Why are UAE jobs still booming?

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 06 Oct 2015

Recruiters and staff remain positive, despite high cost of living and plummeting oil price

Optimism remains high among employees and recruiters in the UAE, despite the current low oil price environment which has led commentators to express concerns about the future of jobs in the country.
 
Almost half (46 per cent) of more than 8,000 employees polled by Bayt.com and YouGov expected job availability in the Emirates to increase within the next six months. The latest Bayt.com Consumer Confidence Index survey also found that half of the respondents believe there are plenty of jobs available in the country, with 29 per cent claiming they can find roles across multiple industries. Around 34 per cent predict a retraction of opportunities.
 
The survey results come after the UAE government announced an end to billions of dollars’ worth of fuel subsidies, becoming the first country in the oil-exporting GCC region to cut petrol benefits. Media reports quoted the UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei as saying that fuel subsidies had cost state-owned energy companies around US$1 billion a year over the last decade.
 
With petrol prices in the country now 20 per cent higher, the subsidy cut has fuelled debate on a further impact on living costs, especially after Mercer’s 2015 Cost of Living Survey showed Dubai’s ranking jumping 44 places to 23rd and Abu Dhabi up 35 places to 33rd globally.
 
However, the Bayt.com and YouGov survey indicates that both the financial and employment outlooks remain positive in the UAE and the entire Middle East and North African region, said Suhail Al-Masri, VP of sales at Bayt.com. “Now is a good time for professionals to focus on job search strategies, and brand themselves online,” he said.
 
The survey also found that a little over half of employed UAE respondents (51 per cent) are satisfied with their career growth opportunities, while 38 per cent are satisfied with their current compensation, though 39 per cent are unhappy with their remuneration packages.
 
Almost a third of respondents believe the UAE’s economy has improved in the last six months, while 33 per cent say it has remained the same and 17 per cent claim it has receded. A majority of those surveyed expect the economy to improve in the next six months and one in five anticipates it to remain unchanged.