Slim pick­ings for job­seek­ers in UAE

Re­cruit­ment spe­cial­ists say slump in va­can­cies down to fall in oil price

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Shoshana Ke­dem @B_shosh

Find­ing a job in the UAE at the mo­ment is a chal­lenge, ac­cord­ing to a report by re­cruit­ment con­sul­tants.

Va­can­cies in the UAE slipped 12 per cent in the first quar­ter of 2016 com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, while the mar­ket saw a 22 per cent rise in job­seek­ers, ac­cord­ing to the report by Mor­gan McKin­ley, which mea­sured fig­ures across a num­ber of sec­tors.

“It was a more chal­leng­ing start to the year than usual,” said Tre­for Mur­phy, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor for the MENA re­gion at Mor­gan McKin­ley. “The gen­eral feel­ing is that it’s a tough mar­ket out there, but then again, it’s a tough mar­ket ev­ery­where at the mo­ment.”

There were 7,212 va­can­cies in the UAE in the first three months of 2016 com­pared to 7,899 in 2015, as banks, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and oil and gas sec­tors cut jobs fol­low­ing plung­ing oil prices.

“When the price of a bar­rel of oil goes from $125 to $35 the econ­omy will in­evitably have dif­fi­cul­ties,” Mur­phy said.

But the out­look in some sec­tors is bet­ter as com­pa­nies are still launch­ing new prop­erty and con­struc­tion projects, the report found.

The govern­ment is also steam­ing ahead with new de­vel­op­ments that boost the econ­omy and lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture, it added.

James Malt­man, from re­cruit­ment firm En­gage Se­lec­tion, said: “It’s not as busy as it was last year and there’s been a lot of re­dun­dan­cies from the en­gi­neer­ing and project man­age­ment sec­tors, but con­trac­tors are still hir­ing - not in mas­sive num­ber but they are still hir­ing.” He added: “Lo­cal de­vel­op­ers are still busy with projects such as Blue Wa­ter, the Creek project and Expo 2020 are start­ing to gain mo­men­tum.” Last week a job fair at Univer­sity of Dubai saw ap­pli­cants pour in from job mar­kets in Europe and the Mid­dle East. Hatem Han­noun, a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager at, said: “The com­pe­ti­tion is higher now and there’s the gen­eral per­cep­tion of the mar­ket be­ing tougher these days.” A re­cent Mid­dle East So­ci­eties Mar­ket Sen­ti­ment Sur­vey by fi­nance body CFA said that job op­por­tu­ni­ties for fi­nance work­ers in the GCC will con­tinue to de­cline in 2016. “With banks and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions an­nounc­ing job cuts, CFA mem­bers be­lieve that this trend will con­tinue as the job mar­ket wors­ens for fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als,” the report said.

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