The successful Dubai Expo bid will lead to a regional talent war with its GCC neighbour Qatar with the only solution being an increase in international recruitment where an additional 250,000 jobs are forecast.
The manpower demand will spike for talent in senior leadership across sectors such as industry, construction and technology with both Dubai and Doha hosting global events like the Expo 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022. Add to this that there are 600-700 other major projects across the Middle East region and the talent challenge is considerable.
Whilst, the UAE has a significant advantage over Qatar in terms of its existing infrastructure the opportunities in Qatar are set to rise rapidly over the next 2 years with some very ambitious plans to tackle infrastructure weaknesses in areas such as healthcare. However, timing is forever uncertain in the Middle East and project postponement is a regular feature. Candidates need to demonstrate a cultural awareness as clients are looking for more than just competent talent but we feel the barriers will be lowered and have noticed a sharp increase demand for talent from Europe in 2014 but it mainly in hospitality and trade skills rather than men in suits.
However, Middle East employers need to fulfil their side of the bargain and engage with the expat workforce rather than regarding them as just units of labour. This is reinforced as the competition from elsewhere in the world is increasing and we have already called 2014 the year of the candidate. International competition will see pay rates rise as well.
While the UAE and Qatar continue to experience a strong influx of expat talent from Europe and Asia, However talent retention is the most challenging aspect of hiring in Gulf countries owing to their nationalisation policies and hired help mentality. This leads to high levels of dissatisfaction and staff turnover exacerbating the problems.
Should any Gulf based Employers like to discuss their requirements contact can be made by either emailing requirements or making use of our online chat facility.
Author: Chris Slay
Managing Director Skills Provision Limited
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