What economic downturn? Niche industries like solar power are booming

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 20 Jul 2016

Specialised sectors in UAE growing faster than they can find talent, say experts

Niche sectors in the UAE are growing so fast that they are unable to fill all their open positions, despite other industries having to lay off staff.
The solar sector is one such growth industry. Solar solutions provider Oryx Solar says it is using numerous recruitment companies but is still in need of specially qualified talent. This is partly because of a lack of specialised recruitment companies in the country.
Hennie Schoeman, project manager at Oryx Solar, says the solar industry is growing in the midst of a slowing economy. “People, organisations and governments are realising that a global movement toward energy independence is necessary to reduce our carbon footprint and to slow the depletion of natural resources,” says Schoeman. “Incorporating renewable energy into our everyday lives has become a worldwide trend that will grow for years to come.”
The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), based in Abu Dhabi, issued a report showing that the renewable energy industry is growing globally, with solar photovoltaic (PV) enjoying the strongest growth spurt. The UAE has a target to obtain 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, and solar is an obvious choice. If the 2030 target is reached, Irena estimates that up to 91,000 jobs will be created. But without recruiters to actively target and relocate talent in this specialist area, potential candidates will remain out of reach overseas.
Another niche business in the luxury sector actively looking for staff is Savoir Vivre, a provider of services and staff to cater to all aspects of household management. It is recruiting “au pairs, tutors, butlers, governesses, private chefs, elderly carers, special care nurses, grooms, concierges, florists, yacht and private jet personnel and other specific roles,” according to a spokesperson.
The business recently teamed up with the International Butler Academy to bring the world’s best butlers to the UAE. "The butlers we will now be able to offer to UAE clients are the most specialised when it comes to housekeeping, serving and servicing," says Katarina Janev, communications director of Savoir Vivre.
Lifestyle-related sectors are also growing in Qatar, which is experiencing strong growth in the hospitality and construction sectors – proven by the high sign-up rate of organisations to the upcoming Hospitality Qatar 2016 exhibition in October. Organisers are attributing its success to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the Qatar National Vision 2030. The country also has a National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, designed to boost the tourism sector and create jobs.
Bahrain is focusing on the development of its private sector, and in particular, public-private-partnerships (PPPs), as well as creating opportunities for youth employment. Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa announced this month that there are a number of PPPs in the pipeline.