Middle East job vacancies rose 25% quarter on quarter

Most in-demand roles are tax managers and financial planners and analysers
By Lubna Hamdan
Sun 06 May 2018 10:44 PM

The number of advertised job vacancies in the Middle East increased 25% between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, according to the latest Middle East Jobs Index by recruitment firm Robert Walters.

The most in-demand roles in the Middle East so far this year are tax managers, financial planning and analysis and controllers, while candidates with experience in enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience and mergers and acquisitions will be in high demand in 2018.

The UAE saw a 22% rise in the same period across accountancy and finance, banking and financial services, legal and sales and marketing. Its strongest job growth quarter-on-quarter was in banking and financial services (32%) thanks to a number of local banks posting double digit growth from their quarter on quarter results. This followed by accounting and finance (26%), though the legal sector witnessed the highest decline in advertised jobs at -1%.

Year-on-year, advertised jobs jumped 9%, in the country.

This is largely due to post implementation plans of VAT in Q1 2018, which create in-house roles and positions in public practice firms, according to Jason Grundy, Country Head at Robert Walters Middle East.

Saudi also saw a 28% rise in vacancies across accountancy and finance, banking and financial services, legal, sales and marketing, as the country saw an increase in the number of international banks expanding in the Kingdom. Legal, however, witnessing the highest increase at 55%, while accounting and finance saw the lowest percentage change at 26%. Year-on-year, the country experienced an 81% increase in advertised jobs.

This is particularly credited to nationalisation programmes which have dominated the region, especially in Saudi, where the economy is also moving away from oil and into industries such as e-commerce and retail. The lift of the female driving ban has also played a role in increasing job vacancies.

Sales and marketing recruitment has been stable in Q1 2018, with social media and e-commerce experience becoming more in demand, said Grundy.

Luxury brands are selectively hiring in line with the Dubai Mall expansion, with an appetite for Mandarin and Russian speaking staff, he added.

While Q2 might see Ramadan and the Eid holiday slow down the market, positive job numbers from the index suggest continued growth in the job sector.

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