Hiring trends across the Middle East


We’re cautiously optimistic about the 2016 jobs market. The need for new hires is set to be strong among employers across government, real estate, financial services and tourism. In addition, as always, the transient nature of the region’s recruitment needs means we anticipate regular requirements for replacement hires.

Whilst it has been well documented that government spending is being reigned in, the vast public building programmes underway in Dubai and other states will underpin demand for professionals in leadership, legal and finance positions in the region’s head offices during 2016.

On a macro level, as sanctions against Iran begin to ease further in 2016, many companies across the region are set to build headcount across all business areas to cope with this new, exciting market.

Government policies in the UAE and Saudi Arabia to prioritise Gulf nationals over expatriate professionals when being considered for new roles will be even more strictly observed in 2016. This is an important issue for employers. While the number of highly educated, wellqualified and experienced local professionals has never been greater, they are often keen to work only in their home country and close to family, further restricting this market.

Companies wishing to appoint high-quality professionals in more remote locations might therefore consider offering benefits like free flights home at weekends. An additional related means of attracting and retaining the best talent will be to reintroduce more competitive rewards packages, including housing and education funding. These were largely stripped out following the financial crisis.

We expect salaries to remain largely flat in 2016. However, there will be exceptions such as construction professionals and private practice lawyers, digital experts, category managers (FM) and FP&A professionals.

For more information or to view the full report please contact:

Jason Grundy, Country Head (Middle East)
Tel: +971 4 8180 102
Email: jason.grundy@robertwalters.com

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