Saudi Arabia, Dubai job markets boom as more employment vacancies open

Job markets in the Middle East – particularly Saudi Arabia and Dubai– have witnessed positive growth in the first quarter of 2023, with an 18 percent rise in available positions across head offices – bucking a global trend.

A report from leading international recruitment agency Robert Walters revealed that the banking & financial services industry has seen the highest growth with a 54 percent increase in job vacancies compared to the same period in 2022. This has been followed by the technology and HR industries, which have seen a 20 percent and 10 percent increase in job vacancies, respectively.

The economic stability and strength of the Middle East has meant that investment into the region had continued unabated and with that almost all countries – Dubai in particular – has continued to surge economically,” said Jason Grundy, Managing Director of Robert Walters Middle East & Africa.

“With all the new projects and initiatives planned, the forecast is that Dubai will see the size of its economy double over the next 10 years – with the private sector growing ever larger.”

Saudi Arabia, for example, has increasingly been stepping up efforts to attract foreign professionals and business to the country, according to Grundy.

“Looking to other countries, Saudi has announced a free zone policy of their own in order to stimulate investment. This already is accelerating the transformation of Saudi Arabia to a post oil economy,” he added.

“All of these positive market factors is having an equally positive impact on professionals – with an increase in relaxing laws & visa requirements, as well as attractive compensation packages all acting as positive drivers to expat talent.”

Technology bounces back

It appears that no countries tech market has been able to escape the shockwaves felt by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, and the mass layoffs and the sectors leading firms.

According to the report, while hiring has slowed down for the first quarter, there has been some bounce back with vacancies increasing by 12 percent, a lot of which has been as a result of the activity in Saudi Arabia.

Demand for IT project management professionals has increased by over 60 percent across the Middle East because of greater investments in new projects. Software development roles have also been in demand, making up 9 percent of all tech vacancies.

“There’s a new entrepreneurial energy across the MENA region, accelerated by the rise of sovereign wealth funds as major investors and growing smartphone penetration. This, coupled with government mandates to grow tech ecosystems and intense competition to attract entrepreneurs feels like the perfect formula for robust growth over the coming years.”

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