By Beatrice Thomas
New figures also show UAE salaries increased by 5.3 percent
Dubai has strengthened its position as the GCC’s prime employment destination for expatriates with 40 percent of all new recruitment activity in the region last year recorded in the emirate, as new figures show UAE private sector salaries increased by 5.3 percent.
A report by recruitment company GulfTalent on private sector employment and salary trends found all up 57 percent of vacancies advertised on its website in 2013 were within the UAE, while 83 percent of expats surveyed said they wished to remain there.
This was followed by new vacancies recorded in Saudi (19 percent), Qatar (16 percent), Kuwait (3 percent), Oman (3 percent) and Bahrain (2 percent).
The report said average salary increases in 2013 were highest in Oman at 7.4 percent, followed by Saudi (6.7 percent), Qatar (5.6 percent), Kuwait (5.4 percent), the UAE (5.3 percent) and Bahrain (4 percent). Overall, the GCC rate was 5.9 percent.
Saudi was the leader in job creation in 2013, with the report saying 62 percent of companies increasing their headcount, followed by the UAE (51 percent) and Kuwait (47 percent). Bahrain had the lowest rate at nine percent, it said.
Broken down into industries, healthcare topped the table with 80 percent of companies creating new jobs in 2013 on the back of significant investment in the sector and more countries making health insurance mandatory for employers.
According to the report, which is based on an online survey of 800 employers and 34,000 professionals, as well as 60 interviews with executives and HR professionals, telecom and retail sectors competed for second position.
The report said salaries were expected to increase by 5.9 percent in 2014 in the UAE. In Oman, this is forecast at eight percent in 2014, with other increases tipped at 6.8 percent in Saudi and 6.7 percent in Qatar. Kuwait and Bahrain are forecast to have the region’s lowest salary increases - 5.8 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.
“The UAE has further strengthened its position as the prime destination for expatriates in the GCC,” GulfTalent said.
“Optimism about the country’s future has increased following Dubai’s economic recovery and successful bid for hosting the 2020 Expo. Expatriates also continue to value the UAE’s stability, especially as parts of the wider region remain plagued by tensions. Not surprisingly, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the region’s most attractive cities, followed by Qatar’s capital, Doha. Bahrain, on the other hand, remains the least attractive destination for expatriates.
Looking forward, the report said 75 percent of Qatar companies planned to create new jobs in 2014, with Saudi (63 percent) and UAE (57 percent) firms also looking to bolster their workforces significantly.
The report said Bahrain, while lagging behind the other countries, showed signs of improvement as its political situation stabilised with 30 percent of companies expected to increase their headcount, compared to a nine percent increase in 2013.
Hospitality and retail will dominate job growth in 2014, according to the survey, with 61 percent of companies in this sector planning to increase their headcount. In retail, 57 percent of firms will create jobs, driven by the region’s rapid population growth and increasing penetration of retail outlets in more remote locations, it said.
The lowest jobs creation is expected in banking (42 percent) and oil and gas (25 percent).For all the latest industry news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.